Ice Style

SASHES AND TIARAS.....Binibining Pilipinas 2016 National Costume Competition!

Standout Costume Gowns: Contestants in the 2016 Binibing Pilipinas Beauty Pageant

The 2016 Binibining Pilipinas Beauty Pageant is in full gear this month with the Final Crowning Night approaching on April 17th. The pageant--whose winner becomes Miss Universe Philippines is especially important this year since last year's winner, Pia Wurtzbach became Miss Universe, albeit unceremoniously, in front of the entire world. Forty contestants are competing this year for the coveted title and last night, competed in the National Costume Competition. Six finalists were chosen and on April 17th we will find out the Best Costume winner during the final crowning night. 

Costumed Beauties: Contestants in the Binibing Pilipinas 2016 Beauty Pageant
Photo courtesy of

There were LOTS of stunning designs on display. As a fashion designer--and beauty pageant fan--I BOW down to all the designers for their work. The fit on almost all of the creations was on-point and even from just the photographs, these costumes looked well-made with gorgeous fabrications. Kudos to all the Binibining designers. 

In lots of international beauty pageants that I cover here on my blog, there are always some tacky-licious cheap $199-looking polyester gowns but no such thing here! These looked like $25,000 Couture gowns, many of which could double as Evening Gowns and not supposed "costumes". So...without further ado, I want to give you my Top Ten Faves, as well as my Could-Have-Been-Better and yes, one or two "Cray-Cray". And, as always, I'd love to hear what you guys think!

I'll start with my Top Ten Faves (in no particular order--and with my scores; 10 being perfect): 

All Photos Courtesy of Binibing Pilipinas Facebook
Bb #9 Roshiela Tobias in Rowell Panlilio: I loved this very colorful and festive take on the classic Filipino Terno. The multicolored sequined pineapples (at least I think those are pineapples!) stand out fabulously against the white background of the gown. And I also love the feathered headdress. While many other "costumes" looked liked beautiful evening gowns, this was a definite "National Costume" depiction.
Score: 9.5 

Bb # 11 Nicole Cordoves in Mark Tumang: I think this was another stunner (there were many) in the 2016 Binibining Pilipinas National Costume Competition. This one evoked a gorgeous Chinese Ming vase. I thought the blue and white sequined fabrication was GORGEOUS and I liked the sequined fringe accenting the hem of of those iconic Filipina "butterfly" sleeves.
Score: 9.6

Bb #12 Edjelyn Gamboa in Pablo Mendez: What a beautiful gown! The silk ziberline fabric is very Roma Alta Moda and the silhouette is very Haute. I also love the butterfly appliques; very apropos to go with those "butterfly" sleeves! 
Score: 9.5

Bb #13 Joanna Eden in Obet Urajay: I really liked this entire look, from head to toe! This was a beautifully-fitting terno and I liked the lovely sequined scroll-like sleeve applique that matched the headdress. This was both pretty and very well-done!
Score: 9.55

Bb #15 Kristine Angeli Estoque in John Cliff: I just LOVE this costume! This is exactly what I think of when I think of a fabulous "Miss Universe" costume. I love the bright colors, the silhouette and the inclusion of the terno/butterfly sleeves. Oh, and yes, then there is that headdress! One word: FANTASTIC! Definitely one of my Top Favorites.
Score: 9.75

Bb #19 Maria Lina Prongoso in Polly Lagyap & Mayor Madel Gazmen: This was truly one of the most beautiful ternos in the 2016 Binibining Pilipinas National Costume Competition. The sapphire stone details, the crosses, the fan accessory and the elegant silhouette of this silk organza gown...well, it all added up to near-perfection! Seriously, those sleeves deserve a "Best Sleeve" trophy. ASAP!
Score: 9.8

Bb #22 Apriel Smith in Danny Booc: Fun, festive, well-made, perfect all adds up to one of my faves. I love the hand-painted depiction of the Catholic priests converting the indigenous people of the Philippine islands and the great mixture of both Filipino tradition and Catholic Virgin motifs. Also, this look is closer to appearing more like an actual costume worn in an international beauty pageant as opposed an evening gown. 
Score: 9.45

Bb #25 Anjellica Lopez in Albert Figueras: Elegant, chic and sexy. I love the goldenrod color. The fit is perfection and the fabric and crystal sequin detail, is very nice. Overall, Anjellica looks every bit a Binibining DIVA! Imelda: Eat your heart out darling! Anjellica is in the house!
Score: 9.5

