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Beyond Beauty: The Binibining Pilipinas 2019 Queens On The Cover Of Metro.Style

 

It's been a month since Binibining Pilipinas crowned a new batch of queens, but the excitement surrounding this year's pageant can still be felt. After all, it's a milestone year for the most prestigious pageant in the country as they collaborated with the newly established Miss Universe Philippines Organization and embraced a new compelling theme that is relevant today: #BeyondBeauty.

Beauty, style, personality, and substance have always been a winning combination for any aspiring beauty queen. However, more than the stunning physical assets, amazing talents, charming personality, and other remarkable attributes, Binibining Pilipinas deepened and strengthened its core to draw attention to the heart. It is this intangible concept that ultimately solidifies the idea of going beyond beauty, scratching far beneath the surface to unveil what makes a woman particularly worthy of a crown and a title.

What mattered now more than ever is having beauty queens who can walk the talk. What a beauty queen today needs to be is someone who’s “confidently beautiful with a heart,” as Pia Wurtzbach, an HIV/AIDS awareness advocate, put it during her amazing Q&A moment at the Miss Universe 2015 pageant. Confidence. Beauty. Heart.

The essence of being a beauty queen has gone far beyond glitz and glamour, too. As proven by Catriona Gray—who worked a lot in the slums of Tondo, Manila to champion her advocacy for children’s welfare—a true queen must be willing to really immerse oneself in volunteer work if that’s what it will take to make even a tiny positive change. This experience taught Miss Universe 2018 “to see situations with a silver lining and to assess where I could give something, where I could provide something as a spokesperson.”

The first-ever Pinay Miss Intercontinental titleholder, Karen Gallman, had notable insight on the definition of success, one that may be related to how she puts her mind and heart into her advocacy on improving compulsory education in the rural parts of the Philippines. She said in her Q&A at the pageant held in Manila early this year, “For me, success is not just about winning in life but setting goals, smaller goals, and achieving your dreams and working hard for everything you want."

 

READ: EXCLUSIVE: The Reigning Queens—The Binibining Pilipinas 2018 Titleholders On The Cover Of Metro.Style

 

Photo from @bbpilipinasofficial

 

With the Philippines making waves at international pageants in recent times, pageantry becomes more relevant today as a platform that’s expected to boost awareness on certain causes and advocacies. Identifying an advocacy close to one’s heart and having the passion and determination to get it the attention it deserves then became a contributing factor to the selection process at Binibining Pilipinas this year. 40 candidates were chosen, but six women stood out, ticking all the boxes for what is deemed ideal for the new theme of BPCI: Miss Universe Philippines 2019 Gazini Ganados, Bb. Pilipinas International 2019 Bea Patricia Magtanong, Bb. Pilipinas Supranational 2019 Resham Ramirez Saeed, Bb. Pilipinas Grand International Samantha Ashley Lo, Bb. Pilipinas Intercontinental 2019 Emma Mary Tiglao, and Bb. Pilipinas Globe 2019 Leren Mae Bautista.   

The pressure is on, considering how much pride the recent Bb. Pilipinas titleholders brought home. But what carries more weight and importance for the reigning queens is the fact that being a Binibini allows them to learn so much about themselves, our country and its culture, and the roles they can play in creating a better Philippines. As they go through this once-in-a-lifetime pageant journey, they are also discovering the delicate balance between enjoying the experience, working on self-improvement and self-love in the process, and at the same time laying the groundwork for how they will go about promoting their respective advocacies.

 

READ: The Binibining Pilipinas 2018 Titleholders Look Back At Their Pageant Journey As They Turn Over Their Crowns

 

Photo from @bbpilipinasofficial

 

 

Scroll down to read about the Bb. Pilipinas 2019 queens' advocacies:

 

GAZINI GANADOS, Miss Universe Philippines 2019

Advocate for elderly care

Gazini was raised by her maternal grandparents, which is why the advocacy she decided to take on is very close to her heart. “My advocacy is to raise awareness on elderly care... When my lola’s health condition deteriorated, I thought about my advocacy. We didn't have the financial capability when she was hospitalized, and I saw the facilities that were really lacking. At the end of the day, I wasn't there when she died because it was too painful for me to see her in a crowded room where the nurses couldn't handle the number of patients—dikit-dikit na sila, walang divisions, sharing oxygen. With my advocacy, I hope the government will hear me. We're all going to get old one day. Would you want yourself in the same position? I know that the children are our future, but the elderly paved the way for them with their wisdom. It's the least we can do, to reciprocate their love.”

 

READ" EXCLUSIVE: Everything About Catriona Gray Makes Us Believe She Is The Next Miss Universe

 

Photo from @bbpilipinasofficial

 

 

BEA PATRICIA “PATCH” MAGTANONG, Bb. Pilipinas International 2019

Advocate for marginalized and underrepresented sectors

Patch was a member of UP Law Karapatan ng Komunidad sa Loob ng Selda (KAKOSA), a prison service organization that advocates for the rights of prisoners. Her involvement in this group made her realize that providing legal assistance for persons deprived of liberty (PDL) as well as marginalized sectors is what she wants to do. She tells Metro.Style, “There's so much injustice in this world, especially that caused by poverty. People with privilege, like me, the least we can do is help and temper that inequality. That's really what I wanted to fight for. It's not a popular advocacy. It's not children, it's not cute, it's not 'beauty pageant.' But that's what's in my heart. I got a lot of backlash from it, but no, if you experience it and research about it, you will understand where I'm coming from.”

