Miss Universe 2016: Notes from the VIP section (Part 1)
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When I was young I got to watch Bb. Pilipinas live at the Araneta Coliseum. I remember it being so much fun, with all the gays and fans screaming—I wanted to experience it again.
What better way to do it than to watch Miss Universe in Manila?
But I wasn’t willing to pay these ticket prices.

Miss Universe ticket prices

Gov. Chavit Singson spent more than US$12.5 million to stage it here, and I heard he lost money.
If Mr. Singson can’t make money of it, nobody in their right mind will do it again. Therefore, it’s our last chance.

But somehow the universe heard me. The day before the coronation night, I got a text from Vanessa Vergara of M.A.C—official makeup sponsor of Miss Universe 2016—that she had two VIP tickets for me!! I was over the moon!
I decided to bring Dinna, who has been covering the preliminaries for Smart Communications, but had no ticket to the main event.
With an on-air time of 8 AM, that meant we should be at Mall of Asia Arena by 7 AM.
That means leaving the house at 6 AM and getting up at 4:30 AM to get dressed.

Here’s why I believe Mr. Singson lost money. I heard they were scrambling for funds days before the event—even calling mayors’ offices for sponsorship.
Candidates were sent out to minor sponsors to hawk strange products that have nothing to do with beauty—anything to raise more funds. I also heard the candidates were dead tired from all the extracurricular activities, such as hawking Ligo sardines.

Miss Universe x Ligo

I really felt bad for them, not to mention, embarrassed. I had a flashback to my childhood in the’70s when Joe Quirino gave Family rubbing alcohol to Gina Lollobrigida. I was scarred for life, but I digress…

(To be continued)

Best in jowa: Stalking Miss Belgium’s hot boyfriend
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Miss Belgium, Stephanie Geldof, is one of my top five candidates in Miss Universe 2016.
To me she looks perfect. I’m not a beauty contest expert though; I can never pick a winner.
So that’s not necessarily good for Miss Belgium.

Maxim's instagram

But win or lose, she’s already a winner! I bet she has the cutest boyfriend among all the candidates.
I’ve been stalking the Instagram of her boyfriend Maxim Dekegel. Hoymagad!!

Maxim's instagram

Just look to the right:

Maxim's instagram
Maxim's instagram

Even in face paint, he can pass for a Kennedy…

Maxim's instagram

How sweet…

Maxim's instagram

Nasaan ang hustisya??

Maxim's instagram

Oh, and he’s currently in the Philippines. So sweet!!!
And look at his feet—perfection!!

Maxim's instagram

You’re welcome.
To know more, follow @maximdekegel and @stephaniegeldhof on Instagram.

Best in makeup: Miss Universe 2016
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As official makeup sponsor of Miss Universe 2016, M·A·C Cosmetics was present during the first five days of the Miss Universe Candidates in the Philippines.
Upon arrival in Manila, the candidates went through interviews, fittings and final registration to be officially signed as a candidate for the pageant.


M·A·C Cosmetics helped all 68 candidates get glammed up for their official photoshoots. Each candidate was also given a Miss Universe Kit complement their skin tones.
Miss Costa Rica loves her kit.

Costa Rica
Costa Rica

My neighbor Apple Faraon is a M.A.C makeup artist. When I asked her who her bets are, she said, “All of them are beautiful.
M.A.C sent me hundreds of photos of the first five days. After going through all of them, I came up with my choices for Best in Makeup.

While Miss Albania has an interesting face and shocking hair, I feel her beauty is more for runway than beauty pageant.


Miss Brazil has a beautiful face, but I think her hair looks dated (read: ’80s). She could pass for a contravida in Dynasty.


I feel like this T-shirt isn’t flattering to Miss Colombia. But I am partial to her because she looks like Kerry Washington, who I love.


The white T-shirt looks better on Miss Philppines


Miss Guatemala


Miss Belgium is one of my favorites (more on her later)


Miss India


Miss Indonesia looks like a winner


Miss Kenya looks perfect


Beautiful Miss Kosovo


Ayaw ni Donald Trump: Miss Mexico


Makeup perfection: Miss Nigeria


Miss Thailand


Miss Vietnam could pass for prim and proper Mocha Uson


Congrats to the M.A.C Philippines team for an amazing job!

makeup artists

(To be continued)

Introducing the perfect selfie phone: Vivo V5 Plus
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“Why don’t you ever smile in photos?” people often ask me.
1) I grew up in the ’70s. We only took photos on special occasions.
2) I had braces for seven years.
3) When I tried to smile for pictures, this was my peg (read: smiley = no teeth).


I kind of envy the kids now who grew up comfortable with cameras, although I draw the line at duck face.
These days, it’s all about the selfie and it’s not just millennials. And now you have the perfect selfie phone.
Last Saturday, Vivo officially unveiled its flagship phone, the Vivo V5 Plus, at the SM Mall of Asia.

Vivo 5 plus

What makes it the perfect selfie camera?

The Vivo V5 Plus has the Bokeh Effect—a background-blurring photography filter—as well as the Face Beauty and Selfie Soft Light Effect, which give you radiant selfies even in poor lighting conditions, so there’s no need for editing or post-processing.
This means you can always tag your photos with #NoFilter and actually tell the truth.

Photo 2
There were different selfie stations where guests could test the different features of the Vivo V5 Plus. NBA superstar Stephan Curry is Vivo’s brand ambassador.

Dual cameras on a smartphone is not a new concept but most of them are located at the back. Vivo V5 Plus has pointed its dual cameras to the front for the benefit of the selfie generation. On the front, you get a 20-megapixel camera that uses Sony technology that is paired with an 8-megapixel camera. You can readjust the focus of the photo even after taking the shot.
The Vivo V5 Plus improves upon the previous model by upgrading the rear camera to a 16-Megapixel camera.
So you have three cameras total—two are for selfies.

If you’re like me who’s always dropping my phone, worry no more. The 5.5-inch full HD display has a Gorilla Glass front for added protection. To protect the contents of your phone, the V5 Plus has an integrated fingerprint scanner on the home button for fast unlocking.

It’s powered by an octa-core Snapdragon 625 processor, an upgrade from the previous processor, with 4GB of RAM, and runs on Vivo’s Funtouch OS 3.0 on top of Android 6.0 Marshmallow. This means that aside from the dual front camera, you are getting a very powerful mobile phone.
The Vivo V5 Plus supports dual-SIM cards with one slot doubling up as the microSD card slot. It has 64GB of built-in storage that can be expanded.

The Philippine launch was hosted by Magic 89.9’s DJ Nikko Ramos and featured performances by boyband idols James Ryan and Tony Labrusca as well as singer KZ Tandingan. Meanwhile, a Perfect Selfie Fashion Show saw models demonstrating how to use the Vivo V5 Plus on the runway.

Photo 11
Host Nikko Ramos (R) asks Pinoy Boyband Superstar’s James Ryan Cesena and Tony Labrusca why they think the Vivo V5 Plus is the ideal phone for them.

Photo 12
Vivo Philippines Vice President Hazel Bascon at the launch

Photo 14
(From L-R) Shou Shou Chen, Vivo Philippines CEO Ted Xiong, SAVP-Sponsorship and Cyberzone Patrick Raymund Pacla, Vivo Philippines Vice President Hazel Bascon, National Sales Manager Robert John Decillo, and Brand Director Annie Lim

The Vivo V5 Plus is available at all major retailers.
To know more, follow them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @VivoPhil.

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