MANILA— After many deliberations, the Binibining Pilipinas 2021 pageant is finally rolling out this month with its preliminary swimsuit competition set next weekend at the Novotel Hotel poolside at the Gateway in Cubao, Quezon City.
In a surprising twist to the pageant’s schedule of activities, Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray announced Friday night that the July 11 coronation finals will be held at its traditional venue at Araneta Coliseum, instead of the previously considered New Frontier theater.
Video courtesy Binibining Pilipinas Charities/Araneta City
“Finally, the long wait is over!" Gray said in her spiel taped recently while on vacation in Australia.
“Join us as we watch 34 lovely and inspiring Binibinis in an evening of grace, glamor, and beauty. Watch them shine in the Binibining Pilipinas 2021 grand coronation night to be hosted by yours truly and Nicole Cordovez on July 11, 9:45 p.m. at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.”
In a fitting tribute, Miss Grand International first runner-up Samantha Bernardo will open next week’s prelims event highlighting a fiesta butterfly theme, according to Binibining Pilipinas pageant designer Domz Ramos.
The prelims will be restricted to the production team and inner circle of Bb. Pilipinas Charities, which has set in place other health protocols and safeguards including the recent vaccination of candidates against COVID-19.
Details of the staging of the much anticipated national costume showcase have yet to be disclosed.
Before returning to Manila for her hosting duties at the Bb. Pilipinas coronation, Gray will fulfill a work obligation in Singapore later this month.
Gray’s co-host Nicole Cordoves earlier shared with ABS-CBN News their solidarity with the candidates who have endured long delays.
“My message to the girls would be: Ito na ang hinintay natin ng kay tagal,” she said. “We know it was harder on you this year as you worked with the pandemic, but you have a greater platform to show people that there is still so much we can do and look forward to despite our situation.”
She added that hosting the pageant gives her “surreal feels,” because she started as a Binibini contestant.
“I also hosted it first when Cat won, so to host with her this year parang full circle talaga and it is a testimony to the girls competing this year that dreams are really made on the Binibining Pilipinas stage.”
The Bb. Pilipinas coronation will air live via the A2Z channel and the official Binibining Pilipinas Youtube page.