There is still no official confirmation about Chavit Singson being the new owner of the Philippine franchise of Miss Universe. It was the politician and businessman from Ilocos Sur and his daughter Richelle Singson-Michael who accompanied Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray during the homecoming of the newly crowned queen instead of Binibining Pilipinas Charities Incorporated chairman Madame Stella Marquez de Araneta.
In the 2018 edition of Bb. Pilipinas, six crowns were awarded namely Bb. Pilipinas-Universe 2018, Bb. Pilipinas-International 2018, Bb. Pilipinas-Supranational 2018, Bb. Pilipinas-Grand International 2018, Bb. Pilipinas-Intercontinental and Bb. Pilipinas-Globe 2018. But whether Gray’s successor in the national level is Bb. Pilipinas-Universe 2019 or Miss Universe Philippines 2019, here are the 13 candidates I personally wish to vie for the crown and possibly become Miss Universe 2019:
1. Teresita Ssen Marquez was born in Paranaque, Metro Manila, Philippines on May 4, 1992 to actors and politicians Joey Marquez and Alma Moreno and is Miss International 1979 Melanie Marquez’s niece. Teresita earned a degree in Business Administration from San Beda College Alabang and a teachers certificate from Southville International School and Colleges.
Along with Kylie Versoza, who became Miss International 2016, Teresita made it to the Top 15 at Bb. Pilipinas 2015, which was won by Pia Wurtzbach, who went on to become Miss Universe 2015. Crowned Reina Hispanoamericana Filipinas 2017 at Miss World Philippines 2017, Teresita became Reina Hispanoamericana 2017.
2. Sandra Lemonon was born in Macau, China to French father Herve Lemonon and Filipino mother Edelita Raymundo Lemonon on September 24, 1994. She earned her degree in Fine Arts at the Escola Portuguesa de Macao in Macau and she speaks English, Filipino, Portuguese and French.
In 2016, Sandra was Miss World Philippines 2016 fourth princess. In Bb. Pilipinas 2018, she controversially admitted that she had no idea about the Build, Build, Build program that was asked to her in the question-and-answer portion and eventually finished in the Top 15.
3. Vickie Marie Rushton was born in Bacolod City, Negros Occidental, Philippines on May 8, 1992 to British father Eric Rushton and Filipino mother Ma. Theresa Sausa Rushton. After 13 years of estrangement, Vickie and Eric reunited in 2014 when the former was a housemate in the 11th season of “Pinoy Big Brother” where she finished fourth.
Before becoming Bb. Pilipinas 2018 first runner-up, Vickie was Lin-ay sang Negros 2009, Mutya ng Pilipinas 2011 and Bb. Pilipinas 2018 first runner-up. Because of the delay of Mutya ng Pilipinas 2011, she was not able to represent the Philippines in Miss Intercontinental 2011.
4. Klea Pineda was born on March 19, 1999 in Arayat, Pampanga. In 2015, she was the Ultimate Female Survivor in the GMA Network reality talent competition show “StarStruck” Season 6.
On December 16, 2017, Pineda competed in the 11th Asian Supermodel Contest in Saipan, Northern Mariana Islands, United States. She did not win but brought home the Miss Photogenic award.
5. Jachin Manere was born on September 15, 1994. She is a graduating Music Business Management student at the Meridian International College in Taguig City, Metro Manila, Philippines.
Manere is managed by the Professional Model Association of the Philippines. She finished seventh when she joined “Asia’s Next Top Model” Season 6.
6. Samantha Ashley Lo is a Nursing student of University of Cebu (UC) Banilad. Hailing from Asturias, Cebu, she is currently in school break while pursuing a career in beauty pageants and modelling.
Lo is Binibining Cebu Tourism 2017. On November 8, 2018, she won the Best Model of the World-Philippines 2018 title at the Global Asian Model (GLAM) Philippines 2018 contest at XYLO at The Palace in Taguig City.
7. Halimatu Yushawu is a Muslim born in 1996 to a Ghanian father and a Filipino mother. Her father Awudu Yushawu, a former sea captain, was from Accra, Ghana.
A Civil Engineering student of Negros Oriental State University, Halimatu represented Bacong, Negros Oriental when she won Pasalamat Festival Queen 2015 and Titay, Zamboanga Sibugay when she was crowned Miss Earth-Philippines Ecotourism 2018. A year after not winning in the Tawag ng Tanghalan singing contest of the ABS-CBN variety show “It’s Showtime,” she became one of Willie Revillame’s co-hosts in the GMA Network variety show “Wowowin.”
8. Kelley Day was born in Dubai, United Arab Emirates on December 11, 1996 to an English father and a Filipino mother. In 2016, she was a member of the girl group GirlTrends of ABS-CBN but in early 2018, she transferred to GMA Network where she is currently a signed artist.
Day played Toni in “The One that Got Away” and Bernice Manalili in “Kapag Nahati ang Puso.” She voiced Jinri in “Barangray 143.”
9. Alaiza Malinao hails from Sulop, Davao del Sur. She made it to the Top 15 when she competed in Bb. Pilipinas 2015.
In 2016, Malinao joined “Asia’s Next Top Model” Season 4 but quit in the fourth episode, the same episode where Miss World 2011 first princess Gwendolyn Ruais was eliminated. Months later, Malinao represented the Philippines in the Elite Model Look 2016 Asia Pacific competition in Beijing, China but did not win.
10. Michelle Dee is currently a signed artist of GMA Network. She was born on April 24, 1996 to actor, producer and businessman Frederick Timothy “Derek” Yui Dee and Melanie, the third Filipino to win Miss International.
Michelle is a professional model. She studied Psychology at the De La Salle University.
11. Maria Gigante was born on September 8, 1994. It was her father Lindo Gigante who convinced her to join beauty pageants.
Maria was Miss Cebu 2013 third runner-up, Reyna ng Aliwan 2014 second runner-up and Hiyas nan Carasscal 2016. She did not place when she joined Bb. Pilipinas 2016.
12. Angelica Recto Alita hails from Oriental Mindoro and was born in 1996. She is a pastry chef and an alumna of Center for Culinary Asian Studies where she finished a culinary course.
In 2014, Alita played the best friend of Bb. Pilipinas-Universe 2009 Bianca Manalo’s role in “Past Tense.” In 2016, Alita joined Bb. Pilipinas and finished first runner-up.
13. Emma Mary Tiglao hails from Mabalacat, Pampanga and was born in 1995. She earned a degree in Tourism Management from Holy Angel University in Angeles City, Pampanga in 2014 and has been working as an ambassador of Naga World Hotel in Phnom Penh, Cambodia since March 2016.
After finishing in the Top 15 at Bb. Pilipinas 2014, Tiglao became Miss World Philippines 2015 fourth princess. In August 2018, she became runner-up to the first ever Miss Midori Clark Jasmine Urquico Omay.