Tuesday, December 11, 2018

The Meaning Behind Miss Universe Philippines, Catriona Gray's Nonconforming National Costume

Catriona Gray, Miss Universe Philippines carried the whole country on stage. Her National Costume represents the three largest islands of the Philippines: Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.

"I want to represent the Philippines in all forms," Catriona told ABS-CBN News Dyan Castillejo. She added, "When people see the Philippine sash, it's just a word on a sash, but really, we're made up of so many different places and so much different aspects to our culture."

She collaborated with various artists in the Philippines where she says, "We researched. We consulted historians."

Fans around the "universe" have mixed reactions. But will this be the start of an elaborate, more in-depth concept of National Costumes in the future?

These videos explained how Catriona came up with her nonconforming  National Costume.

Furthermore, she told Vogue Thailand that her accessories represented Mindanao, while her body suit and the Christmas lantern behind her represented the Visayas and Luzon.

The Miss Universe 2018 National Costume Show was held on the 10th of December at Nongnooch Pattaya International Convention Exhibition (NICE) in Thailand.

Will Catriona bag the fourth Miss Universe crown for her country? 

Tune in to the FOX telecast at 7:00 PM ET live/PT tape-delayed on Sunday, December 16, 2018 from the IMPACT Arena in Bangkok, Thailand. 

By: Joyce Cortez
Photographer: Patrick Prather
HO/The Miss Universe Organization
Videos: Catriona Gray's Youtube Channel, Cat-Elle

TOP 10 Miss Universe 2018 National Costume

Miss Universe National Costume Show is an international tradition where contestants display an authentic costume of their choice that best represents the culture of their home country. The show allows us to discover the different cultures around the world, the universe rather.

When it comes to National Costume criteria, there are four things to consider: originality, creativity, color coordination, and presentation.

The Miss Universe 2018 National Costume Show was held on the 10th of December at Nongnooch Pattaya International Convention Exhibition (NICE) in Thailand.

Top 10 Favorites

1. Thailand -  Sophida Kanchanarin. Miss Thailand's costume is called "Change the Icon of Siam," a symbol of Thai tradition and way of life. Chang means "elephant" in Thai, and she incorporated the majestic animal into her white and gold costume, which was also reminiscent of a royal Thai.

2. India - Nehal Chudasama. Miss India's costume symbolizes women empowerment. Her dramatization adds a special effect on her presentation. Her costume weighs 105 lbs.

3. Jamaica - Emily Sara-Claire Maddison. We love this unconventional costume from Miss Jamaica. She incorporated traditions and Jamaica's achievement in the Summer Olympics highlighting Usain Bolt's iconic winning pose.

4. Russia - Yulia Polyachikhina. Miss Russia's costume represents a woman of nobility. Simple and peaceful.

5. El Salvador - Marisela De Montecristo. The Flower & Palm Festival of Penchimalko inspired the costume. On the first Sunday of May every year, the small town of Panchimalco, lying close to San Salvador, celebrates its two patron saints with a spectacular festivity, known as “Fiesta de las Flores y Palmas.” Although the origin of this event came from pre-Columbian Maya culture and used to commemorate the start of the rainy season, nowadays the festival honors Catholic saints, the Virgen del Rosario and the Virgen de la Concepcion.

6. Mexico - Andrea Toscano. The Jaguar queen, representing the Jaguar of Mayan culture. The jaguar, to the Mayans, was a powerful symbol of ferocity, strength, and bravery. Since the big cats can see well at night, it symbolizes perception and foresight. As a god of the Mayan underworld, the jaguar ruled the celestial forces of night and day.

7. Sweden - Emma Strandberg. Miss Sweden's costume marks the 150th year of bilateral friendship and trade agreement of Sweden and Thailand, in the year 1868. This agreement was the starting point for diplomatic relations between the two countries. The original document is kept at Riksarkivet in Stockholm.

8. Zambia - Melba Shakabozha. Miss Zambia's costume represents the annual N’cwala Traditional Ceremony in the Eastern province of Zambia. The ceremony marks the beginning of the harvest and as thanksgiving to their God and ancestors. During the thanksgiving ceremony,  groups of dancers clad in traditional attire, armed with spears and dressed in animal skins to display their skills.

9. Laos - On-anong Homsombath. Miss Laos' costume is called the stream of generosity. Despite global modernization and technology, daily life in Lao and a great deal of Lao culture are still profoundly influenced by Buddhist thinking, attitudes, and behavior.

