March 21, 2018, 10:46 pm
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The empowered engineers of Binibining Pilipinas 2018

THIS year’s batch of beautiful contestants for the 55th Binibining Pilipinas pageant has been dubbed as the most competitive in many years.  It includes, among others, two licensed engineers who are staunch advocates of career and gender equality.  

Binibini #9 is Agatha Lei Morales Romero, a 23-year-old civil engineer from Fairview, Quezon City. A graduate of UST, Agatha works for her family’s own construction firm.

Agatha said it was her father’s dream to see her compete in Binibining Pilipinas.  It is her first major national pageant after having joined Miss Casino Filipino and Miss Manila, both in 2014. As a civil engineer who had a 36-inch waistline one year before joining Bb. Pilipinas, 5-foot-7 Agatha hopes to, one day, be able to put up a self-sustaining community where the youth will be given the right education and there would be job opportunities for all.

 “I believe that by doing this little by little, we can eliminate poverty,” enthused Agatha, who believes that “failures in life are really ladders to success.”

 Binibini # 40 is Angelie Aubrey Mariño Asuncion, a 24-year-old mechanical engineer from Tabaco City, Albay.

Standing 5’6 ½”, Aubrey is a graduate of Bicol University who took a leave from her current job at a major cable manufacturing company to join Binibining Pilipinas. She had previously joined local and regional pageants in Bicol.

 “This is my first national pageant, but it will also be my last because I am going to win!” beamed Aubrey. “I am very grateful that my employer allowed me to take a leave for this journey of a lifetime.”

 Working in a male-dominated job, Aubrey strongly advocates for career and gender equality. “All of us (registered mechanical engineers) were taught and graduated in school and passed the licensure exams. So opportunities for jobs should also be equal.”

 Se admits she is just 85 percent ready for Bb. Pilipinas. “There are things I have to work and improve on. I continuously practice to build my ‘muscle memory’ which is very important in order to become a better version of myself.”

 Meanwhile, the excitement leading to the grand coronation night at the Big Dome on March 18 continues to build up as the 40 candidates hit the stage in their stunning and exquisitely grafted national costumes by renowned and budding designers at the Kia Theater last Saturday.

 Ten finalists were chosen, namely, Stephanie Joy Abellanida (in Archie Castillo), Rosantonette Mendoza (in Ryan Uson Ablaza), Sandra Lemonon (in Edwin Uy), Jehza Mae Huelar (in Neil Patrick Jimlani), Sarah Margarette Joson (in Jay-R Gamboa Flores), Samantha Kaye Avestruz (in Nick Guarino), Catriona Elisa Gray (in Jearson Demavivas), Maria Andrea Verdadero Abesamis (in Chico Estiva), Michele Theresa Gumabao (in Nat Manilag), and Ana Patricia Asturias (in Dave Ocampo). The Best in National Costume will be determined by fan votes and announced during the finals.

 Tomorrow, the 40 beauties will dazzle the public in the traditional and much-awaited Parade of Beauties at the Araneta Center grounds.


Newly-crowned Miss Multinational 2018 Sophia Sordan Señoron arrived from New Delhi, India last Monday after her victorious stint as the first ever winner of the international tilt. She had a victory party at Annabel’s Restaurant last Tuesday and was welcomed by Miss World Philippines (MWP) president and Miss Multinational national director Arnold Vegafria, MWP general manager Bessie Besana and fellow-titlists Glyssa Perez and Cynthia Thomalla, who is next to compete for Miss Eco International in Egypt this April.
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