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Saturday, November 28, 2009

CNN Hero Of The Year 2009






A Filipino push cart educator, Efren Penaflorida triumphed over nine other finalists to be proclaimed CNN Hero of the Year last November 22, 2009 by US leading news corporation in a venue where Hollywood luminaries converge annually for the Academy Awards - the Kodak Theater and he is being watched by Hollywood celebrities such as Kate Hudson,Pierce Brosnan, Carrie Underwood, Nicole Kidman, Neil Patrick HarrisEva Mendes, Randy Jackson, Greg Kinnear, George Lopez and Julia Louis-Dreyfus and other stars as he receive his award. This is a welcome respite, a ray of light for the country darkened by the southern Philippines' Maguindanao massacre. He won a cash prize, a total of $125,000 plus a CNN plague. According to him, 90% of the cash prize proceed will be used to build a learning center in his hometown of Cavite City and 10% will go to the church. He won the accolade and admiration of CNN and people around the world who voted for him because of his cause championing children's education because he firmly believes in Jose Rizal's ideal that "children is the hope of motherland." He teaches the children along with his volunteers using a mobile makeshift pushcart wandering around different impoverished areas in southern Luzon and nearby National Capital Region, mostly out of school youth who have gone astray and had been a juvenile delinquent. He is admired and an inspiration to all because of his powerful influence transforming the lives of the degraded morals and virtues into a worthwhile youth of the future.
In his acceptance speech he said, "My message to children of all races, please, to embrace learning and love it for it will embrace and love you back and enable you to change your world. Each person has a hidden hero within, just have to look inside you and search it in your heart and be the hero the next one in need,."

Friday, November 27, 2009

Are You Willing To Spend For Your Vacation?

I want to suggest you some online travel site for you to book your vacation!

Election Season in the Philippines and the Maguindanao Massacre





Election season in the Philippines means the reign of terror, the reign of guns, goons and gold - in a country where politics means business and a source of livelihood the milking cow of the greedy warlords. Such is true in the Philippines exemplified in the southern Philippines province of Maguindanao where a tragic manslaughter or massacre took place few days ago masterminded by an influential powerful clan who ruled over a large area of the Muslim region for several decades attempted to prevent the filing of candidacy of his rival because he is threatened to be dethroned from his position through a clean automated election next year. There are already 57 recovered bodies buried from the mass grave in a desolate place by the armed militiamen of the powerful clan. This is an ordinary political and social scene integrated in the Philippine culture since Marcos era where corruption and nepotism is in the mainstream. Widespread corruption and dirty benefits in politics is what attract several people to shell out millions of money campaigning to run for an elective position and merge in the political arena stained with personal motives and hidden agenda. Sanction and suspension of development fund from UN and developed countries is just and due and proper accounting of the donated funds and transparency with the Philippine government transactions should be mandatory requirement to make sure the money will go to the projects and NOT to the POLITICIANS pocket.

Miss International 2009 Great Wall of Favorites

1. Brazil , Rayanne Morais
2. Panama , Joyce Jacobi
3. Philippines , Melody Gersbach
4. Mexico , Anagabriela Espinoza
5. Nicaragua , Slilma Ulloa
6. Venezuela , Laksmi Rodriguez
7. Greece , Diana Igropoulou
8. Canada , Chanel Beckenlehner
9. Poland , Angelika Jakubowska
10. Australia , Kelly Maguire
11. Finland , Linda Wikstedt
12. Belarus , Yana Supranovich
13. Moldova , Catalina Stascu
14. Germany , Valora Roucek
15. India , Harshita Saxena
16. Slovak Republic , Sona Skoncova
17. Colombia , Lina Mosquera
18. Dominican Republic , Victoria Fernandez
19. Ecuador , Isabella Chiriboga
20. Turkey , Begum Yilmaz

