• Highlights of the first Binibining Cebu 2017

      The journey of 54 lovely young women vying for the first Binibining Cebu title has finally drawn to a close on the night of Oct. 28. After more than 2 months, four pre-pageant events and waves of meticulous screenings later, 22-year-old model Apriel Smith of the Municipality of Badian was crowned as the first Binibining Cebu.

      Photo by Jay Young

      Both online and offline, Smith’s sweet victory and the inaugural Binibining Cebu 2017, in general, have been one of the most talked about happenings in Cebu for days now. It’s fact that Cebu is a pageant-loving province with a growing community of pageantry enthusiasts.

      So besides Smith being declared as the winner and being the first black Filipina to slay a big pageant to boot, we have rounded up the highlights of the first Binibining Cebu coronation night for the benefit of those who haven’t witnessed the event.

      1. World-class candidates’ opening production and intermission numbers
      What could be a better way to open the coronation night than an opening dance number by the candidates? Of course, this is and always has been the staple of your usual beauty pageant but with Binibining Cebu’s version, they moved it a notch higher, you could almost liken it to an international pageant. Clad in the same plain black one-shoulder dress they wore during their media presentation, the ladies did a dance presentation to turn up the mood of the evening.

      Adding more hype to the night were the performances of the Pintaflores Dance Company who kept the audience on the edge of their seats with their aerial and cultural dance presentations that highlighted Cebuano culture.

      Cebu-based premier international hip-hop crew Don Juan also entertained the crowd with their Mr. Bean-themed dance number. Their intermission number helped ease up the tension the crowd felt while waiting for the final results of the competition.

      2. A star-studded coronation night
      Stars also came down during the momentous coronation night.
      Father-and-son duo Edu and Luis Manzano joined Miss Philippines Earth 2008 Karla Henry in hosting the pageant. The trio flawlessly made a good job in creating the program’s smooth flow, injecting occasional punchlines and make the candidates feel comfortable as they answered their questions.

      Kapamilya actor and singer James Reid also came all the way from JaDine land to serenade the lovely ladies during the swimsuit competition which had the top 12 candidates bear their poise and confidence in their hot pink two-piece swimwear courtesy of SOLTI Activewear.

      The audience also swooned over Kapamilya actor and Sacred Heart School for Boys alumnus Richard “Sir Chief” Yap when he serenaded the candidates during the long gown competition.

      Hey Joe Show, a multi-platform social media group known for their entertaining videos highlighting Filipino language and culture, also made a splash that night when they sang their hit single “My Morena Girl” to honor the women of Cebu.

      3. Apriel Smith’s glorious crowning moment
      Smith was hailed as the first Binibining Cebu on the eve of her 22nd birthday. Time seemed to stop at the Pacific Grand Ballroom of the Waterfront Cebu City Hotel and Casino when Smith and Binibining Asturias Samantha Ashley Lo stood frozen at the stage, holding hands as they waited for their verdict.

      Photo by Jay Young

      Exactly ten minutes after 12 midnight, the crowd was cheering in sheer celebration for Smith and the local government unit she represents, the Municipality of Badian. Smith was crowned by ABS CBN Corporation chief executive officer and Binibining Cebu chairperson of the board of judges Charo Santos-Concio. The exquisite Binibining Cebu crown designed by Cary Santiago looked splendidly well on Smith and seemed like it was crafted for her from the start.

      Smith won 800,000 pesos in cash and prizes and 200,000 pesos for Badian.

      On the other hand, Lo was hailed Binibining Cebu-Tourism. Completing Smith’s court are Municipality of Bantayan’s Maria Gigante who won Binibining Cebu-Charity, Minglanilla town’s Ingrid Elizabeth Gerodias who placed first runner-up, and Danao City’s Kathleen Mae Lendio who placed second runner-up.

      Indeed, with a remarkable and promising start, the inaugural Binibining Cebu had not only changed people’s perspective about beauty pageants. More than that, the pageant had also beckoned Cebuanos and Filipinos to look at Cebu as a province teeming with natural wonders and talented people with a heart for charity. And this is just the beginning of a whole lot of change that the pageant is set to make for the years to come.

      (Dominic Yasay)

      Photos from Binibining Cebu FB Page
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