Miss Universe Philippines released the official portraits of its 52 candidates on March 6, 2020. This will be the first edition of the national standalone beauty pageant that will select the Philippines’ representative to Miss Universe.
Below is the list of my Top 20 picks based solely on their official portraits. I have not seen any of the contestants in person except for Tracy Maureen Perez of Cebu City but that is not the reason why she ranked very high in this list.
I am particularly happy because, for the first time, I saw a photo that justifies Tracy’s facial beauty. I saw her in person, really up-close, when she competed in Miss World Philippines 2019, in which she finished in the Top 12. She was a standout when it comes to facial beauty but her photos just didn’t exhibit that at the time.
Overall, my favorites in Miss Universe Philippines 2020 are Tracy, Alaiza Malinao of Davao City, Skelly Ivy Florida of Biliran and Sandra Lemonon of Taguig City. However, I’m a little disappointed with the official portraits of Alaiza, Skelly and Sandra.
I did not include some excellent portraits in this list because they lean a little too much towards modelling, not beauty pageant. If this was “Asia’s Next Top Model,” where Alaiza once competed, I would put them on top. I’m referring to Kimberly P. Hakenson of Cavite and Zandra Nicole A. Sta. Maria of Pasay City.
Out of the 52 official Miss Universe Philippines 2020 portraits, here are my Top 20 picks:
Skelly looks like a sweet little girl in her photo. It would be good for a teen movie but not for Miss Universe, which is known for showcasing fierce queens. Sandra has this luscious Kim Kardashian look but we don’t see it here because her face looks a little too relaxed.
I’m not very happy with the portrait of Maria Ysabella Ysmael of Parañaque City, as well. I believe she is one of the candidates with the best facial features but her photo here just did not show that. She can actually beat Tracy in the facial beauty department if she masters the art of smizing from Tyra Banks.
#20. Noreen Victoria U. Mangawit (Kalinga)
#19. Mari Danica Madrid Reynes (Cagayan Province)
#18. Maria Ysabella Roxas Ysmael (Parañaque City)
#17. Sandra Lemonon (Taguig City)
#16. Skelly Ivy Florida (Biliran)
#15. Krizzia Lynn Moreno (Camarines Sur)
#14. Marie Fee Tajaran (Romblon)
#13. Rabiya Mateo (Iloilo City)
Alaiza has the angles of a fierce supermodel but for this photo, these were not highlighted. Either they picked the wrong photo or she just didn’t do well particularly during the photoshoot.
While Michele Gumabao of Quezon City has a great portrait, I believe she can still push it more by unleashing the fierceness from within. The same is true with Apriel D. Smith of Cebu Province. I think she is almost there but I feel like there is a tiny, tiny wall there that needs to be broken.
#12. Lou Dominique Piczon (Mandaue)
#11. Mariam Lara Ashraf Abd El Hamid (Capiz)
#10. Pauline Amelinckx (Bohol)
#9. We’am Ahmed (Davao del Norte )
#8. Princess Marquez Laureano (Aurora)
#7. Alaiza Flor Malinao (Davao City)
#6. Apriel D. Smith (Cebu Province)
#5. Michele Theresa Imperial Gumabao (Quezon City)
Jo-Ann Flores of Laguna and Maria Isabela Galeria of Sorsogon did very well in their official portraits. They look like fierce queens without looking like they were trying too hard. These two simply looked effortlessly beautiful in their photos.
Kim Chi Crizaldo of Iloilo Province is a standout here, as well. She looked like a sweet leading lady in a romantic film, which is better suited for Miss World, but she still managed to look fierce, making it still Miss Universe at the same time.
Thanks to Miss Universe Philippines 2020, a photo of Tracy finally shows how beautiful she really is. Having seen her in person, I can testify that there is not much makeup or photo manipulation there. That’s really how stunning she looks! Her photo here is giving me some Catriona Gray vibes!
#4. Kim Chi Crizaldo (Iloilo Province)
#3. Maria Isabela Galeria (Sorsogon)
#2. Jo-Ann Flores (Laguna)