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Miss International


Formation: 1960
Type: Beauty Pageant
Headquarters: Tokyo
Location: Japan


Miss International (officially titled The International Beauty Pageant) is the fourth largest beauty pageant in the world. It was created in Long Beach, California, USA in 1960 after the departure of the Miss Universe pageant to Miami Beach. Hosted in Long Beach until 1967, the pageant moved to Japan from 1968–1970, being hosted each year in the same city as the Expo '70. For 1971 and 1972, it was held in Long Beach again, but since that time it has been held annually in Japan.
Also called a "Festival of Beauty" and even the "Olympics of Beauty", this pageant is not based on looks alone. Contestants are expected to serve as "Ambassadors of Peace and Beauty", showing tenderness, benevolence, friendship, beauty, intelligence, ability to take action, and, most importantly, a great international sensibility.
The ultimate goal of the Miss International beauty pageant is to promote world peace, goodwill, and understanding.

Year Miss International Country Venue
2009 TBA TBA Beijing and Chengdu, China

2008 Alejandra Andreu Spain Kyoto, Japan and Macau

2007 Priscila Perales Mexico Tokyo, Japan
2006 Daniela di Giacomo Venezuela Tokyo, Japan and Beijing, China
2005 Precious Quigaman Philippines Well City, Tokyo, Japan
2004 Jeymmy Vargas Colombia Beijing, China
2003 Goizeder Azúa Venezuela Tokyo, Japan
2002 Christina Sawaya Lebanon Tokyo, Japan
2001 Małgorzata Rożniecka Poland Tokyo, Japan
2000 Vivian Urdaneta Venezuela Tokyo, Japan
1999 Paulina Gálvez Colombia Tokyo, Japan

By Number of Wins
Country/Territory Titles Winning years
Venezuela 5 1985, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2006
Philippines 4 1964, 1970, 1979, 2005
Spain 3 1977, 1990, 2008
Colombia 1960, 1999, 2004
Poland 1991, 1993, 2001
Australia 1962, 1981, 1992
USA 1974, 1978, 1982
Norway 2 1988, 1995
Germany 1965, 1989
Costa Rica 1980, 1982
Britain 1969, 1972
Mexico 1 2007
Lebanon 2002
Panama 1998
Portugal 1996
Greece 1994
Puerto Rico 1987
England 1986
Guatemala 1984
France 1976
Yugoslavia* 1975
Finland 1973
New Zealand 1971
Brazil 1968
Argentina 1967
Iceland 1963
Netherlands 1961


* -Note: Yugoslavia is now dissolved into 7 countries namely: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, and Slovenia.
Performances by Country and Continental Regions

As of 2008
REGION Titles Best performance

Europe 20 England/Britain, Poland and Spain (3), Germany and Norway (2), Finland, France, Greece, Iceland, Lebanon, Netherlands, Portugal, and Yugoslavia1 (1)

Americas 19 Venezuela (5), Colombia, and United States (3), Costa Rica (2), Argentina, Brazil, Guatemala, Mexico, Panama, Puerto Rico (1)

Asia 4 Philippines (4)

Oceania 4 Australia (3), New Zealand (1)

Africa - -

Top 15 History
Rank
Country/Territory
Miss International
1st Runner-Up
2nd Runner-Up
3rd Runner-Up
4th Runner-Up
Semifinalists
Total