 

READ: EXCLUSIVE: Ahtisa Manalo On Taking Her Beauty To The Next Level

 

Photo from @bbpilipinasofficial

 

 

RESHAM RAMIREZ SAEED, Bb. Pilipinas Supranational 2019

Advocate for gender equality and women empowerment through education and entrepreneurship

Resham is currently working with SPARK (Samahan ng mga Pilipina para sa Reporma at Kaunlaran), a non-profit organization that focuses on the development of women and women’s organizations as full partners in national development. “I feel like equality needs to be pushed more than ever. Not only in terms of gender that is my advocacy, but in terms of backgrounds and diversity. There’s so much to learn from one another. There’s so much to experience and that really expands our knowledge not only towards other people, but our world. Just a simple respect and acceptance, not tolerance, but acceptance is going to push humanity to a whole new direction. And that’s something that should be celebrated and looked forward to.”

 

READ: ECLUSIVE: Bb. Pilipinas Supranational 2018 Jehza Huelar Overcomes Insecurity And Failures To Take The Crown On Her Third Try

 

Photo from @bbpilipinasofficial

 

 

SAMANTHA ASHLEY LO, Bb. Pilipinas Grand International 2019

Advocate for education, focusing on promoting reading

Samantha’s work as an English is a Second Language (ESL) teacher inspired her advocacy. She shares, “Being a beauty queen means you have to set a good example. People talk about change all the time, we could start that change by doing better in the little things. We may feel small but our voice is very strong and I want girls to know that they can make a difference.” Through her advocacy, she wants to encourage the youth to focus on education. She adds, “My dad and his batchmates are with Couples for Christ, and in Cornerstone [one of the educational programs of CFC], they do a reading and writing program for children who come from the lower class families.” Samantha devotes her Saturdays to teaching the students how to read and write.

 

READ: EXCLUSIVE: Bb. Pilipinas Grand International 2018 Eva Patalinjug On Being A Wonder Woman For A Cause

 

Photo from @bbpilipinasofficial

 

 

EMMA MARY TIGLAO, Bb. Pilipinas Intercontinental 2019

Advocate of supporting abandoned and less fortunate children

Emma is no stranger to pageantry, as she had joined Bb. Pilipinas back in 2014 and Miss World Philippines in 2015. She knows that being a beauty queen is a role that needs to be played with purposeful endeavors on the forefront. She tells Metro.Style, "For me, being a beauty queen is knowing yourself, it's knowing your advocacy, but you don't do it just because you're in a pageant. You do it because it's in your heart." Emma is now determined to use her influence as a beauty queen to bring attention to abandoned and less fortunate kids. This advocacy was sparked by a brief encounter with a street kid whose life story deeply moved her. Emma adds, "That's when I thought to myself that when I have the opportunity and the chance to help, they will be the ones who I will help."   

 

READ: EXCLUSIVE: Bb. Pilipinas Intercontinental 2018 Karen Gallman Is A Queen On A Mission

 

Photo from @bbpilipinasofficial

 

 

LEREN MAE BAUTISTA, Bb. Pilipinas Globe 2019

Advocate for anti-bullying

Leren has a childhood story that a lot of people can relate to. She was bullied a lot as a kid, because of her looks and her skin color. “I grew up hearing things that really hurt my feelings: poste, kapre, negra,” she recalls. This experience inspired her to make anti-bullying her advocacy as a beauty queen. She was initially hesitant to join the pageant, saying, “I wasn’t sure at first, because I was so scared to be embarrassed. I was just too scared to hear negative words again.” But in the end, she faced her fears and won the pageant. She wanted to have a bigger platform for her advocacy, and now she hopes to maximize her crown and title to expand the reach of what she is fighting for. 

 

READ: EXCLUSIVE: Bb. Pilipinas Globe 2018 Michele Gumabao Reveals How A Star Athlete Can Become A Beauty Queen

 

Photo from @bbpilipinasofficial

 

[photos]

Red outfits by Mark Bumgarner, wide-legged pants (Resham and Samantha) by Jaz Cerezo, and printed & textured clothes by Randy Ortiz 

 

In the following days, Metro.Style will feature the six Binibining Pilipinas 2019 titleholders and the inspiring stories that led them to become queens who go #BeyondBeauty. Visit Metro.Style again, or check our Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/metrodotstyle) and Instagram accounts (@metrodotstyle) for updates.

 

Produced by Grace Libero-Cruz

Photography by Seven Barretto

Creative direction by Chookie Cruz

Makeup by Anton Patdu (Gazini), Muriel Vega Perez (Patch), Jim Ryan Ros (Leren), Elma Oraye-Cruz of Ever Bilena (Emma), Mary Jane Arpa of Ever Bilena (Samantha), and Martin Enrique Hizon of Ever Bilena (Resham)

Hairstyling by Brix Batalla (Patch and Leren), MJ Rone (Gazini and Samantha), and Rudolf Davalos (Emma)

Styling by Bonita Penaranda

Video producer: Joan Ko

Videography by Spotlight Creatives

Writers: Sara de los Reyes, Angelica Montoro, and Renee Nuevo

Shot on location at Cove Manila in Okada - New Seaside Drive, Entertainment City, ParaƱaque

Special thanks to Annie Alejo and Binibining Pilipinas Charities, Inc.