Commentary by: Lee Bengwic

I have been a consistent follower of the Miss Universe Beauty Pageant since 1993. Sixteen years had passed and I am still keeping an eye on it every year. In fact, one of my wish is to see another Filipina delegate wearing the mikimoto, at least before I die. Ooops, I forgot, the mikimotocrown has been changed. (I believe it became a send off gift from Riyo to the MUO. Whatever!)

This year has been a roller coaster endeavor for all of the delegates. But one thing is for sure…they all have fierce in their eyes and …THEY ARE ALL HAVING FUN. Vietnam is a wonderful place. Being a 3rd world country did not even stop them to showcase how superb their country is.

With 2 days to go before the prestigious pageant concludes, I have heard of many popular names that best suit the qualities of a Miss Universe titleholder. In everybody’s list , who would be surprised if Miss Venezuela, Miss Puerto Rico and Miss Indiawill be on top of it? If any of these three ladies win this year..”no issues”. wait for the next term to come. No questions asked. PAGEANT CLOSED. I’m sure there will be no…MISS CONGENIALITY scenes after.  Dayana, Ingrid and Simran after all are front stunners since the pageant began last June 17.

After a month of long wait. A new queen will be hailed this Monday. My prophecy? Well if I have to choose, I will have to go for the following delegates who had “wowed” me consistently;

MSIS UNIVERSE 2008 - Miss Colombia

MSIS UNIVERSE 2008 - Miss Colombia

Miss Universe 2008 would be Miss Colombia,

Taliana Vargas. I am speechless the very first moment I saw her. She is a delegate to beat. Beautiful, sexy and she owns the runway in all of her appearances. Her Catwalk skills for me is an “A”. Her swimsuit? Oh..See it for yourself. Her evening gown was indeed fascinating. Definitely a woman to watch from start to finish. She was interviewed by one of our local anchors andI find her very sweet and charming. My judgement for her is as per my instincts. Good luck Tali, wish Colombia will have the crown this year.




  1st runner up is Miss Mexico. She’s my bet next to Miss Colombia. I will not be surprised if she gets home the crown also. Miss Universe won’t have a tie for sure. It’s gonna be a “duelo” for both Latinas.

 2nd runner up is Miss Venezuela. Once Miss Venezuela, always Miss Venezuela. Dayana is Beautiful. She is elegant. The reason why I have not selected her to win the title is because a lot of people have placed her on the top spot, and due to that her chances are getting low. I won’t even be surprised also if she wins. She is a delegate to beat as well. Lovely catwalk. What’s new? Do they have leg surgery in Venezuela also…because…MAN..they are really towering.

 3rd runner up is Miss USA. Black is Beautiful. One great example of it is Miss USA. With her unique look and great composure, I am sure she will get an interesting spot in the finals.

  4th runner up is Miss India. She got over-hyped. She used to be no. 1 on my list. I saw her evening gown and I am referring on the purple one. It was hideous. Strong chances are…if she can nail the question and answer. A Miss Universe material. Lovely. Flawless and I guess she will look good in Hollywood, just like Aishwarya Rai.


SEMI-FINALIST. Miss Puerto Rico. No offense to all Puerto Rican visitors. I love Ingrid. I really do. She is intelligent. She is beautiful. But over-all….she looks fake, physically. I am not quite sure what are the alterations she made to look perfect. But there is really something wrong. Some angles even show how disproportionate she is. But if she wins… I will be ok with that.

  SEMI-FINALIST. Miss Australia. Jennifer Hawkins’ shadow still remains unclosed. I guess the Miss Universe Organization can’t get over with it and not unless the land from down under sends another delegate who is an exact clone of her, chances will be very low.
SEMI-FINALIST. Miss Vietnam. In fairness to her. She deserves to be in the final list. Even if they are hosting the pageant, Vietnam indeed selected a perfect host delegate. Her beauty is one of a kind. The mole dude…the mole.
 SEMI-FINALIST. Miss Thailand. Her eyes can deceive you. She is on my list because of her asian classic beauty. Though she look a little bit like a “transvestite” . Natural but noticeable.

