Why There Was No Miss Universe Title In The 2021 Bb. Pilipinas Coronation Night, In Case You Were Wondering

Why There Was No Miss Universe Title In The 2021 Bb. Pilipinas Coronation Night, In Case You Were Wondering
Image by @bbpilipinasofficial / Instagram

Just last night, July 11, four new queens were crowned at the 2021 Binibining Pilipinas coronation night held at the Smart Araneta Coliseum. These queens will be proudly representing the country in various international stages, such as the Miss Intercontinental, Miss Globe, Miss Grand International, and Miss International pageants.

Some pageant fans are still confused, however, as to why the Miss Universe title was not presented at the coronation night.


In case you missed it, the Miss Universe franchise in the Philippines was acquired by the Miss Universe Organization in 2019, saying that it will no longer be a part of the Binibining Pilipinas Charities, Incorporated (BPCI).

Their official statement, posted on December 9, 2019, says: “The Miss Universe Organization is thrilled to announce its partnership with the Miss Universe Philippines Organization – a fresh team that will lead the country towards its continued quest to share the beauty and grace of the Filipina to the rest of the world.”

Rabiya Mateo, who made it to the Top 21 list in the Miss Universe pageant in May, is the first winner in the new franchise.

Despite the end of an era, the BPCI will continue to send outstanding Filipinas to international pageants in its aim to empower women.

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2021 Binibining Pilipinas coronation night

After being postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the prestigious pageant finally crowned a new set of queens at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on July 11, 2021 out of 34 candidates from all over the Philippines.

The momentous occasion also marks the very first time that two beauty queens hosted the pageant: Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray and Miss Grand International 2016 first runner-up Nicole Cordovez.

The panel of judges included broadcast journalist Pinky Webb, renowned fashion designer Rajo Laurel, CEO of Ever Bilena Dioceldo Sy, Miss International 2016 Kylie Verzosa, Department of Tourism undersecretary Benito Bengzon, Jr., General Manager of Novotel Maria Garcia, and actors Enrique Gil and Liza Soberano.

The Q&A Portion

The question & answer segment challenged the top 13 contestants’ wit and knowledge about current events, with questions ranging from mental health, lockdown relationships, to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Given the reach and power of social media, do you believe that genuine freedom of speech exists in the Philippines nowadays? Why or why not?” Pinky Webb asked Masbate’s Hannah Arnold.

Arnold answered, “First of all, freedom of speech is a basic human right that we all must remember. It is important for a democracy. With our upcoming election, we definitely need freedom of speech. For example, on Twitter, we are limited to a few characters, and what I have seen in these Tweets is powerful. That has helped me think about who I'd like to vote for in the upcoming elections.”

When it was her turn to answer a question from the judges, Angeles City’s Francesca Taruc encouraged the public to get vaccinated. “I encourage everyone to choose to get vaccinated because this is a big step for us to move forward and to protect ourselves and our loved ones.”

Samantha Panlilio (Cavite), Cinderella Obeñita (Cagayan de Oro), Maureen Montagne (Batangas), Gabrielle Basiano (Eastern Samar), Meiji Cruz (Valenzuela), Patrizia Garcia (Manila), Karen Mendoza (Iloilo), Graciella Lehmann (Oriental Mindoro), Jashmin Dimaculangan (Albay), Patricia Babista (Quezon Province), and Honey Cartasano (Rizal) completed the top 13.

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Four new queens!

Four beautiful women will represent the Philippines in international beauty pageants next year. Below are the winners of Binibining Pilipinas 2021!

Hannah Arnold, Bb. Pilipinas International 2021

Hannah Arnold is a 24-year-old forensic science graduate who advocates for education. She represented the city of Masbate, where she was crowned the “baby queen” of San Fernando back in 2002.

Arnold tested her luck at the Binibining Pilipinas 2019 pageant, and even though she wasn’t too lucky two years ago, her hard work and perseverance paid off this year!

Samantha Panlilio, Bb. Pilipinas Grand International 2021

This 25-year-old Caviteña beauty is a senior consultant who loves reading and cooking. In fact, she once cooked food for frontliners as a way to give back.

“It was such a fulfilling and humbling experience, helping these people and helping contribute to the people who are actually at the front lines helping us Filipinos,” she said during the Q&A portion. “I hope that what I did inspired other women too to also help out one another, because the only way we can survive, heal, and recover from this pandemic is if we help one another.” 

Cinderella Obeñita, Bb. Pilipinas Intercontinental 2021

The 25-year-old is a tourism operations officer from Misamis Oriental. Her legendary Q&A actually surprised Twitter netizens!

She was asked: “How important are luxury items for a woman when the national economy is down and struggling?”

Which she answered, “In life, we always find ourselves in a crossroad of choices. Women always have a choice, whether to prioritize luxury items when we’re facing a pandemic and they also have a choice to embrace the concept of new beautiful which is responsive to needs of the time, adaptive to change of times.”

“I think I would choose to be that woman who understands the problems of the Philippines, my community so we would be able to uplift each other. I would be the kind of woman who would comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable,” she adds.

Maureen Montagne, Bb. Pilipinas Globe 2021

Montagne is a 26-year-old model and events host from Batangas, whose advocacy is to raise awareness for HIV-AIDS.

During the Q&A, she shared how they started a community kitchen in Siargao to support communities by providing hot meals.

“Our hearts were heavy, but together we rose. Together we supported our communities and provided our hot meals and assistance to anyone on the island and helped as much as we could. For me, it proved that together, community conquers all.”

First runner-up Gabrielle Basiano and second runner-up Meiji Cruz completed the top 6.

Congratulations, ladies!

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