Pageant Fiasco III

Janina San Miguel – a case of “diminished responsibility”?

If Simon Cowell were a judge in the Bb. Pilipinas 2008 pageant to select the three most beautiful and brainy Pinays to represent the country in the world’s upcoming super beauty pageants this year, here is what I imagine the stiff upper lip, no holds barred, no nonsense Brit would have said about Janina San Miguel’s performance on the question and answer portion of the show :

” that was utterly horrendous”

It was not so much that Janina San Miguel goofed up so badly that she not only insulted herself but likewise the school she went to but what incensed people was the fact that she went on to tell the press later on that she must be allowed to make such mistakes being only 17 years of age. Real smart move eh? After all, she isn’t 18 which makes her below the legal age of accountability and the fact that her parents have to sign a consent form for her to join the pageant makes her diminished responsibility appeal more believable.. duh. I bet you they didn’t tell her that a pageant contestant must possess an acceptable command of the English language as a minimum qualification. Damn these organizers huh. How could they do that to poor Janina who’s just 13 years out of her feeding bottle???

In an intense and competitive contest, goof-ups do happen. Darn, if Miss Teen South Carolina can screw up so bad to toss the question up in the air , babbled senseless for an entire minute calling her countrymen U.S. Americans, how much more someone whose first language isn’t English? But here’s what set Janina San Miguel apart from the rest. Despite her shocking incompetence and brain malfunction, she actually won ! Yes, Virginia, believe it or not she did win. This has got to make it to Ripley’s Believe It or Not library folks ! Credit the Pinoy judges for being so highly imaginative that they could see beyond what your eyes couldn’t. They seemed to have that cunning ability to see thoroughbred qualities from a halfwitted jackass 👿 After all, they were not concerned about what the other contestants had to show, duh 😦 You can’t build a reputation on what you are going to do – Henry Ford couldn’t have said it smarter. But if she wins the Miss World contest, the Pinoy judges would be real geniuses and you pundits including Mr. Ford will have to eat crow hehe 🙂

In complete contradiction with what Mr. Ford said, Janina’s reputation wasn’t at stake at the Bb. Pilipinas pageant. It would be in Kiev, Ukriane where she will have to show up 7 months from now at the Miss World Contest, hopefully with a transplanted tongue 🙂 Bud’te zdorovy. Da blagoslovit Vas Gospod’ ( stay healthy and Godspeed ) Janina 😎


45 Responses

  1. OMG, that’s really embarrasing 😦 I think age is not an excuse. I’m sure the pageant committee will explain the rules to every contestant.

  2. It boggles my mind that the judges chose to award her the crown when she obviously had problems articulating her thoughts in English. How times have changed.

    Btw, welcome back, bro! I hope you and the family had a grand vacation. Cheers!

  3. I didn’t know about this embarrassing booboo (never watched these pageants anyway) till the day after, when it was all over the news and You Tube. I couldn’t decide then whether to feel sorry for the kid or diss her mercilessly in my blog after seeing the video. The fact the she even won that night made it the more bloggable, hehe. In the end though, I chose no to, the poor kid was being hammered left and right and I thought, Kawawa naman siya. But yeah, the judges may have erred in their choice of representative to the Miss World contest. Mag tagalog na lang siya, and get an interpreter. Many of the contestants from Latin America spoke in their native tongue (Spanish) and the judges didn’t mind… even awarding them the crown.

  4. I remember when I was around that age, I participated in a speech competition and we were given a topic and we had to come up with a response on the spot. I completed screwed up my response and answered much like Ms. San Miguel. So I understand how anyone can mess up when required to give a response while being judged. Besides, who cares? She’s hot! LOL

  5. people are laughing at her right now. I think she’ll do a melanie marquez and win the miss world competition.

  6. i don’t think her english booboo mattered at all. it’s a beauty pageant and not an IQ pageant. let’s give her a break :D.

    anyway, she needs to brush up her english language skills. there’s still time to train her.

    plus, there’s always the interpreter if she can’t articulate herself well in english. and using an interpreter is perfectly fine.

  7. Irrealis – age is never an excuse in this kind of business. It is pretty pathetic to make it an excuse 😦 Once you have decided to join, you either make or break it so to speak.

  8. Panaderos – it does leave a very sour taste in the audience mouths when the question and answer portion doesn’t seem to matter any longer 😦

    Thanks, I had a pretty relaxing vacation bro 🙂

  9. Snglguy – I got a bunch of emails from friends and family back home about this incident while on the road too. I had made up my post- vacation post but decided to blog about this hehe 🙂 I couldn’t care less about the goof up but the fact that she won despite her obvious shortcoming was very unfair to the other contestants in my opinion. I didn’t even react to the Phil Inquirer article that generalized the whole Pinoy society as below standard when it comes to speaking English. I thought the article was pretty extreme.