1 Venezuela
5 4 1 0 0 20 30

2 Philippines
4 0 2 0 1 16 23

3 United States
3 7 1 4 3 8 26

4 Spain
3 2 3 1 0 22 31

5 Australia
3 1 1 0 1 10 16

6 Colombia
3 1 1 0 0 25 30

7 Poland
3 1 1 0 0 6 11

8 Britain
2 2 0 0 0 6 10

9 Germany
2 1 0 1 0 12 16

10 Norway
2 1 0 0 0 9 12

11 Costa Rica
2 0 0 0 0 2 4

12 Brazil
1 3 1 1 2 14 22

13 Finland
1 2 4 0 1 10 18

14 France
1 1 1 0 0 7 10

15 Iceland
1 0 2 0 1 8 12



Miss International Trivia



• Miss International remains the only one of the Grand Slam Pageants or Big Four Pageants with no winner resigned or dethroned.
• Almost all first winners of all the major beauty pageants are of Scandinavian descent: Finland won the Miss Universe 1952, Sweden captured the Miss World 1951, and Denmark gained the Miss Earth 2001. Miss International was the exception wherein Colombia won the Miss International crown in 1960.
• Five Miss Universe delegates placed as runner-up or semi-finalist in that pageant and later won the Miss International title. They were: Stella Marquez Zawadsky- semi-finalist, Colombia 1960; Julieta Urrutia Chang - semi-finalist, Guatemala 1984; Laurie Simpson Rivera - fourth runner-up, Puerto Rico 1987; Lia Victoria Borrero - finalist, Panama 1997; Priscila Perales - finalist, Mexico 2006.
• One Miss Universe and Miss World delegate unplaced and later won the Miss International title. She was: Sophie Perin, France 1975.
• One Miss World delegate placed as finalist in that pageant and later won the Miss International title. She was: Goizeder Azua Barrios - quarter-finalist, Venezuela 2002.
• One Miss World delegate unplaced and later won the Miss International title. She was: Anne Lena Hansen, Norway 1994.
• Two Miss International delegates placed as runner-ups in that pageant and later won the Miss World title. They were: Catharina Johanna Lodders - third runner-up, Holland 1962; Aneta-Beata Kreglicka - first runner-up, Poland 1989.
• Since the 1966 Miss International was cancelled, 1965 winner Ingrid Finger's reign was the longest among titleholders, totaling 624 days (more than 20 months). For a one-year reign, the longest belonged to her successor, Miss International 1967 Mirta Teresita Massa who held the title for 529 days (more than 17 months). The shortest reign was that of 1975 Ladija Vera Manic, which spanned just 242 days (less than eight months).
Venezuela has won a record of five Miss International titles. Four of those came in cycles of three years starting in 1997 (1997, 2000, 2003, and 2006). The country's first victory came in 1985. This also happened to United States, three titles came in cycles of four years starting 1974.
Colombia is the first Latin and South American country to win the Miss International title. On the other hand, Netherlands is the first European country to win the Miss International title.
• No African country has ever gone to win the Miss International title since 1960, the nearest was in 1996, when Tunisia placed 1st runner-up.
• Miss International 1961, Stam van Baer of the Netherlands became the first Caucasian winner of the pageant.
• Miss International 1964, Gemma Teresa Cruz of the Philippines is the first Asian to win the Miss International title.
• Miss International 1979, Melanie Marquez of the Philippines is the youngest Miss International in history. She was 15 when she won the title.
• Miss International 2002, Christina Sawaya of Lebanon is the first Middle Eastern to win the title .
• Miss International 2004, Jeymmy Paola Vargas Gomez of Colombia is the only black winner since the pageant began in 1960.
• Miss International 2005, Precious Lara Quigaman of the Philippines is the shortest Miss International, standing at 5'6 feet.
• The largest gap in between winning Miss International (at present) is from Colombia wherein Stella Marquez Zawadsky won the title in 1960, and 39 years later, Paulina Galvez Pineda became the second recipient afterwards.
• According to some references and survey, Miss International 1979, Miss Philippines Melanie Marquez is the most beautiful Miss International ever produced.
• The shortest gap is only two years later (by this day, no country has won twice in a row, the shortest gap was made by Poland won in 1991 and 1993).
• At present, Stella Marquez Zawadsky-Araneta is the organizer of the Binibining Pilipinas.




