The Binibining Pilipinas pageant on Sunday tested candidates’ wits and their grasp of current affairs, with only 12 out of 40 aspirants advancing to the crucial question-and-answer round during the coronation ceremonies held at Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City.
Actor Joshua Garcia quizzed fellow thespian Stacey Daniella Gabriel, who is from Cainta, Rizal, on how she would distinguish a historian from a “Marites” (rumormonger).
“A historian is one who recognizes our painful past with factual evidence, looking back at our rich, vibrant history, as well as the times when our humanity was trampled on and our heritage was almost erased,” said Gabriel, who would be proclaimed second runner-up.
Cebuana Nicole Borromeo, who went on to win the most sought-after Bb. Pilipinas International title, was asked by actor Donny Pangilinan to rate herself as a responsible Filipino citizen on a 10-point scale.
She gave herself an eight “because I know that there’s always room to improve, there’s so much more I don’t know.”
The question directed at Bb. Pilipinas Globe winner and Tacloban City candidate, Chelsea Fernandez, came from CNN Philippines senior anchor Rico Hizon on the importance of looking back on history.
“I believe that it is really important and we should not disregard our history. It is part of our culture, it is part of our past, and it is part of who we are today as Filipinos,” Fernandez replied.
Gabrielle Basiano, who was proclaimed Bb. Pilipinas Intercontinental, was asked by Sen. Risa Hontiveros on how to deal with fake news and negative comments about her.
According to Basiano, who is from Borongan, Eastern Samar, people were entitled to their own opinion. She added, “I will always remind women that we are strong, independent and courageous because these are the traits that are very critical to the complicated roles [we] play in today’s society.”
Top 12 finalist and “Face of Binibini” awardee Yllana Marie Aduana from Laguna got a controversial question from 2020 Miss Grand International Abena Appiah who wanted to know her views on the women’s advocacy campaign, “My body, my choice.”
“I believe that all women should always be entitled to our own opinions and we should have the most autonomy on whatever decision that we have toward our body,” said Aduana, also the reigning Miss FIT Philippines.
Crowd favorite Nicole Budol from Angono, Rizal, a comedian and content creator, settled for first runner-up after amassing special awards during the competition.
She stood out, however, for replying in Filipino to Los Angeles-based Slay Model Management founder Cecilio Asuncion’s question about her “biggest character transformation” after joining the pageant.
“Para sa akin, isang karangalan na nakatuntong ako dito sa Binibining Pilipinas bilang isang binibining hindi inaasahan. Isa po akong komedyante na laki sa hirap. At ang aking transpormasyon ay ang magbigay ng inspirasyon. Because I know [in] myself that I’m uniquely beautiful with a mission (It is an honor for me to be on the Bb. Pilipinas stage as an unconventional ‘binibini.’ I am a comedian who grew up in poverty. And my transformation is to offer inspiration),” Budol said. INQ