With the number of 40 Binibining Pilipinas 2019 candidates narrowed down to 15, the competition got tougher with its highly anticipated question and answer portion, wherein the candidates’ intelligence and “steel” nerves are tested.
During this portion, judges pick candidates’ names on folded papers inside a box. For each question, a candidate has 30 seconds to answer.
First to answer is Joahnna Carla Saad of Dumaguete. Picked by the actor-singer judge James Reid, she was asked: “In this day and age of gender equality, can you say that Filipino men still practice chivalry or courtesy towards women? Why or why not?”
Gazini Ganados of Talisay, Cebu came next, selected by judge Bobby Barreiro, Integrated Events Head of ABS-CBN. His question: “If you win the crown tonight, what will you do to get more women in the workplace?”
Resham Saeed of Maguindanao followed. Judge Brian Cu, Zalora co-founder and Grab Philippines country manager asked her, “Recently, migration and migrating became the most searched words on Google. What would you like to say to those disheartened Filipinos who seemed to have lost hope for our country?"
Maria Andrea Abesamis of Pasig stepped forward as actress-singer judge Nadine Lustre asked, “What advice can you give to a 16-year-old girl for her to become more socially aware and become an empowered young lady?”
Emma Mary Tiglao of Pampanga then answered the question of Italian ambassador to the Philippines and judge Giorgio Guglielmino: “Let’s talk about freedom of the press. Is a free press important in a democratic society?”
Samantha Ashley Lo of Cebu City was then asked by judge Christian Standhardinger of the 2019 PBA Philippine Cup champions San Miguel Beermen: “What is your best non-physical asset and why do you say so?”
Bea Patricia Magtanong of Bataan was then asked by judge Reinerio Borja, President of Asia at Alorica Inc.: “If you could have the opportunity to meet somebody globally influential, who would that be and why?”
Jessica Marasigan of Malabon responded to this question from 1969 Miss Universe and judge Gloria Diaz: “The Philippines has some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. But, we are also ranked as one of the top three or four with the most polluted ocean. We're full of plastics. Now, if you win Binibining Pilipinas, how could you make a difference to help clean up our oceans?”
Vickie Rushton of Negros Occidental then faced the King Of Hearts actor-singer judge Daniel Padilla, to answer this question: “Why is mental health as important as physical health?”
Marianne Marquez of Marikina was then chosen by Spanish ambassador to the Philippines and judge Jorge Moragas and asked: “Last year, Spain sent the first ever transgender woman to the Miss Universe pageant. Do you think the Philippines should welcome and allow a transgender woman to a pageant like this one?”
Hannah Arnold of Masbate then answered Quezon City Mayor-elect Joy Belmonte’s question: “What is your message for the young and new breed of politicians that won in the recent elections, for example, Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto?"
Maria Isabela Galeria of Sorsogon next took the stage to reply to judge Bobby Barreiro’s query: “There is a saying that high risk equals high reward. May I ask you, what you have risked to get a crown?”
Samantha Mae Bernardo of Palawan then responded to this short yet significant question from judge Nadine Lustre: “How do you react to rape jokes?”
In this fresh round of questioning from the judges, April May Short of Zamboanga answered this question from judge Joy Belmonte: “If you have to give a talk to hundreds of teenagers in a high-profile gathering, what topic would you want to discuss with them and why?"
The last candidate to answer was Leren Mae Bautista of Laguna with this simple yet meaningful question from judge Gloria Diaz: “How do you define success?”
Watch how the Binibining Pilipinas Top 15 candidates took on this challenging and crucial round in the 2019 Binibining Pilipinas Coronation Night in this video.