ABQ’s 5 Best Dressed Contestants at the Bb. Pilipinas 2017 Top 40 Announcement !!

After a long 1 year-break from blogging I am back! But only temporarily since I’m on a short vacay from a teleserye that I’ve been shooting. I might not have time to write once my schedule picks up again. But I do miss sharing my thoughts and hearing from you my dear readers. How I miss YOU! All of you who mean so much to me…

I know that it’s been 2 weeks since the announcement of the Top 40, so this is such a late post. But still,  there are lessons we can learn when it comes to choosing the right look if you want to make a jaw-dropping impression at a beauty pageant.

So here goes:

My Top 5 Best Dressed at the Top 40 Announcement of Official Bb. Pilipinas 2017 contestants are:

#32 Charmaine Elima,

#31 Katarina Rodriguez,

#10 Jehza Huelar,

#15 Mariel de Leon and      

#3 Maria Gale Devora Tobes

ABQ's Top 5 Best Dressed among the Top 40 at the Announcement of Bb. Pilipinas 2017 official candidates

ABQ’s Top 5 Best Dressed at the Bb. Pilipinas 2017 announcement of official candidates:   #32 Charmaine Elima, #31 Katarina Rodriguez, #10 Jehza Huelar, #15 Mariel de Leon and      #3 Maria Gale Devora Tobes

So what’s the rule of thumb when it comes to dressing for a pageant go-see? Here’s a thought:

Remember Anthony Castelo? The handsome singer who was famous in the 70s and 80s? You can take a clue from his 1982 song – “Fashion Magazine.”  Part of the lyrics go like this –

You look like you just stepped out of a fashion magazine… oh, I won’t let you walk away!

The goal is to look like a doll who stepped out of the latest edition of Vogue so that the screening committee won’t let you walk away! Everything has to be glossy, effortless and perfect. From your outfit, to your hair and make-up and even the way you talk, walk and pose.

Let’s look at each beauty contestant in the collage above and parse her look:

                          #32 Charmaine Elima

Candidate #32 Charmaine Elima is slaying it in her return to the pageant stage. And because I am partial to colorful togs, her outfit caught my eye from the start. Teal and mustard are classic colors and when combined in the right way they give a subdued but stunning look. Notice that the height of the teal portion of the dress is approximately 1/2 of the height of the mustard skirt giving it visual cohesion. The subtle criss-cross belt adds a slimming dimension to her already slim frame. While I do not really like hems that go below the knee for pageant go-sees, (they are too conservative for me) it works well in this case because the beautiful reveal of cleavage gives it balance. Having her locks tumble down and bracket her chest was a good choice. The partly opened mouth that seems like she is about to smile but changed her mind is the icing on the cake. And lastly, the soft drop of her arms as she gently leans on the railing behind her spells out the word – e-f-f-o-r-t-l-e-s-s. You can’t get any sexier than that!


                              #31 Katarina Rodriguez

Candidate #31 Katarina Rodriguez leaps from the catwalk to the pageant spotlight! And I think she will fare better in Bb. Pilipinas than her Top 3 finish in Asia’s Next Top Model 2. My thoughts on her look here: wearing white is always a risky choice. It can make you look heftier than you actually are as well as darker. (Note: Dark is gorgeous as long as you are naturally so.) On the other hand, if you get your look right, white can turn you into a Greek goddess and that’s exactly what Katarina achieved in this case. Having her hair in a high thick bun was another good choice, making her 5’6.5″ frame even taller. I love the drape over one shoulder leaving the other exposed to show off her well-toned muscles. This dress makes me look forward to seeing her in a swimsuit!


                                         10. Jehza Huelar

Candidate #10 Jehza Huelar was our Bb. Pilipinas 2nd Runner-up last year and if she can sustain this look throughout the pageant (and hurdle all QnA challenges) methinks she can snag a crown this time around. What works in this photo? Her Dreamy MacDreamy pout. Everything else is secondary. But I do love her little red dress. It’s not as ‘cocktail-ish’ as the previous two outfits and might be a little too casual for me. However it accentuates all her positives. And that black band! There to remind us just how slim her waistline is. The little short sleeves covering her shoulders give her overall look a girly feel. And in my book, girly is always good. Last point: Observe how she slightly lifts up her left knee; that one tiny action has the powerful effect of deepening her curves.


Candidate #15 Mariel de Leon is on her sophomore attempt at a Bb. Pilipinas beauty title. In 2013 she was a little green but I could see her potential back then which is what I’m seeing now. Mariel has kept her ultra-feminine beauty but has shed her old ‘baby fat’. As you can see above she is lean. Re: her outfit. I thought it was too small; so what she gains in exposing skin, she loses in terms of allure and mystery. But the vibrant color and the silhouette of her dress combined with the curls that barely caress her upper hem, save the day. So do her shapely legs.  I love the way her elbows flare out at 135 degrees with upper arms kept close to her body. Like as if she is saying – “I’m still the same shy girl from 2013 but I’ve got a few surprises coming your way! Watch out!!”


                               3. Maria Gail Devora Tobes

Candidate #3 Maria Gail Devora Tobes may have been joining local beauty pageants for years but she is still the least experienced in this Top 5 list of mine. While I am not too impressed by her dress – a white lacy number – she is STILL a stand-out! It certainly complements her dreamy creamy complexion. However, I am VERY impressed by the way she carried her outfit. Notice how she gently plants her hands right where her hips meet her waist. That’s a great way to show off your curves when your dress might not be as flattering as you wish. The bustier top exposes her gorgeous shoulders.  Many people underestimate the sexiness of well-sculpted shoulders. In this photo though, you can see how she uses them to her advantage. Both are raised but not too much. Chin down with a conservative but secret smile. Hair coiffed-up. Gorgeous face. Don’t ever let her get away!