Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Why Miss Colombia is the 63rd Miss Universe

At last! After a long long wait and after a series of almost but not quite heartbreaking victories, ( the three consecutive 1st runner up placements in 1992, 93 & 94 come to mind) Colombia finally gets its 2nd Miss Universe crown! 

If Luz Marina Zuluaga got tax exempt for life and was gifted a mansion by the Colombian government for the honor of becoming the first from her country to win the Miss Universe crown, what honor & reward await Paulina?

The victory of Miss Colombia Paulina Vega is unquestionable and indeed very deserving with most of the pageant-related websites & blogspots including this blog predicting her win.   

During the Q&A portion of the competition, Vega impressed the judges when asked what she thinks women can learn from men. "I believe there's still men that do believe in equality," she said through a translator. "I believe that's what women should learn from men."
The 63rd Miss Universe Top 15 Announcement
The 22 year old Vega, from Barranquilla, Colombia who speaks Spanish, English, French and German and studies business administration was crowned Miss Universe 2014 at the Florida International University Arena in Miami, USA, beating out contestants from 87 other countries.


Right after the (pre- taped) Parade of National Costumes, the 63rd Miss Universe Pageant was underway with the Top 15 Announcement 1. COLOMBIA – Paulina Vega, 2. ITALY – Valentina Bonariva, 3. INDIA – Noyonita Lodh, 4. FRANCE – Camille Cerf 5. USA – Nia Sanchez 6. INDONESIA – Elvira Devinamira 7. VENEZUELA – Migbelis Castellanos 8. SPAIN – Desire Cordero Ferrer 9. PHILIPPINES – Mary Jean Lastimosa 10. ARGENTINA – Valentina Ferrer 11. JAMAICA – Kaci Fennell 12. UKRAINE – Diana Harkusha 13. BRAZIL – Melissa Gurgel 14. NETHERLANDS – Yasmin Verhejen 15. AUSTRALIA – Tegan Martin

Among the shockers that night was the exclusion of the girls from Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Guyana, Lithuania & Russia from the Top 15. 


After the Top 15 had been revealed by the pageant hosts, the Yamamay Swimsuit Competition followed
Colombia Italy

India & France 

USA & Indonesia

Venezuela & Spain 

Philippines & Argentina 

Jamaica & Ukraine 

Brazil & Netherlands 



Right after the swimsuit competition, the next cut was made. Advancing were 1. JAMAICA – Kaci Fennell 2. COLOMBIA – Paulina Vega 3. UKRAINE – Diana Harkusha 4. ARGENTINA – Valentina Ferrer 5. PHILIPPINES – Mary Jean Lastimosa!!! 6. SPAIN – Desire Cordero Ferrer 7. NETHERLANDS – Yasmin Verhejen 8. VENEZUELA – Migbelis Castellanos 9. AUSTRALIA – Tegan Martin 10. USA – Nia Sanchez


 Miss Congeniality is Miss Nigeria 
 Miss Photogenic is Miss Puerto Rico 
 Best National Costume went to Miss Indonesia 

First to be called was USA followed by Netherlands then Ukraine & Jamaica. The final spot went to Colombia. 

Left behind were heavy faves Philippines, Venezuela & Spain


After the Q & A, the announcement of winners was made. The final rankings for the runners up are 1st RU Miss USA Nia Sanchez, 2nd RU Miss Ukraine, Diana Harkusha, 3rd RU Miss Netherlands, Yasmin Verheijen & 4th RU Miss Jamaica, Kaci Fennell.

A curious thing happened right after the coronation rites. Miss Jamaica was hoisted on air by her fellow candidates perhaps as a sign of protest by the girls for what many including Your Blogger felt was the very low placement of Miss Jamaica.

Although our very own Miss Philippines was one of the heavy favorites, her journey towards the crown stopped after the evening gown competition. People have been quick to put the blame on the choice of gown but truth be told, Colombian designer Alfredo Barraza had been designing the gowns of the last four Miss Philippines before MJ and yet they placed in the Top Five.

If MJ had been working hard for the crown and so did the 87 other girls. Simply put, there were five other girls who outperformed her. On the other hand, making the Top Ten is nothing to sneeze at for it means that MJ outshone 77 other girls.

Instead of starting a blame game, we should instead start asking ourselves why and perhaps, insist from hereon that a Filipino designer will be commissioned to design and dress up our representatives. It’s not about the creativity or the artistic license. It’s all about national pride and patriotism.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Team ReyVan's Romantic Wedding in Bohol

 Team ReyVan

HOW IT ALL STARTED. It all began in 2001 when they became BS Nursing freshmen students at the University of Bohol. 

Although he shifted to Political Science the following year & pursued his Law degree at HNU, sparks had flown & the die had been cast already. 

After getting her BS Nursing diploma & passing the board exams, she eventually flew to the United States in 2008 to follow her dreams. 

Barely a year after landing a nurse’s job in the US, she went home for their civil wedding and together, they left for Houston, Texas to settle there

JOVIAL JANUARY WEDDING. Their January 7 church wedding bespeaks of their commitment to seal their lifetime vows in the presence of God, family & friends. 

Vanessa Khristine Ibaya Fudalan, eldest daughter of Engr. Elmer Fudalan & Mrs. Alma Rosenne Fudalan, was a lovely vision in her Vera Wang bridal gown.

Reynard Buen Mandin, the son of Mr. Edwin Mandin & Mrs. Ruby Rosita Mandin, looked dapper in his coat & tie

mixed emotions as Rey & his parents await the bride's arrival 

 (3rd from L) Msgr. Jeffrey Malanog, Vicar General, leads the concelebrated church wedding 

DESPEDIDA DE SOLTERA. The Damalerio couple, Alan & Midyorri Fleur “Pinky” together with their son Gabriel Angelo, tendered a Despedida de Soltera for the couple & members of the entourage. It was the Damalerio’s way of giving the two families the opportunity to get to know each other.
 Houston, Texas- based Alan & MidyorriFleur Damalerio with the betrothed couple.
Seated are Bohol Prov'l Administrator Ae Damalerio & nephew Gabriel Angelo Damalerio
FRILLY & FUN- FILLED DINNER RECEPTION. Your Blogger emceed the reception which took place at the Dagohoy Ballroom of the Bohol Tropics Resort in Tagbilaran City, Bohol. 

What I did love about this wedding was the laidback & relaxed vibes during the reception. The entourage was quite compact thus enhancing the intimacy quotient,

 bride's everdearest cousin, confidante & cheerer Midyorri Fleur "Pinky" Damalerio
 bride's sister Candice Isobelle was the Maid of Honor
 Your Blogger with Maleth Zafra & Francis Balo

WEDDING SUPPLIERS. Maleth Zafra of After Five Weddings & Events handled the event planning. Michael Yu & Boy Dumadag of Blue Grass Project took charge of the event venue’s styling. Mark ERamasola of Artline handled the photo & video services. 

Joseph Gara & Nabela together with violinist Francis Balo provided the live musical entertainment. Thanks to Mwa for the hair & make up and Budz & Bagz Bridal Collection for my attire

Extra Special Blog Feature

Part 1: The Tragic Story of Amparo Munoz

  no fairy tale ending SPAIN CONQUERED THE PHILIPPINES AGAIN. Whenever discussions and debates center on who is considered as the ...