Binibining Pilipinas 2007

Congratulations to the winners of Binibining Pilipinas 2007!

Nadia Lee Shami for Bb. Pilipinas International
Margaret Nales Wilson for Bb. Pilipinas World
Anna Theresa Licaros for Bb. Pilipinas Universe

In beauty pageants, beauty is always a given. All of the candidates have the physical appearance to be beauty queens. And it’s not the pretty-in-their-own-way but a more socially accepted kind.

What always set a candidate a part are two things: her background and her answers. Although I think pageant runners try to have a more diverse crowd by accepting entries from different backgrounds, there’s always one that stands out. Anna Theresa, or Tere, is a UP law student and was summa cum laude when she graduated BA Broad Comm back in 2005. As cliches go, she has beauty and brains.

But what really made her stand out was her answer (or answers) in the question and answer portion. I think, this is the make-or-break portion of any pageant. (Although, having received almost all of the special awards, Anna Theresa was already a favorite and a formidable contender for the major titles.) No one among the candidates gave the most confident and concise answer other than Tere. And it wasn’t just one question, but two.

There was the question of BPI’s Aurelio Montinola III which involved choosing between the pageant crown or her love life. For many people, it seemed like a difficult question because it appeared to be a choice between career and personal life. When you think about it, it wasn’t really a difficult one. (Mas mahirap pa yung tanong ni Vicky Morales.) And she gave a perfect answer. Any candidate will only reign for a year, and most of her responsibility is representing our country in the international beauty contests. It wasn’t a question of value, but a question of priorities. There is no real comparison because it’s not like choosing between two careers or two persons; thus, no real choice is necessary. And if you’re a true Binibining Pilipinas, you always prioritize the one where you will make the most difference, to be of greater service. Love, if true, will always be there regardless.

Lastly, there was the question of Richard Gutierrez. Aside: noticed how the hosts (Paolo and Richard) mostly just asked the candidates how are they feeling or some small talk question. It’s supposed to calm them down although it didn’t really work for most of them. When it came to Tere, Richard just had to bring up the law student info. And was she prepared to answer that! She gave a perfect answer, the first one actually. And given her academic background, she certainly anticipated that fact being asked.

Add the fact that the way she delivered her answer was far, far better than the other candidates. No umm’s, no mispronounced words, no sentence fragments. And more importantly, hindi pilit [it wasn’t forced.] Every word fell into place.

That small-talk question with the prepared, well-thought response, catapulted her a part from the rest and could have been her major stepping stone towards winning the Binibining Pilipinas Universe.

Thank God she didn’t pick Robin Padilla.

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