I’m quite surprised that yesterday’s screening for the Binibining Pilipinas 2016 hopefuls turned out to be the first and the final. So that means there’s already a list of official candidates.

I find it surprising because in previous years, the applicants who passed the first day of screening were told to come back a few days later for a second look together with the second batch of applicants, so there’s a chance that you could then get eliminated if someone from the latter was more qualified than you.

And then there’s the third or final screening. Those who hurdled the first and second screenings would have to return to stand shoulder to shoulder together with each other and, possibly, with a new set of applicants. The crux is that even if you passed the first and the second, you could get expelled if, again, someone from the last batch deserves a spot better than you: to be included in the list of official candidates.

You see, it really does pay to be beautiful, and it’s not enough. As what our Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach is now often quoted for, you have to be “confidently beautiful with a heart”—let me add, with brains—to be a Binibining Pilipinas official candidate, although I’ve noticed that a few others barely have both. Sigh. . . .

Let me throw myself back to the final screening four years ago at the Gateway Suites in Cubao, Quezon City, where I witnessed many of the girls teary-eyed upon coming out of the screening—tears of joy on those who passed, tears of regret on those who failed.


This blogger, Ariel Allera, during Binibining Pilipinas 2012 screening

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