Top picks: Miss Universe Philippines 2023 Preliminaries

MANILA, Philippines — Who made the first cut?

In a matter of days, Miss Universe Philippines 2023 Top 16 finalists will be announced, which includes winners of the various challenges.

There is no turning back now. After months of preparations (years even for others), the 38 remaining delegates of the 2023 Miss Universe Philippines search fought it tooth-and-nail at the recently concluded Preliminaries in Okada Manila.

In the swimwear category, fitness and pasarela skills made the difference as each of the delegates owned their respective physiques in identical floral bikinis, sarong wraps, and Jojo Bragais footwear. Glitz and glam exploded at the evening gown category. Grace, elegance, and sophistication melded seamlessly with Jewelmer's golden South Sea pearls. It was a cape and train affair with gem-encrusted body revealing and leg baring design creations.

This author's top 10 performers in both swimwear and gown, in random order, were:

  • Klyza Ferrando Castro (Davao Oriental)
  • Krishna Gravidez (Baguio)
  • Jannarie Zarzoso (Agusan del Norte)
  • Pauline Amelinckx (Bohol)
  • Emmanuelle Vera (Cebu Province)
  • Samantha Alexandra Panlilio (Cavite)
  • Kimberly Escartin (Southern Leyte)
  • Airissh Ramos (Eastern Samar)
  • Michelle Marquez Dee (Makati), and
  • Angelique Manto (Pampanga)

The other ladies who may have a shot at the crown include:

  • Rein Hilary Carrascal (Sorsogon)
  • Christine Juliane Opiaza (Zambales)
  • Lesley Sim (Quezon Province)
  • Kimberly Acob (Isabela)
  • Kali Navea Huff (Pasig)
  • Karen Joyce Olfato (Batangas)
  • Princess Anne Marcos (Bulacan)
  • Shayne Glenmae Maquiran (Capiz)

Some of the earlier favorites weren't up for the challenge. First-time jitters and stage fright simply took the better of them. You see, that's the misconception most onlookers have on pageant entrants – that it's the easiest thing in the world! So they try it and, sadly, succumb to the pressure.

This year's preliminary competition judges were Paolo Santos, Andres Felipe Cabrera, Toni Sharmaine Go, Annette Gozon, Dr. Valencia Ruperto, Dyan Castillejo, Cong. Sam Versoza, and Lloyd Lee.

The 2023 Miss Universe Philippines Preliminaries was beamed live to a global audience through the Empire PH channel on YouTube.

RELATED: How to watch Miss Universe Philippines 2023 finals, coronation night

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