Source : Wikipedia

Miss Earth 2009 Post Analysis





The beauty pageant that concerns about environmental awareness, Miss Earth 2009 culminated last Sunday, November 22 with Larissa Ramos of Brazil taking home the crown as the new Miss Earth. But even after the pageant has ended, the air of cynicism and discontent kept chilling me to what has transpired over the three weeks of tireless fun and frolic of delegates yet so mediocre and substandard running of a pageant. I expect much out of the pageant considered as one of the biggest glamorous pageant in the planet but instead turns out to be the biggest flop. There are hits and misses that I found disorienting – a slap in one’s face. Here’s the detail of what I observe during the finals night.
The night started with the sexy, chic introduction of the 80 gorgeous competing ladies clad in swimsuit splashing the waves of the beautiful paradise island of Boracay. They introduce themselves wearing their national costumes with the backdrop of idyllic images of the island paradise. Then the ladies wearing a two-piece with a velvet piece of garment draped over their body running from the outside towards the stage, while the audience confused looking at them. The ladies seems excited and agitating with moves and actions of their own anticipating of who will make the cut. Then came the presenters/hosts for that night’s event. They seem relaxed, friendly but look like they are well-rehearsed and composed.
Announcement of judges left me numbed for awhile to see if they are noteworthy & would give incredible scoring and something keeps asking me if they are the same judges as the preliminaries (in my own opinion the preliminary judging is clouded in mystery & controversy because there is no formal preliminary competition of ladies in swimsuit, evening gown & interview where everybody can watch either on television or on the web and have a scoring displayed so the audience including the experts will have an overview and have their own preferences – except their personality where they will be judged on different occasions & situations so as to justify the top 16 semifinalists) and also to pick out only the strongest contenders for the crown. I was dumbstruck to find out the judges were mostly Filipinos either businessman or politician whose pageant & fashion expertise is questionable and not validated, the rest are beauty queens and a hotel owner who I can only perceive as judging based on their sashes and performance on Miss Earth. The country’s tourism is promoted before the commercial ads – places where the ladies visited which should be given emphasis and utmost importance since the pageant is all about nature and wildlife. After commercials, top 16 were revealed and again I was surprised of who made the cut. Surprising delegates who were not either a favorite or interesting and fierce competitive ladies and does not exude charm & exotic looks but who made the cut were Brazil, Thailand, Northern Ireland, South Africa, Singapore, Martinique, India & Paraguay. Brazil may have the exotic looks but a serious and prestigious pageant such as Miss Universe would ignore and snub her considering some other ladies would fare better than her. Thailand has very strong physical features that deserve no better than a big pageant but no less than a local community pageant and her catwalk skills plus uneven body figure would be too boorish to be considered. Northern Ireland is not savvy and not even a pageant patty lady in serious contention but her sunny disposition and pleasant demeanor help her shoo-in the finals. I have seen gorgeous, fierce Amazonas from South Africa competing in various pageants but not Miss Earth. They sent mediocre and lousy ladies to compete at the pageant and Chanel Grantham is no exception. She doesn’t seem like competing but just enjoy the pageant has to offer. Singapore ‘s participation in several pageant is a friendly gesture in warm support of the event and rarely made the cut due to kind of ladies being sent for competition but was surprised to watch their representative the less attractive Valerie Lim made the lousy 16 semifinalists maybe a friendly consolation to a small country faithfully participating in the pageant, or maybe just maybe they saw Miss Universe 1987 where less known but deserving delegates made the cute unlike Miss Earth where the undeserving made it - but actually for some pundits, one of the bottom lists. Martinique has a good standing and performance at the pageant and to be fair with Pascal Nelide, Martinique representative this year, she is competitive and working her way to make the cut but it seems that other fierce ladies should’ve easily outrank her in the top 16. India is considered as one of the beauty pageant powerhouses that always made a placement in major beauty pageants except Miss International, but this year Miss India’s Shriya Kishore didn’t show exuberance, brilliance, sparkling and seductive appearance and her lack of blazing aura and flare would’ve automatically cost her placement. Have the accommodating Miss Earth judges based their criteria on her sash? Paraguay seldom send competitive delegate to beauty pageant (the last one is Lourdes Arevalos, semifinalist in Miss Universe 2006) and Gabriela Rejala is no exception. She doesn’t have the glow and sparkle and her voluptuous figure and awkward presence would’ve dislodge her from serious contention.
