MANILA — Veteran beauty queen and US-based host-actress Katrina Dimaranan is the top choice of pageantologists — for now — as the potential top winner of the Miss Universe Philippines 2021 pageant which will have its coronation this Thursday in Bohol.
Dimaranan, crowned Binibining Pilipinas Tourism in 2012 and first runner-up in the Miss Supranational 2018 pageant representing the USA, emerged as the number one choice in the latest round of top picks of veteran pageant watchers Tuesday night.
Cebuana beauty queen Steffi Aberasturi, who was sensational in her winning runway walk challenge at the Cebu Cordova Link Expressway, was a close second to Dimaranan in the top 5 selections made by Missosology Core Group, Sash Factor, seasoned pageant vlogger Norman Tinio, Robert Requintina of the Manila Bulletin, Eton Concepcion of the Manila Standard, and Jeff Fernando of Push.com.
On the side, Missosology and Sash Factor also released their top 20 choices.
Veteran pageantologists Adam Genato, Jay Patao of Fab Manila PH, Joy Arguil, Noli Berioso of OPMB Worldwide, Ameer Gamama, and Brix Vera also provided ABS-CBN News with individual lists of their top choices.
Ultimately it will be the judges’ call as to who should win the coveted crown.
But based on their selection and according to ranking, the pageant experts are predicting that Dimaranan and Aberasturi will be the last two ladies standing centerstage on Thursday night at the Henann Resort Convention Center in Panglao, Bohol.
Tinio, Genato, Vera, Gamama, Arguil, as well as other pageant watchers cited Dimaranan’s polish and experience as a seasoned beauty queen as her edge over the other candidates.
“All things considered, including the short time for preparations, she is the most pageant-ready for Miss Universe this December,” said Tinio.
Meantime, Fernando, Patao, Bonifacio and Berioso chose Aberasturi for her consistency in all the pageant challenges and her vibrant personality.
“Sa question-and-answer na lang sila magkakatalo,” quipped Genato.
Trailing Dimaranan and Aberasturi in third place is actress-model Maureen Wroblewitz of Pangasinan, based on the most number of consistent mentions of her name in the top 5 final picks of the pageant watchers. Following her in the top 5 survey are Victoria Vincent of Cavite, and Leren Mae Bautista of Laguna.
Other beauties mentioned in the pageantologists’ last round of top 5 Miss Universe picks are Bea Gomez of Cebu City, Kisses Delavin of Masbate, Jazmine Umali of Manila, and Janelle Cuaton of Albay.
Surveys aside, dark horse candidates may yet rally and spring big surprises on coronation night.
The list includes Mirjan Hipolito of Angeles; Chella Falconer of Misamis Oriental, who dazzled in the evening gown showcase; and Angele Okol of Siargao, who aced the question-and-answer preliminary competition with her stand on good governance as the ultimate solution to poverty and environmental problems.
From 28, candidates will be pared down to 16 semifinalists, with one placement to be determined by popular vote via an online shopping site.
The Miss Universe Philippines coronation night will be live streamed on KTX.ph Thursday, 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. with host KC Montero and guest artists Sam Concepcion and Michael Pangilinan.