Monday, July 28, 2014

2014 Binibining Pilipinas USA ...eventful!

Binibining Pilipinas USA (BPUSA) confirms 2014 results! After a dramatic July 19th Coronation Night at the Centinela Valley Center for the Arts in the South Bay, Los Angeles, BPUSA clarified and confirmed the official results of its second annual pageant late Saturday evening.

The corrected title placements are as follows:
Binibining Pilipinas USA ~ CHRISTELLE ABELLO
Binibining Pilipinas USA, Tourism ~ CZARINA HERMOSO

Photo credits:
Binibining Pilipinas USA
Desert Rh1no Photography

Prior to BPUSA's official press release, the pageant theatrics overshadowed the buzz of celebrity judges presence, amongst them were Black Eyed Pea’s Allan Pineda Lindo aka, Miss Universe 2010 4th Runner Up Venus Raj, and Miss Universe 2012 1st Runner Up Janine Tugonon.

With the final two candidates on stage for their coronation moments, it was initially proclaimed that Binibini No. 4, Czarina Hermoso, a 17-year old beauty, won the title of Binibining Pilipinas USA 2014. Instead, Binibini No. 9, Christelle Abello, a 20-year old stunner, scored the highest rankings and should have been proclaimed the titleholder of Binibining Pilipinas USA, rather than her announced Binibining Pilipinas USA-Tourism crown.  Many, including some of the candidates, had mixed emotions.  Aaah…the drama!

Binibini #4 Czarina Hermoso and  Binibini #9 Christelle Abello
moments before BPUSA coronation

Inadvertent declaration of Czarina Hermoso as 2014 Binibining Pilipinas USA
and Christelle Abello as 2014 Binibining Pilipinas USA, Tourism

Czarina Hermoso was crowned by her predecessor Geramie Dizon
Christelle Abello was crowned by Venus Raj

It was reported that after this on-stage announcement, the lead tabulator instantaneously ran into the audience to tell the organizers that Ms. Abello was the actual winner. Except for a few spectators over hearing that there was a blunder, no immediate correction was declared at the event and people have left the venue unaware of the inadvertent slip-up. 

By the way, it was an ordeal to get out of the parking lot after paramedics and fire trucks clogged the exits.  I later received a call about 2014 Binibining Pilipinas USA 3rd Runner up, Lovely Jane Tanglao’s unfortunate accident backstage.  I am glad that she has since been released from the hospital and is recovering just fine.  

Binibining Pilipinas USA 3rd Runner Up Mary Jane Tanglao

Anyway, it was on the same phone call that I learned about the mis-announcement of the winners!  I was told that the executive team immediately began to investigate what transpired, leading to a conference between tabulators and senior production staff.

“We have determined that this was not a tabulation error, as the votes were validated and certified correct,” explained pageant co-executive producer, Norberto Reyes; “it was not an error committed by the hosts, since they merely read the results given to them.  “Rather, this was a simple but, unfortunate transmittal error, as the form used by the production team to convey the results to the emcees was misinterpreted, and the ranking of the final two candidates was reversed,” he added. “It was not discovered until after the proclamation. The tabulation forms correctly listed the finalists in reverse order.  “However, the form used to deliver the results to the hosts listed the order of announcement, (instead of by ranking), which called for 5th, 4th, 3rd, then 1st, explained Reyes. “We deeply and truly regret that this inconsistency in the two forms resulted in the confusion.”

After careful review and discussions, the organizers shared all gathered findings backstage with the two involved candidates and their parents. Following a quick dialogue between the parents, tearful Ms. Hermoso and Ms. Abello amiably offered to embrace the true outcome.  The winners hugged playfully and impromptu exchanged crowns and sashes, and proudly headed to the VIP after party with their respective crowns. The day following the coronation night, both titleholders issued official statements about the mix up which can be found in the Binibining Pilipinas USA Facebook page.

BPUSA Press Conference and Crown Turn Over Party was hosted by Gerry’s Grill in Artesia, CA three days later on July 22nd to formally crown Christelle Abello as the 2014 Binibining Pilipinas USA.

Wearing their respective title sashes and crowns

“This touching display of graciousness and uncommon maturity from these two young women should be greatly admired and respected,” added co-executive producer, Mildred Deang. “Many adults could learn a few lessons in grace and humility from these two, impressive young women. One could only commend their loving parents for the outstanding values and behavior of these two beautiful Filipina-American role models. They are the real story here.” 

I can attest to these young women's strong character after meeting and presenting them at "Mukha, Likha, at Iba Pa" charity fashion event which I hosted, in their only Orange County appearance one week prior to the coronation night. Congratulations to all the winners, the candidates and the BPUSA executive team, organizers and volunteers for a successful event!

