Supreme Pontiff names Garcera new Lipa bishop

New Lipa Archbishop Gilbert Garcera, D.D. (photo from CBCPNews)

 

LIPA CITY–Pope Francis has appointed Daet Bishop Gilbert Garcera as the new archbishop of Lipa, Vatican said Thursday.

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[Miss Universe 2016] Miss Brazil a top favorite to win in Manila

Miss Brasil 2016- Raissa Santana

(photo by Marcelo Soubhia, from Miss Universe Organization website)

 

Re-posted from the website of Missosology

 

After more than two weeks of pageant activities, it all boiled into this. With the conclusion of the preliminary competition and many other factors being considered, the members of the Missosology administration, together with the collective votes of the pageant fans from our official forum, have narrowed down our list into our final hot picks.

 

TOP THREE

Miss Brasil 2016- Raissa Santana (photo by Marcelo Soubhia, from Miss Universe Organization website)

Miss Brasil 2016- Raissa Santana
(photo by Marcelo Soubhia, from Miss Universe Organization website)

1. Brazil (Raissa Santana)
2. Thailand (Chalita Suansane)
3. Nicaragua (Marina Jacoby)

 

TOP SIX
4. Australia (Caris Tiivel)
5. Philippines (Maxine Medina)
6. Ukraine (Alena Spodynyuk)

 

TOP NINE
7. France (Iris Mittinaere)
8. Indonesia (Kezia Warouw)
9. Netherlands (Zoey Ivory)

 

TOP 12 + 1
10. Venezuela (Mariam Habach)
11. Colombia (Andrea Tovar)
12. Japan (Sari Nakazawa)
13. USA (Deshauna Barber)**

Bubbling up…
14. Spain (Noelia Freire)
15. Mexico (Kristal Silva)
16. Puerto Rico (Brenda Jimenez)
17. Aruba (Charlene Leslie)
18. Panama (Keity Drennan)
19. India (Roshmitha Harimurthy)
20. Argentina (Estefania Bernal)

Honorable Mention…
21. Belgium (Stephanie Geldhof)
22. Germany (Johanna Acs)
23. Curacao (Chanelle de Lau)
24. Haiti (Raquel Pélissier)
25. Kenya (Mary Esther Were)

**During the rehearsal, host Steve Harvey announced a Top 13 so we added an additional delegate to enter the first cut, which makes it a Top 12 +1

 

After the votes were tabulated and further deliberations by our administrators, Missosology has therefore concluded that Miss Brazil, Raissa Santana is the woman to beat at the 65th Annual Miss Universe pageant. Not only did she live up to our expectations, she has also been consistent all throughout the competition. Certainly, there is something unique about Raissa that made us believe that she can best represent the Miss Universe brand name. Some people may not be digging her super curly hair, but with the Miss Universe motto, which is “Confidently Beautiful”, we don’t see any reason why Raissa’s natural curls should be an issue. Truth to be told, she is a gorgeous mulatta with a universal appeal.  It is also interesting to note that Angola’s Leila Lopes, who will be sitting as one of the final judges, was crowned in Brazil in 2011, so this factor is vital to make us feel that Raissa could or may just be the “one” groomed to win the title.  Aside from the Philippines and USA, Brazil has one of the best records in Miss Universe since 2011, with three straight Top 5 placements from 2011 to 2013, and two successive Top 15 finishes in 2014 and 2015.

Following closely at second position is Chalita Suansane of Thailand. Perfectly styled and groomed for the Miss Universe pageant, Chalita’s only weakness is her English speaking skills. However, we believe that she will have an interpreter during the Top 6 question and answer portion, so that should not be a problem. This Thai charmer has been backed up by legions of fans, and is probably the most popular Thai beauty queen in recent years. She registers well on camera, and has a very wholesome look and great stage presence. If not for her distinct Asian look and straight hair, you would have mistaken her for a Latina based on the way she glided on stage. Coming from a humble background, Chalita’s story is one of the most inspiring we have at this year’s Miss Universe.  A victory will certainly bring hppe and cheers to her constituents back home who are still mourning for the loss of their beloved king.

Meanwhile in third place, we have Marina Jacoby of Nicaragua who, in recent years, is probably the first beauty queen from her country to have moved her nation due to her sudden popularity. Marina was virtually unknown prior to her arrival in Manila. But, when she appeared in the pink Yamamay swimsuit photo shoot, she got noticed right away. During the Filipiniana fashion show, she became an instant favorite. When she guested in a popular TV show, that’s when people became a believer of her. She is an eloquent English speaker. What will prevent Marina from snatching the crown? It is definitely her weak sash. But, we hope that this won’t affect her overall ranking because she deserved to be recognized.