 SEMI-FINALIST. Miss Korea. She reminds me of Kurara Chibana. Miss Japan 2006. I love her. She dances very well. She will be in the front line during the opening number. I hope in the finals also.

 SEMI-FINALIST. Miss Panama. She is Beautiful. End of argument.

 SEMI-FINALIST. Miss Kosovo. First timers always get 100% attention. Popularity + Built in Beauty = A spot in the finals.

 SEMI-FINALIST. Miss South Africa. Kinky hair and beautiful eyes. She is not a typical South African, I am sure of that. Lovely face with an attitude.

 SEMI-FINALIST. Miss Japan. Do you remember Gloria Diaz in her? Miss Universe 1969?  I do. I love her. Though it’s difficult to grab a crown twice in a row, but who knows. There can be miracle. Ines Ligron was a little bit negative about her…winning the crown.

  SEMI-FINALIST. Miss Belgium. What a fox. I have never seen a human sized doll in real life. I never knew it is found in Belgium.

I hope I’ll guess it right this time. Last year, my guess was Ly Jonaitis to win. Riyo was on my third. Ly placed 3rd in the finals while riyo won the crown.

I am supposed to see the pageant Live in Vietnam. But due to my hectic schedule, my plans went down to the bin. Maybe next time. I hope by that time we can bring home the bacon. That is going to be a sweet “win” then. 


Miss Philippines Universe 2008

Miss Philippines Universe 2008


Wish she can be the next Jennifer to bag the crown.

Our very own Miss Philippines: Jennifer Barrientos is phenomenal. She did a very good job representing our country. She’s got the class and sophistication that even the last 4 Philippine representative don’t posses.

She resembles Charlene Gonzales, Miss Philippines Universe in 1994. Face-wise she does. But what she lacks is…CONFIDENCE. She should have carried it with her suitcase before she left for Vietnam. Lack of eagerness and fierce to win is pulling her chances down. I saw her initial interview and it was a mediocre.

Seriously, I don’t think she will make it to the final cut. I tried to be positive about it but come on. Let’s be realistic. The competition is tight. Well, if she makes the final 15….then..”jokes on me”. But I wish her all the luck. She needs that badly. All Filipinos out there, keep your fingers crossed. I hope my black tongue doesn’t work this time. She also deserves to be there. For all the effort and hard work that she did. I hope the judges saw that. Actually, she is one of the dark horses this year. She is joined by Miss Brazil and Miss Trinidad and Tobago.



And who could forget my all time favorite, the reigning queen herself. Riyo Mori of Japan. Ines Ligron must have been so proud of her. She is sweet, she’s got her own runway. She exudes class and eloquence. She is beautiful inside and out. She is one of the people that I am looking forward to meet personally someday.  A year after her reign. she remained sophisticated and beautiful. Truly, a queen made to last.

Let us just enjoy the show and whoever wins. Just prepare your turkey folks. It’s going to be a hell of party and celebration.

To all Colombians, my bet’s on you.

Champagne’s up for all the winners.

 special thanks to the miss universe organization for providing us the pictures of the delegates





  1. Louise Ragni said,

    July 12, 2008 at 5:34 pm

    Lee?, about your ‘header’..

    “…im a quite person. that’s why i write a lot”

    Do you mean ‘quiet’ ?, as in ‘calm’.. as in ‘hush’ ?

  2. bengwic said,

    July 12, 2008 at 5:55 pm

    haloo louise. Photoshop doesn’t have a spelling checker. that is why 🙂 haha. Anyways, thanks for the comments. I’ll rectify it shortly.

    Hope everything is good over there.

    take care.


  3. Louise Ragni said,

    July 12, 2008 at 6:33 pm

    Everything is well on my neck of the woods, Lee, thanks!

    FYI.. I bumped into your blog by ‘blog-googling’ ” miss puerto rico universe 2008″ and ‘bengwic’ was the third hit.

    Not bad I must say..

  4. August 22, 2009 at 6:11 pm

    […] REWIND: Let us take a look back on my list last year here. […]

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