MANILA – Out of 95 hopefuls, the Binibining Pilipinas 2017 pageant initially selected 55 bets late Monday evening in a tight race among pageant repeaters, fresh faces, and cross-over beauties from other national competitions.
Leading the pack of the new Binibining Pilipinas batch are pageant repeaters Mariel de Leon, daughter of Christopher de Leon and Sandy Andolong, and Binibining Pilipinas 2016 2nd runner-up Jehza Huelar.
Also included are pageant title holders Miss Earth 2012 Stephanie Stefanowitz, Miss Philippines Air 2015 Chanel Olive Thomas, Miss World Philippines 4th Princess Rachel Peters and Miss Global Philippines 2014 runner-up Siren Sutton.
The other ladies who will join them are:
Angelique de Leon
Angelika de la Cruz
Michelle Guia Nan
Kristi Rose Cequena
Mae Lani Chan
Among those who served as judges in selecting the initial 55 beauties were reigning Miss International Kylie Verzosa and outgoing Binibining Pilipinas queens Maxine Medina and Nicole Cordoves.
The selection committee, also composed of ABS-CBN and Binibining Pilipinas Charities officials, are expected to prune down the bets further to 40 official candidates on Tuesday after a rigorous question and answer challenge.