From a sultan princess to a bulalakaw-inspired look, here are some of the reimagined Philippine costumes of the pageant
This year marks a new age for beauty pageants. What used to be a live spectacle, beauty contest are now harnessing the power of the internet and social media by pursuing virtual competitions, webinars, and interacting live shows. Among its program events well-watched by pageant fanatics is the parade presentation of the National Costume.
One of the biggest pageants in the country, Binibining Pilipinas is doing it just right this time by slowly releasing images of the candidates donning their locally-crafted National Costume, highlighting the talents of Filipino designers and the culture and heritage of the ladies’ hometown.
Check out some of Binibining Pilipinas 2020 candidates in their National Costumes, as photographed by Raymond Saldana.
Binibini 18: Karen Laurrie Mendoza from Iloilo
The beauty from Iloilo is wearing a bulalakaw-inspired costume by designer Tata Pinuela. Bulalakaw is said to be a goddess who has the appearance of a gigantic, shining bird or a genderless deity with a bird’s head. Stories describe her to be a diwata who visits the earthly plane in the form of a comet, hence the name “bulalakaw” (shooting star).
Binibini 19: Kimberly Anne Tiquestiques from Balagtas, Bulacan
Marvin Garcia‘s design is inspired by the Flores de Mayo heritage of Bulacan, which dates back to 1865. The costume is embellished with a thousand flowers and crystal stones that reflect Meycuayan’s jewelry industry. Completing the look is the singkaban, a bamboo artwork that is now being used as a welcoming arch in festivities all over the Philippines.
Binibini 3: Lois Anne Badando from Marikina
Dubbed as colibangbang, which means butterfly, Ryan June Mariano Castillo‘s costume is an homage to the Gaddang women he saw in a 1900 photo. It features crafts of the Cordillera region, from the headpiece down to the traditional handwoven textile.
Binibini 21: Hannah Consencino Arnold from Masbate
Aiming for an image of progress, dignity, and celebration, Louis Pangilinan crafted a costume that epitomizes the spirit of the Bulaklakan Festival which is held during the first of January. The ball gown-style costume features handmade embroideries and art depicting the flamboyant New Year’s Day of the locals. Hannah also made 3D flowers out of recycled materials which are placed on the waist area.
Binibini 8: Meiji Cruz from Valenzuela
Manny Halasan channels the spirit of Lakapati, the goddess of agriculture and fertility, for his creation. The gown is made of French lace with brass metal works, pearls rhinestones, and Swarovski crystals. It also has wing design elements inspired by the dragonfly symbolizing a new beginning.
Binibini 29: Honey Cartasano from Rizal
Merging the beauty of Maria Clara and Rizal’s Higantes Festival is actor and designer Paolo Ballesteros‘ Higantes Queen costume. Primarily made of piña textile, the costume has a sense of transformation that as she turns around. Maria Clara is converted into a bright, colorful, and towering Higantes.
Binibini 30: Noriza Valerio from Arayat Pampanga
Rian Fernandez‘s Mountain Enchantress is inspired by Maria Sinukuan, the diwata of Mt. Arayat. According to the designer’s note, “the goddess characterizes kindness among animals and generosity to its inhabitants. This ensemble is a magnificent symbolism of the rich and colorful heritage of Pampanga.”
Binibini 23: Gabrielle Basiano from Eastern Samar
Gabrielle dons Ken Batino and Jevin Salaysay‘s Golden Kalesa costume. The look is composed of Swarovski crystal-encrusted mesh bodysuit and a stylized kalesa with handwoven banig and two golden suns for wheels.
Binibini 9: Pat Babista from Quezon Province
Dee Jay Abustan‘s costume design fuses the vibrant Pahiyas and Niyugyugan Festivals. It features a bodice traditionally worn for the Jota Gumaquena folk dance, which is adorned with handcrafted coconut shells. A colorful finish is the skirt bursting with the leaf-shaped wafer kiping in the form of the Arangya lantern.
Binibini 40: Honey Be Parreñas from Sultan Kudarat
Reimagining the Muslim ruler Sultan Kudarat as a female warrior, RL Omalde‘s design is made of the inaul fabric. The costume is completed with ethnic patterns, gold brass amulets, and a neckpiece believed to be the symbol of power and sovereignity which is still worn by the people in Sultan Kudarat.
Binibini 39: Belle Tan from Zamboanga
Erich Minoza‘s Subang is an ode to Subanen’s full moon worship. According to the designer, the traditional wear in full regalia consists of sub (upper garb), magpandyo (headdress), G’lang (bracelet), Sing’I (angklet). The tight fitting garment that is generally black, which symbolize the night—the time of worship of the tribe. They believe that the black garment can shield them against the effect of the eclipse.
For the 57th edition of the beauty pageant, over 30 Filipinas from all over the country are competing to win the Binibining Pilipinas International crown. No news yet on when the coronation night will take place.