A total of 52 Miss Universe Philippines 2020 candidates were officially introduced at the Maynila Ballroom of The Manila Hotel in Ermita, Manila, Metro Manila, Philippines on February 14, 2020. Miss Universe Philippines 2019 Gazini Ganados was supposed to crown her successor on May 3, 2020 at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City, Metro Manila.
However, like most beauty pageants in the world, the event was cancelled and the coronation night was postponed due to the new coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Some of the candidates pulled out from the competition and only 47 candidates will compete at the Baguio Country Club in Baguio City, Philippines.
Benjamin Alves will host the preliminary event on October 23, 2020. The coronation night on October 25, 2020 will be hosted by KC Montero.
Miss Universe Philippines 2020 marks the first time the Philippines’ representative to Miss Universe is crowned in a standalone beauty pageant. The previous ones were the top winners in Binibining Pilipinas.
From 2010 to 2019, it was relatively easy to predict the winner of the Bb. Pilipinas-Universe title. Venus Raj, Shamcey Supsup, Janine Tugonon, Ariella Arida, Mary Jean Lastimosa, Pia Wurtzbach, Maxine Medina, Rachel Peters and Catriona Gray were clear standouts when they competed and the Filipino beauty pageant fans were not really surprised when they won.
This time, though, predicting the Miss Universe Philippines 2020 winner is not that easy. There are just too many standouts among the 48 candidates including beauty pageant veterans Tracy Maureen Perez, 27, of Cebu City, Apriel Smith, 24, of Cebu Province, Alaiza Malinao, 25, of Davao City, Michele Gumabao of Quezon City and Sandra Lemonon, 25, of Taguig City and rookies Skelly Ivy Florida, 20, of Biliran, Maria Isabela Galeria, 21, of Sorsogon and Maria Ysabella Ysmael, 24, of Parañaque City.
If it was up to me, I would give the crown to Tracy for a variety of reasons, including the fact that this is her last chance to compete considering her age, which the judges will not consider (LOL). I believe though that she is the most beautiful of them all and she looks a little like Catriona.
My only issue with Tracy is that she has the tendency to underperform like she did in Miss World Philippines 2019. She was one of the strongest contestants then but she failed to get one of the crowns.
In Miss Universe Philippines 2020, Tracy has to give it 100% every single time so she won’t get outperformed by Alaiza, Apriel, Sandra and the other strong contenders. Alaiza and Apriel were very raw when they competed in Bb. Pilipinas in 2015 and in 2016, respectively, and both of them finished in the Top 15. This time, they are more than ready and are definitely a threat to Tracy. If Apriel wins, she will be the first woman of African-American descent to represent the Philippines in Miss Universe.
As for Skelly, Galeria and Ysmael, I would really like to see one of them win, too, but I feel like this is not yet their time. I see them as the earlier versions of Pia, Kylie Versoza and Precious Lara Quigaman. For me, the rookies are still under-polished. But they can make themselves fiercer and hungrier, make a comeback and win nationally and internationally just like Pia, Kylie and Precious did.
I say the same to Jennifer Nuñez Linda, 18, of Palawan and Marie Fee M. Tajaran, 25, of Romblon. I think they will not win the crown this time, and may not even be in the Top 5, but when they return in the future, they will become one of the strongest contenders.
I also want to mention Zandra Nicole A. Sta. Maria of Pasay City and Kimberly “Billie” P. Hakenson, 26, Cavite. These two are also standouts but in a different way. If this was a modelling competition, they will be my Top 2. But this is a beauty pageant.
Audience impact helps a lot in winning beauty pageants and Filipinos have been proving that since 2010. But Miss Universe Philippines 2020 will not have a physical audience so the judges won’t be affected by the screaming supporters this time.
Considering the online support of the 47 Miss Universe Philippines 2020 candidates, their performances in the preliminary challenges and simply my personal gut, I listed below the candidates who I believe will make it to the top.
If it was up to me, my Top 3 would be Tracy, Alaiza and Sandra. But it’s not up to me. Here are the 20 candidates who I believe will win the judges’ scores, disregarding my personal choices, arranged from the least likely to the most likely to win the crown:
#20 | Jennifer Nuñez Linda, 18, Palawan
#19 | Noreen Victoria U. Mangawit, 22, Kalinga
#18 | Bea Theresa Peralta Maynigo, 24, Baguio City
#17 | Kimberly “Billie” P. Hakenson, 26, Cavite
#16 | Dianella Louise Peralta Loya, 20, Bulacan
#15 | We’am R. Ahmed, 20, Davao del Norte
#14 | Jo-Ann D. Flores, 26, Laguna
#13 | Christelle Anjali B. Abello, 25, Aklan
#12 | Pauline C. Amelinckx, 24, Bohol
#11 | Marie Fee M. Tajaran, 25, Romblon
#10 | Lou Dominique A. Piczon, 24, Mandaue
#9 | Kim Chi A. Crizaldo, 23, Iloilo Province
#8 | Skelly Ivy Florida, 20, Biliran
#7 | Michele Theresa Imperial Gumabao, 27, Quezon City
#6 | Sandra Raymundo Lemonon, 25, Taguig City
predicted fourth runner-up
#5 | Maria Ysabella Roxas Ysmael, 24, Parañaque City
predicted third runner-up
#4 | Maria Isabela B. Galeria, 21, Sorsogon
predicted second runner-up
#3 |Apriel D. Smith, 24, Cebu Province
predicted first runner-up
#2 | Alaiza Flor P. Malinao, 25, Davao City
predicted Miss Universe Philippines 2020
#1 | Tracy Maureen Perez, 27, Cebu City