Two of the Big4 Pageants has already concluded and the Philippines showcased its culture and heritage through the National Costumes of its beauty queens. At Miss World, the National Costume contest no longer exists. Instead, the Dances of the World is a perfect way for a country to show off its culture. Megan Young, who eventually won the Miss World title, used a Muslim-inspired culture based on the mythical bird called sarimanok. It was a glittering gold costume that draws inspiration from the native costumes in the southern Philippines complete with the head dress where the sarimanok prominently perch. The costume is truly appropriate for her Maranaw dance of singkil.


Megan’s costume was greeted with praise by Filipinos. The costume did stand-out especially the colors and there is that cultural affinity to the host country of Indonesia. It was also for the first time that a Filipino dance was featured in the finals night Dances of the World.


Meanwhile, at the Miss Universe pageant, the highly anticipated National Costume of Ariella Arida was met with criticisms and scorn by pageant fans. The traditional Philippine terno looked off key with its pleated skirt and that towering plume. Needless to say, the costume was not even listed as one of the Top 5 costumes.


The Bb. Pilipinas for years has been exploring the vast and rich cultural trove of the Philippines from where it can draw inspiration in making the National Costumes for Philippine representatives at Miss Universe. Last year, Janine Tugonon used a Muslim princess costume complete with crown. A year before that, Shamcey used a costume that represents Santacruzan and an allegorical take on the popular folk song Parung-parong Bukid. The latter explains why the skirt is full of golden butterflies. In comparison, may critics believe that Ariella’s costume is one of the worst ever used by a Philippine contestant at Miss Universe in recent memory.


At Miss Earth, Angelee de los Reyes is reportedly to use the costume pictured above. This is another take on the mythical sarimanok. Already, pageant observers love the costume and hope that Angelee will indeed be using it. The Miss Philippines Earth organizers are pretty good in producing great National Costumes. Last year, Stephany Stefanowitz used an avant-garde Filipiniana costume and in 2011 Athena Imperial used a T’nalak inspired costume that was lauded by fashion critics.



The biggest question now is what costume will Bea Rose Santiago use at Miss International 2013. Well, it used to be that Bb. Pilipinas would recycle the Miss Universe National Costumes. For example Miss International 2005 Precious Lara Quigaman used the same National Costume that Carla Balingit used in Miss Universe 2003. Denille Lou Valmonte recycled the costume of Gionna Cabrera. But lately, Bb. Pilipinas realized the fans are not really happy about it and stopped the recycling of the costumes.