04 Dec It’s the Gown Issue All Over Again



JUAN SAYS: Just when you thought that Stella Araneta and the Bb. Pilipinas Charities have learned their lesson in last year’s Miss Universe competition. Just when you thought she was open to letting our local designers make the costumes and gowns of our Beauty Queens. Bakit ba ang tigas-tigas ng ulo ng babaeng ito at pinipilit talagang magmukhang clown, cake, ice cream, eskayola at kung ano ano pa ang ating mga kandidata? Bakit ba lagi na lang silang pinagmumukhang JOKE?


Here is an open letter of Atty. Bruce Rivera to the Bb. Pilipinas Charities.


To the Bb. Pilipinas Charities, Inc.

I have been very quiet about this for a long time but I think this dirty laundry should be out in public.

You are sending HUMAN BEINGS to international pageants and not tasteless robots. Before they won one of your crowns, they had careers, families and relationships they had to sacrifice to train to be beautiful enough to win.

When they are lucky enough to win, the work gets harder and the insecurities pile up because they have to wear our country’s sash. I am fortunate enough to motivate some of them before they compete. I do not say train because they are already trained and ready. All that is needed is that mental prep to put them in fighting form to compete. The last thing on their minds should be worrying about the things they will be wearing on pageants. Your organization insists that they wear gowns and outfits you provide. The contract you made them sign after they win provides for it. A contract they signed where you do not provide them with copies so they do not know that every time they wear an outfit not approved by the BPCI, they are fined from 5k-20k. Sometimes, you even verbally threaten designers with legal cases if they allow their gowns to be used.

Thing is, the outfits you send them in the competition is sadly inferior and most of them are refurbished gowns used in the past. While the other candidates purchase brand new gowns from our own designers to wear during the competition, you insist on the Barazza gown or worse, gowns your organization magically find inside that chest of Cumbia. With no hint of disrespect but have you seen the clothes you send them? They are as old as the Spanish inquisition. Some designers cannot even call it vintage because its antique and should belong to some museum.

Our ladies are competing under the Philippine flag, not only the BPCI. If they wear garbage, it reflects on us. We are winning because our ladies are beautiful but they should have better placements if they are allowed the option to wear what they want. After all, they are not ROBOTS WITHOUT TASTE OR PREFERENCES

You should understand that when you wear a gown you do not like, you do not feel beautiful. And it reflects on your performance. I know that for a fact. I always wore red gowns because I performed better in red. Its as simple as that. And please do not tell me they are made to choose because the options you give them are limited only to the Cumbia collections you give them. Its not a choice when there are thousands of creations the country can offer aside from the metallic colors Barazza make them wear in the Miss Universe pageant.

When our queens compete internationally, they are competing for us. They are competing in perhaps the last pageant of their life and they want to give their best. And you have no idea how many things they have to give up just to get there. The relationships they sacrificed just to live up to the obligations as our queens. The procedures they have to undergo just to be near perfect. And worst, the dread of a loss and what happens after their reign ends. The least you can do is allow them the options to wear what they want to wear to give the best they will always give. Penalizing them will only fortify our thought that your organization is in it for the money and it is supposed to be a charitable institution. And verbally warning them before the day they will compete only proves that you lack the heart for our queens.

Yes, there is a contract. Yes, they are under obligation. Yes, they can be fined or dethroned. But I have the best defense. NATIONAL INTEREST.

If using the gown provided by your organization will not serve the national interest of her representing the Philippines, they are justified in doing so. And as a lawyer, I want to try my luck in our courts. Because I am dying to make it not just a contractual matter…





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