10. Brazil - Mayra Dias. Miss Brazil's costume honored the Amazon rainforest in her country by transforming into a blue and yellow Macaw tropical bird to represent the need for environmental protection. Her elaborate costume featured thousands of feathers and took three months to make.

Photographer: Patrick Prather
HO/The Miss Universe Organization

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Journey To The Crown: Miss Universe 2018 TOP 10 Contenders

Who will take home the crown? Find out December 16 at 7pm ET only on FOX. 
Pre-Pageant Predictions - October 8, 2018

Week 1 - Updated December 2nd
Our TOP contenders have changed. Will it be the same in Week 2? 

Some contestants from our pre-pageant favorites didn't make on our TOP 10 list because they either lost their charm or doesn't have strong advocacy.

Week 2 - Updated December 9th
Our TOP contenders have changed, some girls outshined our previous favorites. 

We based our TOP 10 Contenders on performance and social media values: their activities before the pageant, did the contestant exert an effort in promoting her advocacy? Did she do her media promotions? Or only posted cute and sexy photos on social media? 

Miss Universe is looking for a woman who would represent their brand. Having a pretty face and perfect body is just a part of it but having a leadership ability, versatility and the ability to inspire others from her dedication in achieving her goals while living each moment - is a tad more valuable.

Who are your favorites? 

Watch out for our TOP 20 after the Prelims! 


Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Making Her Grand Debut is Paola Cossyleon, Miss Grand United States 2018

Today, Paola Cossyleon, Miss Grand United States 2018, embarked her journey for Miss Grand International 2018 in Myanmar. The competition starts on the 5th of October and the grand finals on October 25th, enough time for the girls to form the pageant sisterhood bond. Before Paola's departure, we caught up with her about Miss Grand, personal thoughts, and what she anticipates into the competition.

Miss Grand International 2018 in Myanmar

As Paola prepares for the international competition, she told us that she looks forward to so much and is excited about the unique opportunity of bonding with extraordinary strong ladies from all over the world. She further shared, “I can't wait to find out who my roommate is going to be! And of course, I have to mention that I am already dreaming of the fascinating places the Miss Grand International Organization is taking us to."

"Myanmar is a beautiful and exciting country with incredible scenery. I'm looking forward to all the events and activities like the days that will be visiting temples and sightseeing around town," she added.

Her thoughts on "What Makes a Woman Unique?"

Paola believes that women have the uncanny ability to devote themselves entirely to something or someone they love. She affirms, "Though we are great at multi-tasking as well. When we have a goal, we devote ourselves entirely and don't stop until we achieve or surpass it. We don't give up easily."

She is devoted to the crown

If she were to win the Miss Grand International 2018 title? Paola beamingly said, "Wow! Well, I've always felt my civic duty very strongly. As Miss Grand International, I would utilize the platform given to me to the fullest. My year would be full of events bringing awareness to the world of the "Stop the War and Violence Campaign" and mentoring the youth and how to be peaceful, humble, and compassionate human beings."

Best wishes and good luck in Myanmar, Paola!

By: Natalie Mc Govern

PageantLIVE and Ask The Crown Exclusives. PageantLIVE is known for exclusive interviews, and we pride to have and maintains on publishing our original contents. 

Monday, October 1, 2018

A Mother, Military Wife and HandyWoman: Kristi Wischnack Wears Many Hats, but her Mrs Earth Crown is the Shiniest of Them All

With a dream job dressing brides and running a boutique with two little ones at home, Kristi Wishnack, crowned Mrs Earth 2018 on June 10th in Las Vegas, has her hands full on a daily basis. 

A day in the life

Kristi’s daily life is rather hectic and crazy. With two small children, still, at home, her routine is always changing as she owns a small boutique inside Pinkie Couture Salon. She is also a stylist at Natalie M. helping brides find the "perfect dress, dressing prom girls and pageant ladies along with flower girls, and all other social occasions. She loves watching women light up when they find a gown that makes them feel gorgeous and special, she says, "It is always a highlight and makes you feel good on the inside."

She can’t exactly pinpoint when she laid her claim to fame. Her entire adult life has been dedicated to her children and raising them to the best of her ability, but being a mother is her greatest achievement and one she feels blessed and honored to have been given. 

