Everyone won the NatCos round.
Taking culture and heritage to the next level, these Binibing Pilipinas queens deserve a standing ovation for their breathtaking national costumes. It’s one of the most-anticipated rounds in the pageant world, especially with how rich in culture all of our provinces are. This time, Filipino designers raised the bar even higher with their unconventional designs. From Graciella Lehmann’s Tikbalang-inspired ensemble to Jesse McEwen’s sandok gown, here are 14 of the most unexpected national costumes at Binibining Pilipinas 2022 and what they symbolize.
1. GRACIELLA SHEINE LEHMANN OF ORIENTAL MINDORO
All hail the national costume that was shared countless times on social media—the Tikbalang worn by Graciella Lehmann of Oriental Mindoro. The ensemble, designed by Drag Race PH host Paolo Ballesteros was made out of intertwined branches of the balete, adorned with rhinestones and pearls to mimic the mythical creature’s ethereal elegance.
2. STACEY DANIELLE GABRIEL OF CAINTA RIZAL
Stacey Gabriel of Cainta, Rizal’s national costume as a Taho Warrior was heartwarming and genius to say the least. Designer Eric John Dela Serna shared the beautiful details you might have missed such as the Ifugao weave skort and belt, the piña barong and the jusi train soaked in arnibal. Imagine all the hype when the crowd screamed “taho!” at the top of their lungs as she walked the Binibining Pilipinas stage.
3. HERLENE BUDOL OF ANGONO RIZAL
A fan-favorite in the competition, Herlene Budol did not hold back at the national costume segment. Wearing her heritage, she showed pride in the art capital of the Philippines in a Higantes festival-inspired ensemble by Patrick Isorena. Fun fact: If the giant resembles another Queen, you’re absolutely right, because the reference was none other than Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray. The skirt also doubled as a cape and Herlene revealed its hand-painted details by Herbert Ebok Pinpiño.
4. PATRICIA NAVEA TAN OF MASBATE CITY
Hold your horses, because Patricia Navea Tan brought the energy of her province to the Binibining Pilipinas stage. Her national costume designed by Kennedy Gasper and Mark Anthony Pimentel showed Masbate City’s countryside and the strength of a Filipina.
5. FATIMA KATE BISAN OF SARANGANI
Showcasing the beauty of Sarangani, Fatima Bisan paid homage to the Munato festival, a tribute to the Pinol Cave in the city where anthromorphic jars were first discovered. The whole ensemble is made out of recycled materials by designer Garvy Molinos Terrado.
6. NYCA MAE BERNARDO OF GUIGUINTO BULACAN
Being the prettiest flower from the bunch is so overrated. Be the garden instead like Nyca Bernardo’s national costume that represented the Halamanan festival in Guiguinto, Bulacan. Her Filipiniana on the other hand featured a contemporary take using the Singkaban, a known bamboo-shaving art form in her hometown, all brought to life by designer Marbin Garcia.
7. PATRICIA SAMANTHA GO OF QUEZON CITY
One of the most memorable and distinct national costumes of the night, Patricia Samantha Go is more than ready to take flight on the Binibining Pilipinas stage. Emulating the hauntingly beautiful Mariposa, designer Ehrran Montoya depicts the metamorphosis of the Filipina.
8. CYRILLE PAYUMO OF PORAC PAMPANGA
Another unexpected ensemble was Cyrille Payumo’s tribute to the Aeta Magantasi from Porac, Pampanga. The hand-painted skirt once removed, revealed an intricately hand-sewn gown by the tribe made out of beads of dried seeds like the kansasaga, binggala, and bangkal. Her wearing an afro could probably be the first time the style was worn on the Binibining Pilipinas stage.
9. JESSE ROSE MCEWEN OF FLORIDABLANCA PAMPANGA
She really said: sandok, but make it couture! One of the most regal national costumes of the night, Jesse Rose McEwen wowed the audience with her silverware-inspired gown. Look closer as it is made out of sandoks and detailed with hand-embroidered beads on the tulle by designer Kayvan Salazar.
10. GABRIELLE CAMILLE BASIANO OF BORONGAN CITY EASTERN SAMAR
We love queens who go outside the box. Gabrielle Basiano’s national costume created by Ken Batino and Jevin Salaysay mirrored the Virgin Mary. Specifically the Padul-Ong festival, an event that celebrated the transport of her image from Portugal to Borongan in Eastern Samar.
11. DIANA MACKEY OF NUEVA ECIJA
Diana Mackey brought out “The Reaper” to the Binibining Pilipinas stage in an ensemble inspired by the Rice Granary of the Philippines. The manggapas or harvesters have been a symbol of hard work and persistence for the longest time. Peep the carabao on her skirt in the ensemble thoughtfully designed by Malayka Yamas.
12. CHRISTINE JULIANE OPIAZA OF ZAMBALES
An absolute head turner, Christine Juliane Opiaza stuns in a hand-embellished gown that echoed the coves and oceans of Zambales. Crowned with a headpiece and a trail, designer James William Barrios went above and beyond.
13. JASHMIN-LYN DIMACULANGAN OF ALBAY
The mythical Ibong Adarna has finally risen. Jashmin-Lyn Dimaculangan’s national costume was a tribute to Albay’s tourism logo, which featured the fictional creature. Filled with warmth and color, the whole ensemble by Er Stephen Alvarado was a reminder to always walk with pride.
14. KAREN LAURRIE MENDOZA
She brought the whole town when she walked the runway—literally. Karen Laurrie Mendoza unveiled a bayanihan-inspired gown by Tata Blas Pinuela. Every detail was well-thought of, from the golden figures carrying the bahay kubo with their bare arms to the trail of the dress.
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