Bb #32 Jennyline Carla Malpaya in Jonti Martinez: Jennyline looked exquisite in this coral colored gown. This isn't necessarily a costume and could easily be mistaken for a very expensive and fabulous evening gown (I sure hope the designer charges A LOT for this, because it looks like a $5,000+ gown!). I really loved this and sure hope whoever wins the contest (or one of the Runners-up) chooses to wear this, as their evening gown in an international beauty competition.
Score: 9.6

Bb #38 Angelica Alita in Bessie Besana: This is a sublimely--and delicately--beautiful gown. I can see a First Lady of The Philippines wearing this--if not a President! Although it may not be as impacting as some of the other designs, I appreciate the stunning silk shantung fabric, gorgeous fit, all the technical pattern making skill required to do all those gown panels....and those silk organza sleeves!
Score: 9. 65

Honorable Mentions:
Bb #14 Paula Rich Bartolome in Joel Acebuche: Gorgeous gown. Great fit. Love the hand-painted bamboo. I just wish she didn't wear those nude stacked platform heels with this. I know you can barely see them but when you do, it's like "Oh No!". But, ignoring those pumps, it's a beautiful gown.
Score: 9.40

Bb #26 Jennifer Hammond in Jonti Martinez: Jennifer looks like a Virgin Terno Couture Princess in this costume. I love the multicolored caviar-beaded sequin fabric and the fan headdress is beautiful.
Score: 9.25

Bb #33 Leonalyn Dela Cruz in Daniel Manila: I have to give MAJOR points to Leonalyn for THAT DIVA look of hers! That photo on the right (above) is the look I hope to throw to someone, whenever I feel they are giving me SHADE! Just for that look alone--oh, and yes, it's an interesting gown...I give her...
Score: 9.25

Could Have Been Better (in no particular order):
Bb #5 Riana Agatha Pangindian in Pablo Mendez: I get the whole sea shell inspiration. I think the gown is well made and the fabrication looks expensive, but...I think it's all those cluttered "shells" that make the gown/national costume look like someone went up in there with not-so-sharp scissors and begun cutting it up.
Score: 7.75

Bb #8 Karen Ibasco in Rian Fernandez: Oh huney! As they say in the South (of the U.S.A.): Bless Your Heart. This is reminiscent of a quinciniera mess. It's just Too-Mucheey. Carol Burnett and Bob Mackie would be impressed, and not for good reasons. 
Score: 7.00

Bb #10 Jeslyn Santos in Gabriel Luis Gonzales: Jeslyn wore this red gown that was just two seconds away from being very Tacky-licious. The sequin applique looked tacky and semi-cheap and the overuse of it did not help. And then, what is that necklace doing there? Really??? She felt she needed more??? Ay Dios Mio.
Score: 6.85

Bb #20 Geisha Camille De Leon in John Manudo: This s not a bad design. But...there is something about the overall effect that looks stressed and not harmonious. I think if the designer would have continued that blue and white beaded detail into the bottom half of the gown, it might have worked. But I think the layered organza took it to "Top of a Wedding Cake" territory, perhaps.
Score: 7.99

Bb #23 Angela Valdes in Marshee Navarro: Poor thang. This pink "national costume" design just looked too Disney-on-a-Budget. It just isn't sophisticated, elegant or remotely chic. And in terms of a national costume, it doesn't have any impact, unfortunately. It is a shame because Angela is so doll-beautiful.
Score: 7.00

Bb #24 Niza Limjap in Pia Gladys Perey: Not one of my favorites in the 2016 Binibining Pilipinas National Costume Competition. I just want to know who she did get stuck with this: A crop top and princess seamed fit-and-flare skirt??? This is Pattern-making 101. And something someone's grandma can sew, like in three hours! Score: 6.25

Finally, let's discuss the Cray-Cray Good or Cray-Cray Ooops--What do you guys think?
Bb #2 Alexandra Faith Garcia in Denise Crisostomo: I kinda loved this--just for the sheer "Go On Girl" aspect. But when I showed it to my partner, David Paul, he was like "WHAT ARE YOU DRINKING???". Yes, she has a peacock that is literally SITTING on her head. 
So...what do you guys think? Cray-cray Fab or Ooops?