Per pageant policy, copies of the tabulation score sheets are being made available to all top ten candidates.  

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Mukha, Likha, at Iba Pa

As the Master of Ceremonies of the “Mukha, Likha, At Iba Pa” charity fashion event, I was thrilled to present the 2014 Binibining Pilipinas USA (BPUSA) candidates, in their only Orange County, California appearance, hosted by the Rosario (Salinas) Association of Greater Los Angeles at the Embassy Suites – Anaheim South on July 11th, 2014. 

Mr. Bobby Sanchez, President of the Rosario (Salinas) Association of Greater Los Angeles
with some of the 2014 Binibining Pilipinas USA candidates
Photo credits AZE Media

My photo-op with some of the 2014 Binibining Pilipinas USA Candidates
Photo credits AZE Media

It was an exclusive glamorous Salinas affair like no other as cameras flashed nonstop while 16 beautiful pageant hopefuls did their catwalk in haute couture ensemble by featured art and fashion designer, Michelle Hebert.  The audience was captivated and literally off their seats and closer to the runway for a better look of Michelle’s 16-piece cocktail dress collection and 16-piece stunning avant-garde creation.  Here are some moments captured by Edwin Leviste, Jezt Castro and Andy Z. Edralin.

Binibini No.1 Rizzy Lombo

Binibini No.17 Krystal Neag

Binibini No.13 Gabbie Gonzales

Binibini No.15 Katy Pehrson

Binibini No.3 Brigid Hitalla

Binibini No.3 Brigid Hitalla

Binibini No.7 Jenelle Domaoal

Binibini No.4 Czarina Hermoso

Binibini No.4 Czarina Hermoso

Michelle Hebert

Perfect designer match with the BPUSA, Michelle is a virtuoso young fashion designer who believes in one thing:  having a dream and achieving it.  I was excited to catch up with the always refined and poised Michelle in the dressing area. 

Last minute check by Michelle's all about the details!

As a huge fan, I’ve followed Michelle's collections paraded in many fashion shows and seen her work published in major editorials. She is a fave of many prestigious photographers and stylists.

Her eveningwear have graced the Academy Awards, Grammy’s and BET Awards red carpets, Phoenix Fashion Week, The Music Center Performing Arts of Los Angeles, …there’s just too many to mention.  

Racquel Lee wearing Michelle Hebert at the BET Awards

Erica Bernhard wearing Michelle Hebert at The Oscars

MichelleHebert Art and Fashion is highly regarded for its aesthetic appeal, on the surface Michelle’s designs are elegant, flattering and romantic, but when one delves deeper they notice finer details in each work of art.  Each creation of meticulous quality and imaginative concept is simply a unique beauty. What I only use to admire from the runway front row, I did not only get to see and touch but actually wore her gown this time.  What an honor!

Styled by Fermin Alberto, Chey Buhain and the designer herself, Michelle Hebert
Feeling spoiled!

Master of Ceremonies, Sheila Vertuno in Michelle Hebert gown

With a 3-hour pre-show call time, it was nice to hang out backstage with these sweet, smart and beautiful young women.  Each with their own audacious goals they were excited to talk about their quest for the crown and the friendships they’ve built along the way. The succeeding week was full of anticipation, and the best of the best was crowned on July 19th.  All of my 3 picks made it to the top 10, and 2 walked away with tiaras.  Read about the eventful 2014 Binibining Pilipinas USA coronation night here.

Congratulations to the powerhouse behind this successful affair, starting with the unyielding collaborative efforts of the Insider Production, LLC, President and CEO, the lovely Mildred Deang and the Rosario (Salinas) Association of Greater L.A. President, the fearless Bobby Sanchez, to the behind the scenes volunteers who contributed their time and talent, and executed flawlessly on the night of: Fermin Alberto and John Jocson, Hair & Make up; Elna Buendia, Chey Buhain and Sacha Garcia, Designer Assistants.  ‘Twas definitely one of the best production team I’ve ever worked with!

Off-stage, other "goings on" are:

Behind-the-scenes action...

Angel Tecson completes the looks with accessories 

John Jocson tapes and pins everything in place for a perfect fit

In between touch-up break for John Jocson (behind), 
while Fermin Alberto preps me for the stage.

Beautiful bouquet arrangement by Fermin Alberto and Chey Buhain

Last minute choreography instructions from Fermin Alberto.  Wow, he does it all!

There's always time for fun and selfies...

Michelle Hebert and Caitlin San Diego

Elna Buendia and Chey Buhain

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Michelle Hebert and John Jocson

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Red carpet moments...

