With just a few days left before the Miss World Philippines pageant culminates in a glittering coronation night, media and pageant favorites are slowly emerging, influenced primarily by how the candidates have been faring in the competition’s fast-track events. Beginning with the announcement of the Sports Fast-Track finalists a few weeks back and the most recent shortlisting of the girls who carried their National Costumes best, trends are starting to become apparent as to who among the 36 candidates will actually make the first cut of 16. With a handful of ladies who constantly make the fast-track shortlists raising the eyebrows of many who ask: “a case of consistency or favoritism,” pageant organizers are quick in saying that such events are not “the only way to crack the semi-finals.” At least seven of the semi-finalists will not be plucked from the fast-track shortlists but based on the ladies’ overall performance in the entire duration of the pageant.
As it has become a tradition for pageant fans to come up with their own lists of girls who, they believe, can make it to the cut, here’s the THRILLMAKER’S own choices not just based on how these ladies have been performing in the fast-tracks but based on who are seen to be deserving to occupy the actual spots (and let me tell you why!).
Ashley Subijano Montenegro (Makati). Her being the daughter of a former Miss World semi-finalist and one of the country’s hottest male models of all time has nothing to do with the inclusion of this statuesque beauty in this list. She commands attention and displays grace on stage and off. Truly a charmer!
Gwendolyne Fourniol (Negros Occidental). The face of this year’s competition. It doesn’t come as a surprise why she was called back (as rumors have it) to compete again this year after her MWP debut in 2021.
Ingrid Santamaria (Paranaque). This smart girl came very close to being part of Beatriz Luigi Gomez’s court in MUP 2021. This is her year of vindication. Watch out for her!
Paula Ortega (Albay). This beautiful Senorita is a perfect match for one of the titles at stake in the pageant. She is truly a “Reina.”
Kimberly Anne Tiquestiques (Balagtas, Bulacan). This girl certainly is back with a vengeance coming from her Binibining Pilipinas stint last year. She is slowly being known as pageantry’s “Queen of Pasabogs,” with her killer pasarela, impressive use of fluent Filipino in Q-and-As, and her memorable national costumes.
Lady Justerinnie Santos (Bulakan, Bulacan). This girl’s got infectious positive energy that easily rubs off to people whether on or off stage. Highly-likable, she is bubbly, charming and a great stage performer. Her peak moment so far was the national costume competition where she breathed life to the saying: “saving the best for last.”
Angela Teng (Baliwag, Bulacan). The third member of Bulacan Province’s winning triumvirate, this data scientist aces all the speaking and thinking segments of the competition. Be it tech-talk or talking layman, this girl is a gem when it comes to communicating her thoughts. A beautiful girl with a beautiful mind.
Carla Manuel (Manila). This girl has so far been playing her game under the radar but don’t be surprised to find her in the final list. She is naturally beautiful, smart and charming. She has the makings of a star that the Miss World Organization is looking for.
Cassandra Chan (San Juan City). Not your conventional beauty queen as far as looks are concerned but her consistency has so far placed her in almost all the fast-track short lists. This ballerina, who displays natural grace and charisma both during performances and in everyday life, is also a good speaker. She’ll definitely be up there.
For the tenth and final spot, here’s my shared preference for Justine Felizarta (Marikina). A pageant veteran who knows what she’s doing; and, Tsina Chu (Iloilo Province). A girl who is slowly growing on me as the competition progresses and who can possibly bag the Charity Fast Track, I was told.
Let’s see what happens next week when the crowns are finally awarded. Will they land on the right heads?