Parul Shah and Ann Colis, Binibining Pilipinas Tourism 2014 and 2015, can now make their pageant-crazy country proud as the Binibining Pilipinas Charities Inc. (BPCI) finally found international pageants for them.
In twin announcements made on Aug. 27 at Gloria Maris in Gateway Mall, BPCI announced that Shah will be sent to the Miss Grand International pageant in Bangkok, Thailand, while Colis will fly to Toronto, Canada, to wear the Philippine sash at Miss Globe.
“I hope the two of you will be happy, compete and bring us the crowns,” said BPCI chair Stella Márquez-Araneta.
The development is big news for pageant pundits following the uncertain fate of the tourism crown. One titleholder ended her reign without competing.
Shah, 26, will battle it out in a three-year-old pageant, which based on its website (www.missgrandinternational.com) could welcome 100-plus candidates, with countries like Iran, Suriname, Kurdistan, Bangladesh and Cambodia competing.
The Philippine franchise was owned by pageant trainer John de la Vega.
“I’m as surprised as everyone here,” said Shah. “Madame called me last week, and now I have an international pageant. I was about to fly to Dubai for work. Madame gave a call right in the nick of time.”
The competition, with finals night on Oct. 25, is in search of a mouthpiece for its campaign to “stop the war and violence.” Shah flies to Thailand on Oct. 4.
The pageant website noted that over 1.5 billion people watched the show last year.
This year, one of Shah’s biggest competition is 6-foot-tall Anea Garcia, representing the Dominican Republic.
“I’m very excited,” the half-Indian Shah said. “Since last year, I have always been prepared.”
Meanwhile, 22-year-old Ann Colis of Pampanga will fly to Canada on Sept. 20 to prove herself worthy of the 42nd Miss Globe crown, to be handed out Oct. 11 in Toronto. She is the first to compete from the 2015 court, also composed of Pia Wurtzbach and Janicel Lubina.
The contest she will join (www.themissglobe.com), an unheard-of pageant to Filipinos thus far, is based in Albania and run by Deliart Association, owned by Petri Bozo.
It so far lists over 40 candidates, including stunners from Brazil, Belarus, Colombia, Venezuela and USA. The current winner is Miss Canada Jacqueline Wojciechowski.
“It will be my first time outside the country,” revealed Colis, fighting back tears. “I am happy and excited that I have a pageant. I’m really thankful. Rest assured that I will be 100-percent prepared.”
In an interview with the Inquirer, Araneta revealed that the additions to the BPCI’s lineup of pageants signal a farewell to the tourism crown.
So will there be a Top 8 in the 2016 pageant? “It would seem so,” Araneta said. “I’ve tried to secure a tourism franchise last year, I couldn’t get one. I tried again this year, still nothing.”
In the 2014 edition, the pageant added Binibining Pilipinas Intercontinental and gave sashes to seven ladies, including the two runners-up positions.
Will the Binibining Pilipinas keep its record of placing high in its new franchises? Araneta hopes so.