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Bb Pilipinas 2017: A new chapter of titleholders

2017 QUEENS. Meet the 2017 Bb Pilpinas queens. From left to right: Kristel Guelos, Nelda Ibe, Elizabeth Clenci, Mariel de Leon, Rachel Peters, Chanel Thomas, Katarina Rodriguez, and Charmaine Elima. Photo by Alecs Ongcal/Rappler

Note: The piece below was first posted in Norman Tinio’s blog. It is republished here with his permission.

We now have the winners of Binibining Pilipinas 2017, who were crowned at exactly half past 1am earlier. Everyone is still talking about the results, which turned out agreeable to a lot of pageant watchers and followers. All in all, it was a production that turned out better than the last, save for some minor details that dragged the procceedings inside the Big Dome (like the audience having to watch the entire primer all over again while the deliberations were ongoing and – more importantly – while they hooked up the live announcement of winners to the TV telecast, which started more than 30 minutes after from the sheduled 10 pm airing). (FULL LIST: Winners, Bb Pilipinas 2017)

All the 6 new titleholders deserved their crowns. Bb Pilipinas Universe 2017 Rachel Peters was in her element all throughout, such that when she was named Best in Swimsuit, she was practically on the right track for the Miss Universe Philippines title. She handled her Q&A very well and that sealed the deal. (READ: Miss Universe PH 2017 Rachel Peters’ winning Q&A)

Bb Pilipinas International 2017 Maria Angelica "Mariel" de Leon (trained by Aces and Queens) was neck-to-neck with Rachel (trained by Kagandahang Flores), and the flag-bearers of the two beauty camps really proved their pole positions prior to the finals. Mariel also acquitted herself more than satisfactorily during the Q&A.

The proper assignments must have fallen into place during the judges’ deliberations. The age factor must have been a consideration in terms of the specifications of Miss Universe and Miss International, but that is not an issue anymore.

And when was the last time a Miss Friendship winner actually win a Bb Pilipinas crown? I was so pleased to see Chanel Olive Thomas getting the Supranational sash. She has this easy and spontaneous vibe that was clearly appreciated by the judges. She is no cookie cutter beauty, as shown by how she handled both her swimsuit and evening gown presentations.

Bb Pilipinas Grand International 2017 Elizabeth Clenci was a dark horse. Her inclusion in the Top 15 was no longer a surprise, especially after coming out in one of the most resplendent evening gowns of the night. And during the Q&A, she was just being herself, relaxed and thinking on her feet. Miss Grand International founder and president Nawatt Itsaragrisil (who was in the audience) must have given his thumbs up to this lady from Mandaue.

Bb Pilipinas Intercontinental 2017 Katarina Rodriguez proved that a beautiful face can always go along with innate smarts. A title was already in store for her right after she gave a convincing reply to the question asked by the judge. She may still need more polishing, but that’s something that can be managed within the next 4 to 5 months.

Truthfully, Bb Pilipinas Globe 2017 Nelda Ibe was destined for a title higher than Globe. She is really a favorite by both Binibining Pilipinas Charities, Inc (BPCI) and ABS-CBN. But nerves prevented her from fluidly expressing thoughts during the Q&A. She was able to cross over, though. But that served to pave the way for both Clenci and Rodriguez to catch up and nose her out in the final rankings.

Miss Universe Philippines 2017 Rachel Louise Peters

Photo by Alecs Ongcal/Rappler

Bb Pilipinas International 2017 Maria Angelica "Mariel" de Leon

Photo by Alecs Ongcal/Rappler

Bb Pilipinas Supranational 2017 Chanel Olive Thomas

Photo by Alecs Ongcal/Rappler

Bb Pilipinas Grand International 2017 Eilzabeth Clenci

Photo by Alecs Ongcal/Rappler

Bb Pilipinas Intercontinental 2017 Katarina Rodriguez

Photo by Alecs Ongcal/Rappler

Bb Pilipiinas Globe 2017 Nelda Ibe

Photo by Alecs Ongcal/Rappler

Bb Pilipinas 1st runner-up Charmaine Elima

Photo by Alecs Ongcal/Rappler

Bb Pilipinas 2nd runner-up Kristel Guelos

Photo by Alecs Ongcal/Rappler

Charmaine Elima’s Fist Runner-Up placement did not sit well with her supporters. But the Q&A was proof that she can still go for a 3rd try in the nationals by further improving on the way she expresses herself to the public. I bet she will do just that after processing last night’s entire performance.

Lastly, the surprise performer of the night – Kristel Guelos – may not have figured on most people’s list. But it clearly appears that she was also favored by BPCI. I believe that her Second Runner-Up position could have been given to Christa Borja who was so good during the Q&A, but that’s how the panel of judges saw it fit to pan out in the end.

Congratulations to our new queens! May you have the most wonderful and success-filled reigns! –

Norman Tinio started pageant-blogging back in 2009 but has been an avid pageant enthusiast since the early 1970s. Apart from that, he is an Industrial Psychologist by profession, movie addict by nocturnal choice, and an ex-seminarian who can pray in ancient Latin. You can always find him and his daily musings at

Coronation night:

Leading up to coronation night: