An opera singer, a linguist, a garage sale fan, a student pilot, a veterinarian, and a SEA Games gold medalist: These are just some of the exciting facets of some of the candidates at this year's Binibining Pilipinas pageant.
With their mini interviews now available for viewing on the Binibining Pilipinas official Facebook page, you can get to know each of the beauties in detail, but for now, we're bringing you the most interesting things about this year's Binibini roster, brace yourself to be proud, amused, and generally happy because this bunch is just so well-rounded:
1. Camille Manalo may be a familiar name in sports (she is a champion taekwondo jin), but she is a neophyte when it comes to pageantry. No worries, as her friends are helping out for her first (and only, since she is already 26 years old) attempt at the crown.
2. Kimberly Pajares has a sister, Dindi Pajares, who is also competing for the crown.
3. Did you know that veterinarian Maria Gail Tobes was the last one to be called to round out this year's 40 candidates? She felt like a winner after her name was called!
4. Sarah Asido had to deal with foot-related injuries prior to joining Bb. Pilipinas this year. What a survivor!
5. Leitz Camyll Ang is close to her grandparents and is a proud lola’s girl, which explains her advocacy for caring for the elderly.
6. Joselle Mariano is a champion swimmer who is into the arts: She does calligraphy, watercolor painting, and sings classical music.
7. Arienne Louise Calingo can speak Modern standard Arabic, Egyptian Arabic, Spanish, and Thai so well, she can teach basic words of these languages!
8. Dane Felisse Marasigan had Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach as one of her trainers for this year's pageant.
9. Ma. Benjieleen Nama, MJ for short, loves playing golf, and keeps on practicing during her free time.
10. Mariel de Leon is more than Christopher de Leon and Sandy Andolong's daughter: She's a Cookery graduate from New Zealand's Northshore International Academy, and also works as an opera singer for the Philippine Opera Company.
11. Did you know that Angelique de Leon trimmed her waistline from 33’ to 24’ for the pageant? Her persistence has finally paid off as she's now part of the top 40 after a few attempts to be part of Binibini.
12. Nelda Ibe has a thing for flying; She is a cadet pilot from Alpha Aviation group, and has recently completed her first solo flight as part of her application for her private pilot's license.
13. Rachel Peters has worked with big time celebrities as an events coordinator. In fact, she has done work for Katy Perry and Christina Aguilera's concerts!
14. Mae Liezel Ramos is a lot like Queen P: They both joined Bb. Pilipinas three times, and both are advocates of HIV Awareness.
15. Kristi Rose Cequeña does not bow down to challenges: Aside from playing volleyball in the NCAA and WNCAA, she is currently training herself to be a triathlete.
16. Thoreen Halvosen was Miss Earth Philippines Fire in 2012, and is back competing for a bigger title.
17. Sammie Anne Legaspi is one thrifty girl: She loves finding good deals at garage sales!
18. Karla May Manongsong is proud of her big appetite: She can eat three cups of rice per meal and not worry about her figure.
19. Elizabeth Clenci has been working as a session bassist for three years and counting.
20. Ana Patricia Asturias is both a licensed interior designer, and a fully trained barista.
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Banner photograph from Normannorman.com / Other photographs from the Binibining Pilipinas Official Facebook page.