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Returning candidates lead early favorites in Binibining Pilipinas 2014

Pia Wutzbach, Mary Jean Lastimosa, and Ladylyn Riva are familiar faces to Binibining Pilipinas watchers.

Last year, the Philippines cemented its reputation as a beauty pageant powerhouse when it won four international titles (Miss World, Miss International, Miss Supranational and Miss Tourism International) and finished well in several others, including Miss Universe.

Three of those title holders, Bea Rose Santiago, Mutya Johanna Datul, and Angeli Dione Gomez, competed in Binibining Pilipinas 2013, which remains the country’s most prestigious beauty pageant organization.

This year, the pageant is once again parading a strong batch of hopefuls that hopes to maintain or even surpass last year’s achievement in the international arena.

Last month, the official 40 candidates were introduced to the press and already oddsmakers wasted no time picking their favorites and making their fearless forecasts.

After this Thursday’s Fashion Show and National Costume Competition at the Araneta Coliseum, the choices should be further narrowed down as the contest draws close to its much-awaited coronation night this March 30.

Based on the candidates’ background info, how they fared in their initial swimsuit introduction, and the “favorites” that have been posted so far on several pageant blogs, InterAksyon has picked the following 10 candidates as the ones to watch in this year’s pageant.

The 25-year old Filipino-Indian who represents Pangasinan was a pre-pageant favorite and made it to the Top 15 semifinals in last year’s pageant.

One year later, the older and much wiser registered nurse is banking on her beauty pageant experience, her well-toned physique and the wisdom she learned as a disaster assistance volunteer in Bohol and Tacloban to take her to greater heights.

A first time candidate, the 24-year-old Sultan Kudarat native certainly didn’t feel like one when she emerged as one of the standouts in the swimsuit competition.

It didn’t hurt that she is also a part-time model and holds a degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management which explains the confidence she exudes around people. Standing 5’9”, she also plays basketball in her spare time.

Shortly after last year’s pageant, the former Star Circle talent joined the Binibining Pilipinas titlists on several TV appearances on account of her being named as 1st runner-up.

Those must have been awkward moments for Pia as she was the only one not wearing a crown.

That may have spurred the 24-year-old beauty to give the contest another shot with the hope of winning a title when the smoke clears.

Not always an unlucky number, couch potatoes should also remember that 13 was the number and role played by Olivia Wilde in the medical series “House” where she first made her name.

This 24-year-old financial analyst from Cebu does bear a striking resemblance to the popular Hollywood actress.

Her back story? She hopes to win in the pageant to fulfill the wish of her late father.

Also 24, the Taguig native holds a degree in European Studies and speaks fluent Portuguese.

Although a pageant newbie, she has long been advised by well-meaning friends and relatives to join Binibining Pilipinas as far back as 2011.

Now that she has finally thrown her hat in the ring, she’s in it to win it. She has so far emerged as one of the top 5 picks of pageant analysis site

Will the third time be a charm for the beauty pageant veteran who previously joined Binibining Pilipinas 2011 (where she placed 2nd runner-up) and 2012 (where she was one of the Top 12 semifinalists)?

Now 26, the resilient North Cotabato native is not the type who backs down from any challenge.

She hopes that being the contestant with the most pageant exposure will translate to a title this time.

The 24-year-old news anchor and radio DJ from Pasig City is one of the few candidates with a showbiz background.

She already won the Mutya ng Pilipinas Intercontinental crown in 2010 and made the Top 12 in Miss World Philippines 2012.

Obviously, this former Ateneo badminton player wants to win a major title and compete on the international stage.


Not to be mistaken with the daughter of Christopher de Leon and Sandy Andolong who was a semifinalist last year but opted not to join this time, Angelique is a former SK Kagawad leader in Mandaluyong.

She was a former athlete who won the gold medal for discus throw in 2007.

If there’s any candidate who has experienced winning the big one, it’s her.

Number 1 in’s initial “Official Hot Picks”, the 20-year-old Certified Public Accountant first won World Miss University in Korea when she was only 17 years old.

She came to Manila to specifically join Binibining Pilipinas. With several pundits including her among their favorites, her standout performance in the swimsuit competition may have already clinched her a spot on the semifinals.

Another returning contestant in the pageant, it’s now or never for this 26-year-old Aklan native as she will no longer be eligible to join Binibining Pilipinas after this.

If Janine Tugonon has her cobra walk and Shamcey Supsup has her tsunami walk, then Ladylyn has her very own “dynamite walk”.

Will the dynamite explode loud enough and impress the judges into giving her one of the crowns up for grabs? Abangan.