L-R: Sasha Garcia, Michelle Hebert, Sheila Vertuno and Fermin Alberto

L-R: Norberto Reyes, Sheila Vertuno, Michelle Hebert, Cherry Ordonez and Mary Ann

L-R: Cherry Ordonez, Michelle Hebert and Mary Ann

L-R: Anamaria Ferrer and Chachie Abundo

L-R: Michelle Hebert, Andy Z. Edralin and Sheila Vertuno

Peia Bocalan-Nguyen

Grace Ibanez Trias

L-R: Michelle Hebert and Edwin Leviste

L-R: Michelle Hebert and Jezt Castro

Get your FASH on, keep styling and make a fashion scene. Visit and LIKE “Chasing Sheila” on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and stay attuned to chic stories and happenings.



Sunday, July 6, 2014

Brave Wings Fashion Show benefits Ryan House

The Brave Wings Fashion Show (BWFS) was born when fashion community socialites and designers, Mabel Cortez of Mabella Chic line and Jenesis Laforcarde of Woman’s Touch Apparel brand joined forces a couple of years ago. BWFS sets itself apart from other runway shows in the valley, as it not only provides the premium platform for designers to showcase their talent, more importantly it does so while giving back to the community.

For its 2nd annual fashion show held on Saturday, June 28th, 2014 at The Venue Scottsdale, hosts Oscar De Las Salas and Irma Deihl announced that BWFS chose to benefit the Ryan House organization.  Highly dependent on community partnerships and donations, Ryan House provides a comfortable environment and the very best pediatric palliative care for children with life-threatening conditions. It is a place of compassion where children can truly be themselves while lovingly cared for by experienced professional nursing staff thereby allowing parents to get a much-needed short break. 

Immediate consensus from the crowd of industry experts, buyers, media and local spectators indicated that this is one of, if not the best fashion show production of its scale in the valley.  Aside from the impressive designer line-up, what did it take to make such a successful show? Forty beautiful towering models; an international recording artist ~ Yasmeen is in MTV UK rising star to watch in 2014; a glamorous location with dramatic high ceilings and elegant crystal chandeliers ~ The Venue was a perfect setting; a team of hardworking volunteers ~ check in at front of house ran smoothly and behind-the-scenes’ organized chaos was managed orderly; an army of make up artists ~ amazing face transformations from one mood to another, nice job by Aveda pros; an accomplished lead hair stylist and image consultant ~ Lauren Bates was no less than phenomenal as she created 7 different looks to project each designer’s vision for their collection. Read more about Lauren Bates here and leave a comment to receive a FREE Lauren Bates Hair gift certificate.

Right on schedule the lights dimmed queuing the VIPs and guests to take their seat as photographers get behind their lenses. Here's my take and a few looks from each collection:

(1) Kicking it off with her new Heroine Collection is Jenesis Laforcarde designer of Woman’s Touch Apparel. Her-o-ine, as in a woman noted for courage and daring action. What an entrance! The choreographed presentation was bold and fiercely screaming woman empowerment. Loved it!

(2) Breazy Brand’s Silver Linings Collection by Breanna Rose Skoon, was a mix of fun, flirty and edgy cuts in black, white and metallic hues. Perfect for a youthful trend.

(3) Laura Tanzer wowed the audience with her beautiful, classy and cohesive signature line. From the front row, I can almost feel the luxurious fabrics and comfortable fit of her designs, true to her vision of a modern sophisticated woman.  Must buy!

(4) Mabella Chic by Mabel Cortez presented her Forever Collection to end the first half of the show.  The combination of glittery garments in gold, aqua blue and bright white exuded confidence and independence, a genuine reflection of her brand. Think goddess beauty!

(5) SJ Couture by Jeanne Hankerson selected the finest from her previous collections and showcased a parade of the “perfect wedding dress” to open the second half of the show. The combination of exquisite details and effortless elegance had me gushing over one look after another. She hit all the right notes in each bridal gown making it difficult to pick a favorite. Jeanne is definitely a designer to watch!

(6) AliS Fashion Design by Lana Gerimovich displayed a variety of bespoke evening dresses.  If you dare to be different, and RTW is not for you, her boutique is a true one-stop shop offering services to women, men and children from custom made outfits to alterations.

(7) The finale is definitely worth waiting for with Michelle Hebert’s stunning avant-garde gowns in collaboration with Clutch Jewelry by talented artist, Stacy Eden.  The audience was in awe, ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs’ roared around me, and wishing for a slow motion catwalk for more time to admire Hebert's magical creations and Eden's beautiful statement crowns. I found myself narrating to my seat mate about these 2 designers. Needless to say, I am a huge fan!

That was an AH-mazing fashion show! Congratulations to Mabel and Jenesis, and to all who supported this event. 

Giving is always fashionable!  And I'd love to see more BFWS productions to benefit local charity organizations! 
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