Australia‘s Caris Tiivel went up to fourth position. Many had lost their faith on Caris when she did an underwhelming performance during the preliminary competition. But, look at that face! How can someone write that off? Caris is from Perth, Western Australia which is known for their laid back lifestyle despite being a capital city. Caris may seem to be bland for some, but this tall and statuesque beauty queen is actually an artist, which explains her introverted ways.  Caris is one of the few delegates whom we could see strutting the Victoria Secret runway in the future.  However, she is being advised to change her evening gown for the finals if she wants to stay longer in the competition.

Maxine Medina of the Philippines finishes in fifth place in our final hot picks. Despite the heavy pressure, Maxine seems to be totally unaffected and has been a gracious host all throughout the competition. While there are some people who are hoping for a back-to-back victory on home soil, many are a bit speculative about it. Nevertheless, Maxine has represented her country extremely well, and this could be the first time at the Miss Universe stage that we will be hearing a Filipina beauty queen speak in her native language during the final question and answer portion.

Completing our Top Six is Alena Spdynyuk of Ukraine. If you may recall, Alena was our No.1 pick in our first ever Miss Universe Hot Picks this year. Her story is one that will make news organizations run after her, should she be crowned Miss Universe. Alena currently lives in Kiev, but she was actually born and raised in Crimea, which is now being annexed by Russia. Beauty-wise, Alena has the classic Eastern European look that was used to be appreciated during the so-called Trump. With Eli Saab being her gown designer, it will be easy for Alena to go further should she survive the first and second cuts.

Going now in our seventh to ninth position, we have France as the first in line. Iris was a revelation during the preliminary competition. If there was a “sexiest woman alive” special award that night, she would have gotten it hands down! And for that, she zoomed up into the seventh spot! She certainly knows how to entertain the viewers, and we appreciate the way she played with the audience, especially during the national costume presentation. A stage diva indeed!  She is then followed closely by local favorite, Indonesia, who looked stunningly fresh on stage during the preliminary competition. Kezia ended our ranking in eighth position, but if she could pull off a stellar performance in her evening gown, she may give the Philippines and Thailand a run for their money, so they better watch out! Kezia is there to slay! And at ninth position, we have the youthful and uniquely beautiful Miss Netherlands. Zoey was very fluid on stage, and many of you may have recalled that she was one of our pre-arrival favorites. We have no doubts about her intelligence too because she was able to answer sensibly the questions in our beauty talks interview.

Surprise, surprise!!! Venezuela went down to tenth position! Performance-wise, Mariam was sassy and fierce on stage. Overly done?  We don’t think so! However, if we study carefully her overall performance all throughout the competition, we didn’t see a bubbly and sunny Mariam while on stage. Occasionally, we may have seen her smiling, but she was mostly frowning on stage, which made her look older. If Mariam takes that “Sarah Jessica-Parker look” off, she will easily go further and may take home the eighth crown for Venezuela.  Try to look a little bit sweet Mariam!  At 11th spot is Colombia, who was another stage performer but sorry to say, she did not live up to the standards set by her two predecessors. Andrea is a wonderful Miss Colombia, but her star did not shine when it was needed the most. Although some have already ceased to believe in her, we cannot writer her off from our final hot picks because, admit it or not, her presence in the Top 13 could spice things up, considering the fact that Steve Harvey is coming back as the host.

In 12th position is Miss Japan. In terms of facial beauty, Sari is one of the most beautiful contestants this year. In swimsuit, her petite and lean figure may have looked out of place in a sea of womanly bodies, but her gown performance was memorable. With Mr. Kazuo Okada as one of the biggest sponsors, and the rumored comeback of Mikimoto as a crown provider, what can stop this dentistry student from placing? Riyo Mori was also a preliminary judge.  And our additional finalist is none other than, Miss USA!!! Deshauna did an amazing preliminary performance during the Miss USA pageant, but we did not see that same spark and energy at the Miss Universe stage. However, we are positive that her interview scores will pull her scores up despite the mediocre preliminary performance.