The announcement of semifinalists doesn’t elicit excitement and prestige because the ladies are in a hurry going to their posts as they were announced with just a split second glimpse of their beauty. The top 16 went on to compete for swimsuit and evening gown and the top 8 highest combined score will move closer to the crown. At first, I saw some desperate and sorely painful to the eye gowns of a few ladies but comes the finals I saw some trendy and fabulous gown though their catwalk skills are still a so-so. Stunners for me that night were Spain, Poland and Venezuela though all throughout the pageant I felt that the latter doesn’t feel like competing and she doesn’t look fresh and amiable. Miss Philippines’ gown has a striking resemblance to ketchup gown of Stefania Fernandez perceiving that this kind of gown would be a standout. The top eight ladies went on to compete for a simple yet sensible message based on the images they saw. Introduced by Miss Earth in its early years and once again integrated in the competition, this is a unique approach and also a trendsetting alternative to a final question that will determine the eventual winner. Each of the eight finalists were shown different images from different places on the planet based on a certain environmental issue or problem and they were only given thirty (30) seconds to deliver a message based on what they saw. This is one of the most controversial part of the show watching the host intercepting the ladies in their speeches to tell them that their time is up as no bell is available to ring the end of their 30-second message. The host bet themselves to shame and insult by the jeering, uncontrolled rowdy mobs, by just perspiring and heart beating rapidly until the end the competition. It seems more like of a circus show than a formal beauty pageant competition as the audience behavior is focused for awhile in the camera. Most of the delegates gave astounding and persuasive answers except Venezuela who delivered a scripted message right before the images were revealed and again stick to her notes after watching them. For me, it would technically deny her a placement. Some ladies gave an unsubstantiated answer since they are still building up their message when their time is through. But somehow they are much knowledgeable, sensible, aware and eloquent compared to vague and dumb top five in Miss Universe 2009. After all the drama, upsets and rising controversy, the results were revealed. Runners-up were announced and most people expect that there will be a back-to-back victory for the Philippines after Sandra Seifert delivered a warm and calling message to unite and provide solution to the critical environmental problems or issues that we are facing affecting the planet Earth and the people instead she eventually ended as 1st runner-up to Brazil’s Larissa Ramos who won Miss Earth 2009. I observe that Miss Universe 2009 is way prettier and sexy than the T-Rex Miss Universe 2009 Stefania Fernandez. I also observe that when Miss Universe pick up a less than pretty lady as winner, Miss Earth also do the same. I don’t know why Miss Earth don’t have a mind of their own. After the winner is proclaimed, there is no symbolic first walk for the reigning queen that should’ve been done to give a moment and fame to the winner but unfortunately everything is done in haste that only a pictorial of top four is done and right after that the candidates goes giggling over the winner and the crowd is uncontrollably mingling with the delegates with some taking some pictures with the delegates wearing their sashes and pushing each other on stage. Mind you, no press conference thereafter. There is no crowd control, no manners around and everything is chaotic. What a mess!
The pageant started, conducted and ended hastily without much buzz and hype due to tacky conduct of the pageant. There is a lack of coordination between the organizers and its partners, officials to conduct a fabulous, well-organized pageant and run a glamorous show and flaws were exposed during the conduct of the pageant. The TV network that helped organize the event for years will have its reputation put on the line for lack of efforts and expertise in staging a magnificent show. Some pundits even recommend transferring the beauty pageant to a rival large TV network that’s known for world class and stunning production and entertainment. The quality of ladies competing, their costumes and evening gown indicates and describe the reputation and the quality of the pageant. Reform, transformation and creative, open-minded approach to the pageant would spell the difference and would regain the attention of the pundits. For now we will give the benefit of the doubt to Miss Earth Foundation and who knows what will happen. Congratulations to the winners and may you have a fruitful and powerful year of reign to influence others in defending Mother Earth!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Order Of Announcement At Miss Earth 2009

