40 finalists named for 2011 Binibining Pilipinas

·Glenda Villena

Binibining Pilipinas Charities, Inc. has officially chosen the final 40 contestants who will compete in the 2011 Grand Coronation night in April.

These 40 candidates will vie for the titles of Binibining Pilipinas Universe and International.

BPCI chairperson Stella Marquez Araneta, directors Pitoy Moreno and Conchitina Sevilla Bernardo along with the current and former Bb. Pilipinas title holders converged at the Gateway Suites, Araneta Center, Quezon City on Saturday, January 29, to officially choose the candidates who made the final cut.

A total of 108 contestants participated in the Saturday screening.

The screening and selection process is usually done closed doors in previous years, but this year, BPCI decided to allow the media to witness the event.

In an exclusive interview with Yahoo! Southeast Asia, Araneta said this year's beauty pageant will not be different from previous competitions because of certain limitations but nevertheless, the 2011 Binibining Pilipinas Grand Coronation Night will still be "exciting."

"Well, actually it's a beauty pageant so we have certain things to follow that will be the same only that ABS-CBN (will broadcast the pageant this year). We have great expectations for the show and we are very happy with the candidates that we have this year so I think it will be very exciting," Araneta told Yahoo! Southeast Asia.

She also added that this new batch of candidates exude a wealth of potential.

"I see that there are many girls that have the 'it' on stage. Even if they're just standing there, they show personality. That is important in a contest. There are many beautiful girls in the contest whether local or international that no matter how beautiful they are if they don't have that element, they won't shine, they won't make it. And there are many here who have that," Araneta said.

Meanwhile, Binibining Pilipinas Universe 2010 Venus Raj couldn't help but look back at her experience when she was aspiring to become a finalist last year.

"This is the very same venue. Nandyan kami na paulit-ulit ng paulit-ulit na paulit-ulit na tintingnan yung hitsura mo kasi nga daw mahirap mag-judge. Kaya ngayon alam ko kung gano kasasakit ang likod ng mga babae na kahit masakit na yung mga likod nila nakatawa pa rin," said Venus.

Venus also gave her advice to the candidates who did and did not make the cut.

"Well sa lahat ng mga candidates ngayon, unang-una sa mga hindi mapipili ngayon, well hindi rin naman ito ang katapusan ng pangarap nila, ng journey nila...Yung mga dati na hindi nakapasok pero the following year sila yung nakapasok. So don't stop dreaming, ganun lang. Sa mga makakapasok they're very fortunate na makakasama sila sa official candidates ng Binibining Pilipinas. Siguro ngayon ang iniisip muna nila makapasok lang pero siguro sa process kailangan nila isipin na 'mananalo ako, mananalo ako.' Ganoon kasi. Kung ang gusto mo lang makapasok sa official candidates definitely hanggang doon ka lang. Pero if you aim high at iisipin mo na mananalo ka, maaabot mo yun. Basta yun lang talaga ang itatak mo sa isip mo," Venus told Yahoo! Southeast Asia.

The Binibining Pilipinas Grand Coronation Night will be held at the Araneta Coliseum in April with live exclusive telecast on ABS-CBN.

Here are the official candidates for Binibining Pilipinas 2011:

1. Camille Alexis Baltazar, 20: Las Pinas
2  Elizabeth Clenci, 20: Australia
3. Samantha Purvor, 23: Quezon City
4. Mary Jean Lastimosa, 23: Manila
5. Jennielyn Natividad, 22: Batangas City
6. Roxanne Cabanero, 24: Davao
7. Hazelyn Santos, 22: Manila
8. Carla Lacson, 22: La Union
9. Kenneth Dimaapi, 20: Plaridel Bulacan
10. Suzette Hernandez, 24: Batangas
11. Isabella Manjon, 23: Manila
12. Sarah Nicole Clenci, 17: Australia
13. Teresa Pamela Ludovice, 22: Manila
14. Arabella Hanesh, 24: Urdaneta City
15. Gianna Therese Quintos, 24: Caloocan City
16. Patricia Marie Tumulak, 22: Manila
17. Wendy Lunas, 20: Jones, Isabela
18. Sabrinne Al-Tavine, 21: Quezon City
19. Maria Paula Bianca Paz, 22: Baguio City
20. Kathleen Subijano, 23: Woodland hills, California
21. Jenilyn Olivar, 25: Quezon City
22. Janine Tugonon, 21: Balanga, Bataan
23. Martha Chloe McCulley, 23: Pasay
24. Diane Necio, 18: Legaspi City, Albay
25. Jenn Roe Gubat, 20: Malolos, Bulacan
26. Ladylyn Riva, 23: Nabas, Aklan
27. Ma. Kristina May Marasigan, 22: Cabanatuan City, Nueva Ecija
28. Zephorah Mayor, 20: Las Pinas
29. Diana Arevalo, 22: Batangas City
30. Paula Camille Figueroas, 24: Marikina
31. Glennifer Perido, 21: Sta. Rosa, Laguna
32. Queenierich Rehman, 22: Pasay
33. Angelina Ong, 20: Manila
34. Carolyn Ty, 24: Quezon City
35. Luzelle Felipe, 18: Hagonoy Bulacan
36. Marish Alyssa Marquinez, 21: Angeles City
37. Krystle Ann Grant: 23: Hayward Ca, USA
38. Grendel Alvarado: 26: Iloilo City
39.Jenette Mieko Noguchi 23: Palo Alto, California
40. Shamcey Supsup, 24: Iligan City

Photo by Jerome Ascano, NPPA Images

Editor's note:This year's Binibining Pilipinas contestants will vie for only two titles this year, Binibining Pilipinas Universe and International. The pageant will no longer award the crown for Binibining Pilipinas World this year, according to a clarification from the Binibining Pilipinas pageant organizers to Yahoo! Southeast Asia.