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.  

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