Top 16 semifinalists: Poland,Korea,Brazil,Colombia,Thailand,Spain,Northern Ireland,Philippines,South Africa,France,Singapore,Georgia,Martinique,India,Venezuela,Paraguay


Top 8 finalists: Thailand,Brazil,Poland,Martinique,Spain,Venezuela,Philippines,Colombia


Miss Fire: Spain

Miss Water: Venezuela

Miss Air: Philippines

Miss Earth 2009
: Brazil

Brazil Is Miss Earth 2009!




Boracay Island, Aklan- Twenty-year old Larissa Ramos of Brazil won the Miss Earth 2009 in a simple and austere ceremony held at Boracay Ecovillage and Convention Center Boracay Island, Aklan. She bested 79 other gorgeous ladies to win the much coveted crown designed by Florida-based jeweller Ramona Haar. She will take home a $10,000 cash prize and several other prizes by sponsors. This is the second time in the nine years running of Miss Earth that Brazil bag the crown that first won by Priscilla Meirelles back in 2004.
1st runner-up (titled Miss Air) went to Philippines, Sandra Seifert
2nd runner-up (titled Miss Water) went to Venezuela, Jessica Barboza
3rd runner-up (titled Miss Fire) went to Spain, Alejandra Echevarría Pedrajas

Unfortunately there is no 4th runner-up due to only four elements of nature were provided.


The rest of the top 8 finalist were:

Thailand - Rujinan Panseethum
Poland - Isabela Wilczek
Martinique - Pascale Laurie Nelide
Colombia - Alejandra Castillo Munera

Rounding up the top 16 were

France - Magalie Thierry
Georgia - Nonna Diakonidze
India - Shriya Manthari Kishore
Korea - Park Ye-ju
Northern Ireland - Kayleigh O’Reilly
Paraguay - Gabriela Mercedes Rejala Llanes
Singapore - Valerie Lim
South Africa - Chanel Grantham

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Miss Earth 2009 Finals Night Tonight

Who will struggle and fight fierce and survive the quest and reign supreme over mother Earth's throne? Who will inherit the crown from Miss Earth 2008, Karla Paula Henry? Find out in tonight's final of Miss Earth 2009! Miss Earth 2009 Live Telecast finals will start tonight November 22,2009 at 10pm (Philippine time) 14:00 (GMT Time)

"The eyes of the world are focused on one destination. Get ready to experience a fiesta of all things beautiful as we travel through exotic Philippines. Here the most gorgeous women on the planet are gearing up for the opportunity of a lifetime. They come from all parts of the globe to compete for one chance one title and nothing will stand in their way. At the end of the night, one of them will be crowned the next Miss Earth. Live from Boracay Ecovillage Resort and Convention Centre in Boracay Island, Aklan, its Miss Earth 2009. Let's meet the 80 contestants. Let's see who will inherit the earth!"

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Miss Earth 2009 Heiress To The Crown: The Fierce Amazonas of Earth

1. Latvia - Diana Kubasova
2. France - Magalie Audrey Thierry
3. Philippines - Sandra Ines Seifert
4. USA - Amy Diaz
5. Czech Republic - Tereza Budkova
6. Puerto Rico - Dignelis Jimenez
7. Jamaica - Jenaae Dawn Jackson
8. Cuba - Jamilette Gaxiola
9. Russia - Kseniya Podsevatkina
10. Ukraine - Karina Golovata
11. El Salvador - Mayra Graciela Najarro
12. Slovak Republic - Lea Sindlerova
13. Turks & Caicos - Alison Grace Capron
14. Venezuela - Jessica Cristina Barboza
15. Kosovo - Elza Marku
16. Guatemala - Hamy Nataly Tejada
17. Korea - Park Ye-Ju
18. Switzerland - Graziella Rogers