QUEZON CITY, Philippines — The long wait is over. After more than three months since the introduction of the 40 official candidates the Binibining Pilipinas pageant has finally crowned its six new queens who will raise the Philippines’ flag in the international arena.
Gazini Ganados of Talisay, Cebu, received the coveted Miss Universe Philippines crown from reigning Miss Universe Catriona Gray at the culmination of the 2019 Bb. Pilipinas pageant staged at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City on Sunday night, which extended until the early morning of Monday.
She now has the unenviable task of securing the country’s first back-to-back finish in the Miss Universe pageant after Gray set the bar high for the global competition.
Another queen faced with the pressure of snagging a back-to-back victory for the Philippines is Emma Mary Tiglao from Pampanga, who received the Bb. Pilipinas-Intercontinental crown from reigning Miss Intercontinental Karen Gallman, the first Filipino woman to win the once elusive international title.
Miss International first runner-up Ahtisa Manalo, meanwhile, relinquished her Bb. Pilipinas-International crown to lawyer Bea Patricia Magtanong of Bataan.
Miss Supranational finalist Jehza Mae Huelar, who recently married professional cager PJ Simon, awarded the Bb. Pilipinas-Supranational title to Resham Saeed of Maguindanao.
Samantha Lo of Cebu City and Leren Mae Bautista of Laguna, meanwhile, were crowned Bb. Pilipinas-Grand International and Bb. Pilipinas-Globe, respectively.
Rounding off the circle of winners are first runner-up Aya Abesamis of Pasig City, and second runner-up Santha Bernardo of Palawan.
Miss Universe Organization President Paula Shugart attended the coronation ceremonies of the 2019 Bb. Pilipinas pageant, along with vice president Shaun McClain.
The program had a technical glitch early on and the production team had to retake the opening number. The live audience at the coliseum was made to wait for almost an hour before ceremonies resumed.
This is the first time in the pageant’s recent history that such a glitch took place.
This year’s judging panel included 1969 Miss Universe Gloria Diaz and Kapamilya actors Nadine Lustre, James Reid, and Daniel Padilla.
(Editor: Alexander T. Magno)