Each year, each delegates at Miss Universe are photographed wearing a gown to be posted on its website. Usually, this doesn’t necessarily mean that they’d wear the actual gown to the competition, but that’s what happened to Miss Philippines last year:
Here’s hoping Bianca Manalo doesn’t compete in the gown she wore for her online portfolio:
It’s… tacky. From the National Costume to her arrival outfit to this, it seems our candidate is in dire need of an editor — there’s just too many details, beads and colors all over her dress.
It’s a good thing her Asian counterparts aren’t doing so well in the editing department either, with the exception of India, who looked smashing in this photo:
But no matter how awful some of her sartorial choices have been, I actually feel strongly about the Philippines’s chances this year. The last time I felt the same for our delegate was in 2000, when Nina Ricci Alagao represented the country:
I think it has to do with her sincerity, particularly after seeing how she sprinted toward the Filipinos who welcomed her arrival. Also, in her online Q&A, she may not have the most pleasant-sounding kolehiyala accent, but her answers seemed sweet and genuine enough (with the exception of that “God is holding my hand” quip.)
I think it would be her child-like ambivalence — as opposed to the aggressive, strong to the point of desperate, campaign of your typical pageant contestants — that would help get her a finalist slot.
Besides, if called upon, she seems to know how to strike a pose that is so fierce, drag queens would surely applaud: