I had a great experience watching the Bb. Pilipinas 2011 grand coronation night with my good friend Ojie Lucman. For starters, it has been ages since I set foot in Araneta Coliseum, known hereabouts as the Big Dome. Good thing it’s just a short ride away via the MRT train. We had an early dinner at Va Pensiero, an Italian restaurant in Gateway Mall and proceeded to the pageant venue where I saw half of the gay population in Manila ready to root for their candidates. 😀 Beauty contests are a big thing in the country, I tell you!
Tickets weren’t cheap at P1500 each for the lower box but we were able to get patron seats courtesy of our media contact RR (thanks bro!)
One lesson learned: the show never starts on time. Even though the ticket said 7 p.m., the show aired via ABS-CBN must have started close to 9 p.m. Hosts KC Concepcion, Derek Ramsay, Miriam Quiambao and Precious Lara Quigaman were impeccably reading from a prompter. I was really excited to see Ms. ‘major!major!’ herself, Venus Raj, and the next thing I knew she was marching down the stage in a rather tacky orange gown for her farewell walk. Better styling next time Venus!
So yeah, since the pageant started late, we kept ourselves busy by the gate to see the beauty queens all coming in.
…. and of course, photo op! Ojie felt small posing beside 1994 Bb. Pilipinas World Cara Subijano who towered at 5 feet 11 inches! Cara was there to support her younger sister Kathleen who landed among the top 15 semifinalists.
Pretty queens Maricar Tolosa, Binibining Pilipinas 2001 and Alma Concepcion, Bb. Pilipinas 1994
From left: Bb. Pilipinas Universe 1975 Chiqui Brosas Hahn with daughter Regina and Bb. Pilipinas Universe 1985 Joyce Ann Burton (now Titular)
Bb. Pilipinas Universe 1997 Abbygale Arenas de Leon was wearing a rather tight Filipiniana-inspired gown by Lyle Ibanez. Actually she forgot who designed her gown and told me to “please check the label at the back.” It gave me the impression that she was a down-to-earth woman and that’s a good thing.:)
Bb. Pilipinas Universe 1979 Dang Cecilio remained a pretty sight to behold.
The younger beauty queens am not so familiar with. A few years down the line, they’re able to maintain their svelte figures….
Karen Agustin, Bb. Pilipinas Universe 2002 ….
Patricia Fernandez, Bb. Pilipinas International 2008.