Bubbling up…

Spain almost made it into our Top 13. Noelia had a fine performance in the preliminary competition, although a lot were turned off with her 1960s hairstyle. Mexico also did great, but many missosologists expected more from her. It seems that Kristal had nothing more to improve, and they said that they did not see some major transformation since her Miss Earth 2013 stint, which also in the Philippines. We should also keep an eye on Puerto Rico, considering that Dayanara Torres sat as one of the judges. One opinion says that if last year’s Miss Puerto Rico was not able to penetrate the Top 15, who was way prettier and more youthful looking, it just doesn’t seem probable that Brenda could make it either. But, such conclusion could be proven wrong!  Aruba also did an amazing stage performance! Charlene’s overall look reminded us of Venus Raj and Leila Lopes. Should the trend return, she can be a shoo-in for the crown! Panama was also memorable, although some pageant observers find her a bit too rehearsed and pageant patty. Keity was a former Miss International 2011 4th Runner-up, who was just appointed to compete at Miss Universe. India should be proud of their delegate this year who was decently good during the preliminary competition. We felt that she lacked self-confidence, but knowing that Sushmita Sen is going to sit as a night in the finals, maybe that could give her some confidence booster, should she place in the Top 13. Argentina had been great all throughout the competition, but her poor gown choice ruined it all. Still, we consider her as one of the most beautiful delegates this year and we can only hope that her scores was not significantly pulled down with that gown.

Honorable mention…

Belgium has always been one of our favorites, and is worthy of a placement. Germany also performed well during the preliminaries and she had lots of fans. Curacao was a revelation with a great catwalk, although she could have gone with a better gown. Haiti was also a standout, and may surprise us all! Kenya, to us, is the strongest African delegate this year and if there is a token placement for an African, it has to be Mary Esther.

 

 

 

 

(image from Missosology)

(image from Missosology)

 

 

 

 

 

 

[Editorial] Lipa: My city, my pride

(photo from the Facebook page of Lipa City Philippines)

 

The City of Lipa is Batangas province’s new wonder. Look at how Ayala Avenue had changed much over the years: The “oldies” are Chowking, McDonald’s, Red Ribbon, Starbucks. New ones, at least on the Big Ben side, are KFC, Tokyo Tokyo and a new building for the born-again church group Victory.

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Karibok ang Tuktok 2017: Young Batanguenos showcase academic skills

Karibok logo

 

(AN ADVERTISEMENT)–A 41-year-old group of Batangueno students from the University of the Philippines-Diliman recently organized a outreach program for students in the province.

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[Miss Universe] Missosology’s pre-arrival hot picks

Maxine Medina (photo from Miss Universe Organization)

 

 

Reprinted with permission from Missosology.org

 

Truly, Miss Universe is  a hot item so to speak. And with the Philippines as the host nation, things will simply turn out fabulous as evidenced by the wonderful outcomes of Miss Universe 1974 and Miss Universe 1994. Surely, the contestants will have all the fun in the world as they compete in a pageant crazy nation.

Maxine Medina (photo from Miss Universe Organization)

Maxine Medina (photo from Miss Universe Organization)

The host delegate Maxine Medina is trained to show her country’s best foot forward. When 2016 concluded, there is a collective feeling in the Philippines that they were wronged. So now, the “collective feeling” is that they need to prove that they are indeed a superpower nation in world of pageantry.

A back-to-back win will put the Philippines in the same footing as Venezuela and there is a huge effort being undertaken right now to make sure that it will happen. It is nothing sinister like having host friendly judges in the panel of jury (like putting their national director as a judge for example). Rather such efforts are poured into Maxine through relentless training and conditioning. Latest photos and videos show a confident Maxine Medina with vavavoom body ready to unleash the fierce beauty queen within to take on the toughest competitor.

Having the same perspective as the Philippines, Colombia, a country that has all the rights in the world to claim that they were wronged in 2015, have doubled, nay, tripled their efforts to secure the crown. Andrea Tovar – classy, elegant, confident – is completely the right delegate for the task. She is ready to put Colombia to where it belongs which is on the top.

Sure, there was bad blood between the Philippines and Colombia post 2015 pageant. But things right now echo the antebellum years where the Philippines has nothing but respect and admiration to Colombian beauty queens. Remember in 1974, Colombia was just 3 ranks away from winning and in 1994, they almost triumphed. Andrea will thrive in the Philippines and that could serve as a springboard towards victory.