A tomboy at heart, she’s not afraid to get her hands a little dirty

Kristi may be girly on the outside, but she loves being outdoors and using her hands. She grew up getting dirty and removing car parts at her family business, a salvage yard, and always enjoyed tinkering with cars, getting her hands dirty and building things. Her husband can speak to the fact that she is the master builder or repair woman of the house. 

Pageant involvement and why she choose Mrs Earth system

Kristi’s two daughters competed as young girls and teens, and she was always on the sidelines, backstage helping them prepare and being a typical pageant mom. She decided one day she should put herself out there and see what they were experiencing first hand. She competed in her very first pageant in 2015 and met some of her very best friends and women who truly changed her life for the better. 

Kristi shared, "Mrs Earth pageant actually chose me. I was honored to represent the state of Kansas at the national pageant and won the National title of US Earth. This system is a feeder system into the Mrs Earth pageant. I knew from the beginning that going to a national pageant where being Eco-friendly and raising awareness was something I wanted to do. Now I get to use my voice and share a louder message across the world."

Ms/Mrs Earth experience

"Mrs Earth for me was a week full of memories and blessings. I was honored to meet women from all walks of life, all social, economic backgrounds, from all career fields. Standing on that stage with some of the world's most gorgeous women was a moment I will never forget. Learning about other cultures, or differences, or similarities was truly magical. I was blessed to make friends with many of the women and know we will stay in contact long after our crowns are stored away. It was a time I will treasure forever."

Favorite pageant memory

"For me, the one thing I will always remember is dancing in the back row with Mrs UK, Stacy Dixon.  We were dedicated to making memories during the week, and we did just that! She was a sweetheart and we really connected. The after party at Hyde Bellagio was also a huge hit; it was time we got to let our hair down and enjoy the night. Of Course for me personally, the best memory will always be the crowning moment. If you watch the video, you can see me looking over to my amazing husband in disbelief. I am so honored and grateful to be Mrs Earth 2018."

As Mrs Earth and her post-reign plan

Kristi has traveled throughout July and paired up with an organization called Clean the World. Her biggest goals are to share in different projects with her sister queens by helping spread awareness and share this platform with as many people as she can and use her crown to make her voice heard.

Her platform, advocacy in life, and her wishes for the world

"My heart and soul platform is Military Veterans Project. Being the wife and mom of veteran service members, I made it a life choice years ago to give back to our men and women who serve or have served. I am proud to be an American and honored to stand up and fight to find a cure for PTSD, and make sure every veteran is welcomed home, honored and praised for all they have done. It is not an easy job and being married to a soldier is not an easy task either. It doesn't take a lot to give back, but the reward is well worth any sacrifice I may have to make."

Kristi is also very passionate about women's (hearth) health awareness. Three years ago, she suffered a stroke that thankfully did not have any lasting side effects. Through the process, she discovered out that she was born with a heart birth defect. Today she shares research and support organizations like CHD that have mandated for newborns to be screened at birth for these same heart defects.

"Knowing we can save lives with simple testing is important to share. I personally had no idea I had this birth defect until I had a stroke at the age of 41. My life could have ended, but by the grace of GOD and with great doctors I am here today," she gratefully said.

As for her wishes for the world? Kristi's selfless passion feels that the world needs so much, one of them would be a cure for all types of cancer. Sadly, she had watched so many families who had cancer, including her own family.

Her passion is family

Outside of pageantry, Kristi strives to be a good role model, wife and mom. Nothing is more important to her than family. She is blessed with not only an amazing immediate family but also the best-extended family "ever" and loves the holidays when everyone is all together. Her kids are her life, and she wants them to be proud of who she is, what she has done and the legacy she will leave behind one day. 

If there's something, she can't live behind? She says, "My family." She added, "My family has molded me into the person I am today. My husband has seen me at my best and my worst. He has lifted me up and helped me become the woman I am today. I don't believe possessions on earth are things I can't live without, but being loved and giving love to those who love us, that's what matters most."

Pageant advice and why you should choose Mrs Earth system

"Go for it!! You will have an amazing experience if you keep your mind open, winning is just the icing on the cake. The Mrs Earth International Director has a great heart and encourages the sisterhood of pageantry which is really what it is all about. Creating memories that make you want to do better, be better and give more."

Defining beauty

"Beauty comes from within. I do not care who you are, being honest, reliable, dependable and keeping your word makes you a person of character, and to me, your character is what makes a person beautiful."