Bb #17 Priscilla Dela Cruz in Rocky Gathercole: Feathered Goddess or Feathered Mess? I am still not sure. What do you guys think?

Bb #31 Kylie Verzosa in Rajo Laurel: I think that Kylie thinks she is J Lo in Las Vegas. Not sure. This gold "Cleopatra" costume doesn't really remind me of the Philippines but oh well. What do guys think? Cray-cray Good or Oooops?

**Stay tuned to my BLOG here for my EVENING GOWN RECAP following the 2016 Binibining Pilipinas Final Night after April 17th! 

15 Responses to "SASHES AND TIARAS.....Binibining Pilipinas 2016 National Costume Competition!"

Unknown said...

I love your pageant posts, as well as the figure skating costume ones!

Karinne Rosas said...

number 13 looks divine, i want to wear that costume

John Paul Anonuevo said...

Bb.17's feathered ensemble from Rocky Gathercole was inspired by the Ati-Atihan festival in Aklan. This was the high fashion version.

Koko Nut said...

I love your reviews, Nick. You made a lot of good points on the good and the bads, that's why I always watch for your posts. Thank you.

calicaliwanagan said...

Just a piece of Filipino history... the costume worn by Kylie Versoza is a Pintados inspired costume... the geometrical pattern is supposed to represent body tattoos... it's indigenous pre Hispanic Filipino culture... but yeah I get you... it's kinda tacky... just wanted to point out that Filipino costumes are not just about Terno and Maria Clara (the one worn by Angelica Alita

calicaliwanagan said...

Alexandra Garcia's headress is not peacock inspired... it is Sarimanok inspired... it is a mythical bird depicted in the stories from the Maranao tribe from the southern part of the Philippines

calicaliwanagan said...

Kristine Estoque's costume is a cross between a modern terno and a Manobo culture. (Another tribe from the Southern part of the Philippines, from Bukidnon if I'm not mistaken) The colors are very Manobo and the headress is definitely Manobo... usually worn during ceremonies like Dugso.

calicaliwanagan said...

I admire your critique and eye for details. I'm just giving you a Filipino culture 101 crash course!!! Peace!!!!

Einnar Aicrag said...

Nick is just giving his point of view as an expert in fashion and pageant

Einnar Aicrag said...

And it is true that rajo's design is too tacky and too far from pintados.

calicaliwanagan said...

I know...just giving him a lesson in Filipino traditional costume... never said anything bad...

calicaliwanagan said...

I know...just giving him a lesson in Filipino traditional costume... never said anything bad...

Lilith Manila said...

Hello Nick, I always wait for your posts on Philippine pageantry. Thanks for featuring us once again. I'd like to share a few more details about the girls and the costumes ...

No. 11 - Nicole Cordoves is half Chinese thus the nod to the Ming vase blue as white print.
No. 12 - Edjelyn Gamboa wore a terno with dried butterflies until she opened her arms are live ones flew away...such a treat
No. 5- Riana Pangindian wore a terno comprised of folded handkerchiefs which is a nod to one of our folk dances.
No. 2 - Alexanda Faith - I know this may be too muchey but the fabric that was used is indigenous and if I am not mistaken there is no fixed pattern for the prints. The prints are supposed to be guided by the weaver's dreams. The bird headdress is a mythical bird called the "Sarimanok"

The Rocky Gathercole feater ensemble was impeccably made. It didn't make any sense at first in the sea of ternos but it was so impacting. Yes the inspiration is from a festival called "Ati-Atihan" but if you find shots of this costume from the side, it looks more like the head of a Philippine eagle.

No. 31 Kylie Versoza - inspired by the tattooed people from the Visayas region. The Pintados {painted ones} were encountered by the colonizers upon settling here. These people were said to be warriors.

Hope this helps :}


Raul Phillip Gatal said...

if Kylie Versoza had worn her hair in a tight bun or chignon, the results might have changed. Nothing was wrong with her presentation and she stood out with that commanding stage presence.

By the way, Nick, as always, you never fail to make me smile and giggle when you say it as it is but with a healthy dose of your wit and zany humor

calicaliwanagan said...

On Alexandra's costume... the fabric used is called Tinalac, which is hand woven by the T'boli's of Lake Sebu in South Cotabato... they are the lake dwellers... T'bolis are one of the Lumads in Mindanao. However, I'm not sure if the Mythical sarimanok bird is also part of the lumad culture... I know it's part of the Maranao culture which depics good fortune.