Miss Brazil's Raissa Santana (photo by Marcelo Soubhia, from Miss Universe Organization)

Miss Brazil’s Raissa Santana
(photo by Marcelo Soubhia, from Miss Universe Organization)

Brazil is a county to watch. When Raissa Santana was crowned as Miss Brasil, the whole pageantry community went gaga over this black Barbie. Miss Universe is a huge deal in Brazil where the quest for their third crown is a relentless annual pursuit. Keep an eye on Raissa. She could truly be Brazil’s third Miss Universe titleholder!

If everyone was awed when Raissa was crowned Miss Brasil, Mariam Habach’s victory at Miss Venezuela meanwhile left everyone scratching their heads. Some claim it will be the end of Venezuela’s golden era and like its economy, the country’s beauty pageant infrastructure is believed to be in tatters.

But Osmel Sousa, Venezuela’s legendary queen maker, is not taking things as it is. Mariam Habach was transformed into a goddess and she will show off her wares in Manila. As what it was in 1994, Venezuela will once again command the respect and admiration of everyone during the Miss Universe competition.

Thailand’s Chalita Suansane has been the darling of the press recently. She is a strong candidate and hopes are high that Thailand will be victorious this time around. The country has the momentum and there is a solid machinery that can back her up starting from equally pageant crazy fans to a well-funded and highly popular national organization.

In many cases large and traditionally strong nations dominate the list of who’s who but coming from a small island does not deter Miss Barbados Shannon Harris from joining the big leagues. Her beauty has a universal appeal and we hope that her chances rests upon her inherent strength and not on the sash weight.

Another strong delegate is Caris Tiivel of Australia. This large nation last won in 2004 and Caris is like a jolt of million megawatts that gave life to the erstwhile sagging campaign of Australia. It is also a nation that seeks its third crown with a well-funded pageantry machinery. Caris is no doubt well prepped for the competition and her sash commands a great attention.

Miss USA Deshauna Barber is a candidate worthy of our attention. Don’t let her photos fool you. She is a drop dead gorgeous contestant up close and there is a feeling that it is the year of United States this time around. She’s very smart, very poised, with a very good rapport among fellow candidates and to the general public.

After the Top 5 finish of Flora last year, France is putting a laser-like focus at Miss Universe. The country has been playing switcheroo with its first runner-up and winners for a while and this time, there is a steady pattern that the real winner of Miss France has to compete at Miss Universe. Iris Mittenaere, is the winner of Miss France and she is specially reserved at Miss Universe. If this is not an indication that France is dead serious in winning, then we don’t know what is this.

Another country hunting for its third Miss Universe title is Mexico. The behemoth nation with passionate pageant followers is deploying a candidate who is familiar with the battle terrain. Kristal Silva is Mexico’s best hope to end the pageant year with a bang. She has been to the Philippines before competing in another major international pageant. She knows the people and the host nation well and she has left an indelible positive impression back in 2013.

But everyone knows that the 2016 pageant season has been a very unpredictable year. It’s a year full of surprises. Thus, let’s not fool ourselves by believing that we are clairvoyant. In fact, any of these five wonderful women can pull a surprise and win it all: Miss Netherlands Zoey Ivory, Miss Puerto Rico Brenda Jiménez, Miss Indonesia Kezia Warouw, Miss Canada Siera Bearchell and Miss Ukraine Alena Spodynyuk. This is anybody’s game folks and that’s what makes the 65th Miss Universe exciting!

[Miss Universe] PHL back-to-back wins ‘possible’

 

Reprinted with permission from Missosology.org. Views written herewith are by the article’s authors.

 

Philippine bet Maxine Medina (photo by Missosology.org)

Philippine bet Maxine Medina (photo by Missosology.org)

There is no question that the enthusiasm towards the campaign of Maxine Medina to clinch once again the Miss Universe crown for the Philippines has been dramatically dampened. It is as if the victory of Pia Wurtzbach last year would kill any chances of her Bb. Pilipinas successor at Miss Universe. With Maxine Medina however, a back-to-back win is very possible. Here’s why:

1.) Maxine Medina is an elegant beauty. She may not be the cup of tea of the majority of pageant fans but she

definitely exudes an aura of elegance. The way she carries herself can light up the room instantly. She can easily grab attention with her chinita (a Filipino word of Spanish origin that describes a woman with Chinese-like beauty) looks and curvaceous body. The way she walks onstage can be perfected further to complement her confidence and wow the judges of the Miss Universe 2016 pageant.