Defining women empowerment

"I define women of empowerment as women to have faced adversity and was able to rise above it. A woman who sees past the here and now and can focus on short and long-term goals. Knowing when to stand up and say enough is enough, having a passion that fuels fire to make a difference. Empowerment is more than just a word; it is a mindset. We all have it; some need to believe it and believe in themselves."

Social Media

Facebook: Kristi Wischnack, Mrs. US Earth, Mrs Earth 2018 
Instagram:  @mrsearth2018
Twitter: @Wischfitness 
Snapchat:  Divakristi

By: Natalie Mc Govern

PageantLIVE and Ask The Crown Exclusives. PageantLIVE is known for exclusive interviews, and we pride to have and maintains on publishing our original contents. 

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Beauty For A Cause: Miss Earth 2017, Karen Ibasco

On November 3rd, Karen Ibasco, Miss Earth 2017, will crown her successor. Despite her success - she is humble, kind, light-hearted... and she still loves watching cartoons. Yes, fascinating! She's one of us, isn’t she? When it comes to fame, she says, "I am not the type who runs after fame. I know if you act on what you are called for, people will start noticing your heart and sincerity for what you do." 

Karen loves travelling and seeing the beauty of nature around her; experiencing a variety of cultures, food, and lifestyle. She believes that a woman who loves to travel is one of the qualities of every Miss Earth winner. Outside the glamorous life of pageantry, she is a health enthusiast. "I'm the kind of person that doesn't need to be dragged into the gym just to workout. Exercising is a part of my lifestyle." She further added, "I am also an art enthusiast. Few people know that I was supposed to take up fine arts in college, but even though I didn’t pursue that career, I still have that passion in me and pursue different short courses in art and design.” 

As Miss Earth 2017

Karen got involved in pageants because she envisioned pageantry as a platform and an avenue of disseminating a worthy message to capture the attention of the people around her. When it comes to her mission as Miss Earth 2017, "In connection to how I got involved in the world of pageantry, it's using my profession to be a credible advocate of sharing an environmental message to all people as I maximize my platform of being Miss Earth."

On Environmental Issues: Technology and Developments vs. Environmental Protection and Awareness

PageantLIVE (PL): Social media especially Instagram is very influential to millennials and Gen Z, how do you incorporate the Miss Earth advocacy through them, so they would have a better understanding as to why we need to "Act Now" when it comes to having a sustainable future?

Karen Ibasco (KI): Social media is one of the most essential tools of this generation and a lot of people including me are more inclined to using Instagram since I can post a caption with an inspiring photo of how a small environmental act goes a long way. I believe it's being creative on how you will make it interesting for the millennials, how spreading more awareness is important in doable ways, and how they can act on it by posting photos and videos. I personally do it, and on Miss Earth activities I am involved in and also sharing environmental groups and movements they can join in. 

PL: There is an alarming increase of developers who are eyeing on building infrastructures, such as housing and industrial developments in wildlife areas, just because it sounds like an "exotic place," how are we able to press the issue that the ecological effect of these virgin forests is crucial to wildlife survival? It's negative impact on mankind's health survival?

KI: It's very essential that people understand the balance between economic growth and environmental sustainability. I understand that the developers want to grow their businesses, but it should not compromise the ecological balance. There are things meant to go about the way it was originally created. It's not a wrong vision of wanting people to experience nature but risking the preservation of that place is non-negotiable. 

Honestly speaking, people are undisciplined that cause all the damages. These wildlife areas are where biodiversity can be found which is essential to the ecological balance. They are also crucial for the wildlife and for humanity’s quality of life and survival. Trees have vital roles in the ecosystem. They act as a carbon sink, source of food, habitat of animals, etc. What will the future be if trees can no longer be found and are replaced by infrastructure everywhere? Climate change will surely worsen in ways unimaginable that are a threat not just to properties, agriculture but to our own lives as well.

Defining Beauty and Women Empowerment

"For me, beauty is not just about the beautiful facade that people see or the unfading beauty of the inside, it's about the balance of both and having a sincere heart for what you do that radiates and resulting to empowering and inspiring not just yourself but also the people around you."

"Women empowerment is seeing a woman with a distinct role in the community that can't be lived without."

To end the interview, we asked Karen for something she can’t live without? She genuinely answered, "I can't live without having my devotion or quiet time with the Lord every morning. It is what equips me every day as I take time to read God's Word."

Karen Ibasco is a perfect definition of beauty, earth goddess and an eco-warrior with a pure heart. She is Miss Earth 2017.

PageantLIVE and Ask The Crown Exclusives. PageantLIVE is known for exclusive interviews, and we pride to have and maintains on publishing our original contents. 

**Disclaimer: Cover photo from www.girlontv.com. Karen planting mangrove from Twitter. Karen in the green evening dress from Facebook.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Ms Earth 2018 Corrine Devin: From the Navy to the Crown

Corinne Devin is a naval officer, pageant veteran, and an orthodontist. A fun fact, she was also a coxswain on a male crew team in college. It’s been a roller coaster ride of eleven years but Corinne has enjoyed every minute of it. When she was in dental school, she noticed how her faculty who had a military background wasn’t afraid of pushing the envelope or trying new things for her patients so when she was offered a military scholarship in the Navy she signed up. During her fellowship, she was told she had the personality of an orthodontist but didn’t know what that meant until her deployment where she was wiring jaws shut of marines. She found in orthodontics where she could change her patient’s outlook, improve their confidence and develop a fantastic doctor-patient relationship. 

Her Start In Pageantry

Corinne got involved in pageants when she was 24 years old and was in dental school. A classmate of hers informed her about the Miss USA competition where the 2nd runner-up that year was a dental school student and told her that she should do it.  Before she even had a chance to answer, another one of her classmates stated, “Corinne could never do that and told me I dare you to do that.”  That’s all she needed to hear to take the plunge and do her first competition. That moment compelled her to compete and try for something others thought would be unattainable. 

The reason she chose the Ms/Mrs. Earth system is for several reasons. She wanted to be part of an international system where she felt that many aspects could be incorporated into her daily life. Corinne lives overseas and constantly travels. By being overseas she has the unique opportunity to be an ambassador and role model from taking care of the environment to education - to the health of her community. These goals fell in line with the Mrs Earth Organization as it not only advocates taking care of the planet but also kindles the sisterhood and camaraderie that exists. Corinne was drawn to it by the women who were coming to compete. Her predecessor, Ms Earth 2017 Kristin Chucci, is a good friend of hers who she has known for ten years, and she really set the standard of how she wanted to carry out her year as Ms Earth 2018.

Missions and Mantra

Corinne believes that education is very important in today’s society:

“If we don’t educate our youth, none of the changes we make today will carry on for tomorrow. We live in a world where there are five continents and over a hundred countries, but the one constant is that we all share this planet together. It’s the commonality we have despite the many cultures and societies we function in. Learning to put that first is a challenge I want to take on living in another country and in my travels abroad.”

Corinne’s favorite experience was reuniting with old friends and meeting new friends. In the last year, her job relocated her to Sicily and as she has navigated her new home and life in Europe the one thing she has missed is pageantry. She’s been able to visit three women in her division that live in different countries. The sisterhood she has gained through pageants has been a valuable experience. The international friends she has made along the way have been supportive and she could not be more thrilled to have the time to share that bonding experience with them. 

Ambitions and Goals 

Corinne has a few goals she has set for herself during her reign. She would love to travel to ten countries on her list to promote the earth system, as well as go to national pageants that support this international system. Corinne loves to travel and aspires to throughout her year with an eco-focused mindset. She would like to act on behalf of organizations as a spokesperson as she currently works in public affairs in the Navy, Italy, and the United States. She would like to use her title as a way to impact, speak and educate as many people as possible. Her third goal is to serve as an ambassador for Mother Nature and bring light to this cause with the strong and powerful tool of social media to incite enduring change. 

When it comes to beauty she also enjoys eating clean and the feeling of a great workout or a night catching up with friends. Corinne could be dolled up or wear no makeup and lounge in workout clothes but it’s what she radiates after taking care of herself that matters. She finds the strength in struggles and opportunities when there are obstacles. She has learned to be innovative with every challenge that she has faced, handling it with stamina, grace, and dignity that not only pushes her to be better but also raises the bar for the women who surround her.

Words of Wisdom

“Plan ahead and Network. My journey started two years ago by looking at where in my life can I improve, and change for the better. Learning how to cook, work out smarter, and apply stage makeup all required planning and creating a team of individuals that could help bring out the best in me.”

Must-Have Necessity

One thing she couldn’t go without? Chapstick. With super dry lips, she has one stashed in every handbag in her car, office, and coat in the office.

By: Natalie McGovern

PageantLIVE and Ask The Crown Exclusives. PageantLIVE is known for exclusive interviews and we pride to have and maintains on publishing our original contents.

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