2.) If pageant analysts thought that Miss Universe back-to-back victory is improbable, then the events of Miss Universe 2009 put that notion to rest. Can another back-to-back be possible? Of course it is! In fact, last year’s snafu almost saw the second back-to-back win at Miss Universe but of course, Ariadna was stopped on her stilettos by Pia. Obviously, whether one agrees or not, Pia was the better woman but the fact that Ariadna came so close in winning means that back-to-back is not that improbable as it once was. Come to think about it, Manpreet Brar almost did it too in 1995!

3.) The political winds are extremely favorable to the Philippines. The current decade that started in 2010 is akin to India’s beauty pageant campaign back in the 1990s. It would take a terrible mistake to take out a Miss Philippines out of the Top 10 at Miss Universe. The organization also now knows how passionate the Filipinos are with their pageant as evidenced by the fiesta-like homecoming party for Pia. The trend now shows that it seems the only way a pageant can regain its footing is through crowning a Filipina! Further to this, there is that so-called law of momentum in the pageantry world. It could be largely psychological but the fact that the Philippines has won all the Big5 crowns within a three-year window could instill fear to its adversaries and boost the confidence of anyone who is wearing the sash that says Philippines.

4.) The machinery – beauty pageant machinery if you will – is now in place at Bb. Pilipinas to hone and train a

Maxine Medina during the send-off to her by Bb. Pilipinas Charities last Jan. 10 (photo by Missosology.org)

Maxine Medina during the send-off to her by Bb. Pilipinas Charities last Jan. 10 (photo by Missosology.org)

beauty queen that will pose a strong threat to anyone vying for the Miss Universe crown. Languishing for decades at the backwater, the Bb. Pilipinas organization had actually became a laughing stock in the pageant world ever since Nina Ricci Alagao, a super-hyped candidate, failed to even land in the semis of Miss Universe 2000. The overreliance to foreign designers and trainers has been replaced with strong local training camps and by enthusiastic local designers like Andrada, Libiran and Almodal. Now, the Bb. Pilipinas organization commands the respect and admiration not only in the Philippines but by other organizations as well from all over the world.

5.) And finally, this might not be true, but Miss Universe organization owes the Philippines a lot. The scandalous error of Steve Harvey last year stole the moment of the Philippines to properly react and celebrate a victory that was last seen in 1973. For a passionate nation like the Philippines, it was a travesty. Again, this might not be a valid demand, but don’t you think that Miss Universe owes the Philippines another victory and this time around with a proper crowning moment complete with boisterous crowd and thousands of YouTube at the moment videos?

Tarlac’s belens put pizzazz to Pinoys’ Yuletide culture

The belen made by Camp Servillano Aquino of the Armed Forced of the Philippines that won a grand prize in this year's Belenismo sa Tarlac (photo by the Facebook page of Belenismo sa Tarlac)

 

 

TARLAC PROVINCE–Be greeted by dancing lights and by unique, imaginatively-designed belens from residents here in this Central Luzon province.

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Three made mayhem in DLSU’s 2016 cage title run

Jeron Teng (right, in the air) and Ben Mbala steered the DLSU Green Archers to this year's UAAP title by sweeping the best-of-three series against the Ateneo de Manila Blue Eagles (photo by RJ Quiroz of Rektikano.net)

 

 

QUEZON CITY–Three made mayhem.

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[2016 UAAP Finals] Heroics of a collegiate hoops generation’s last remnant

Jeron Teng of La Salle saved his Archers from a loss with a clutch shot and a defensive stop in De La Salle University's Game 1 win over the Ateneo de Manila University  (photo by Joaqui Flores of Tiebreaker Times, via Facebook)

 

PASAY CITY–Philippine collegiate hoops’ version of a jampacked Ginebra San Miguel basketball crowd, that which Ateneo de Manila and Del La Salle universities brought, entered a fourth generation.

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The one ‘who saw’ the Virgin Mary meets her up there

The late Teresita Castillo, a former Carmelite nun who reportedly saw the Blessed Virgin Mary in 1948. The reported apparitions of Mary Mediatrix of All Grace in Lipa City, Batangas were decreed with finality by Vatican as 'not supernatural in origin.' Nevertheless, those who affirmed such event were happy Castillo will be meeting the Blessed Virgin up there.

 

MANILA (The Filipino Connection)–Teresita Castillo was only 21 when a vine inside a Carmelite convent shook, catching her attention. There’s no wind to shake the vine.

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