  10. Wil – did you win too ? hahaha 🙂

    She must be pretty lucky bro because despite the boo-boo which was a show stopper she still won 😦

  11. Jeff – she would redeem herself if she could be another Melanie Marquez for sure 🙂

  12. Mari – people watching pageants have certain expectations about contestants. I might be wrong but the Bb. Pilipinas pageant historically doesn’t appear give contestants the option to speak in the native language. Maybe they should start doing it.

    I still believe that the question and answer portion contributes to the overall score. The unbelievable win just convinced me that the value of question and answer portion is really minuscule if not meaningless and if so, they should get rid of it in future pageants in Pinas.

  13. i hate this. judges should be crucified as well. sus ko…tawa ng tawa. maryosep. and then she asks for despensa sa mga tao na 17 lang siya and it’s her first time? so what? hayyy…is it a contest for looks only? and the fact that she won? OMG! talagang going to the pit tayo.

    kahit mga bobo nananalo…ayan ang good example kung paano tayo nag degrade as a people. 😦

  14. Oh gosh. That was really bad. And this girl actually won? (The judges seemed amused with her I-can’t-speak-proper-English charm.)

    I think she should be named “Miss I’m Sorry.”

    Well, I don’t think people in Ukraine will notice her bad English that much. 🙂


    I can’t help noticing, BW, that you like watching beauty pagents on TV. 🙂 Nothing wrong with that, of course. Parang di lang bagay sa yo. LOL

  15. Ipanema – this issue boils down to the case of measuring up to some “standards” we would hope. Unfortunately the judges and I don’t have a clue of who they are, for some strange reason have their own set of standards that seemed to disconnect with the general public’s perception of what such standards would be 😦

  16. Jayred – since you have been to Ukraine, I guess you would know better hehe 🙂

    If you notice, this is my 3rd pageant fiasco post so I only post about pageants when there is a fiasco LOL 🙂

  17. Melanie Marquez won the Miss International 1979. Her English wasn’t that good. Maybe the judges saw Melanie in her. Who knows.

  18. apparently, she’s a masscom student. that’s why it escapes me why she had problems articulating herself in english. or maybe, she got overly nervous about the whole q&a thing.

    oh well. i’ll just resign to the fact that she charmed her way to win bb pilipinas-ms world.

  19. Ryan – maybe they saw a Melanie in her but judges should also consider performance more than potential. I hope she redeems herself 🙂

  20. Mari – ouch..that makes it even more painful 🙂

    Incidentally, my wife is also a mass comm grad from one of those Catholic colleges in Manila and I’ve been teasing her about it hehe 🙂

    Depends on what charm really means to people Mari. I guess the judges had their own version 🙂

  21. I watched this in You Tube (one where she was vs with Miss Teen USA) after my pamily kept telling me about how interesting it was.

    It certainly was.

    How crazy that she actually won. Maybe because she said sorry several times ha!ha!

    She has 7 months to get better and build up more confidence. Good luck to her.

  22. when a text message was sent to me about this, i was laughing at janina’s quotes. but watching her pala is different. gee, this is freakin’ embarrassing, and shame to the judges for giving her the crown. Goes to show Bb Pilipinas only goes for physical beauty, not mental beauty. 😀 Shame on you, Bb Pilipinas!!!!

  23. You know, BW, I’m a masochist: I keep watching this video over and over again. It never fails to give me the shivers. LOL.

    Ok, I will watch out for your next beauty pageant fiasco post. 🙂

    P.S. Well, there are actually many Ukrainians in Kiev (the capital city) who speak very good English (but Ukrainians in general don’t speak fluent English, especially in the countryside). So this girl better brush up her English before D-Day (as in Duh-Day…LOL).

  24. Nyaha! Hehe 🙂

    Kawawa naman si Ms. San Miguel… Buti na lang SPORT siya! (Joke lang)

  25. Leah – my pamily likewise emailed me and my sis even called me on my cell while I was on the road LOL 🙂

    Her effusive sorrys might have something do do why she won. Heck if we can pardon Erap how much her haha 🙂

  26. Barry – I got emails about the transcript too but it’s different when you see it on video 🙂

    Here’s an interesting news caption about the incident which suggest that we Pinoys are no more than wannabe English speakers duh 😦

  27. Jayred – geez, I realized I just become a pageant fiasco reporter hehe 🙂

    If you check the Inquirer article about the incident re my reply to Barry above, it becomes rather ironic that we insist to make English as the educational medium of instruction when we can’t seem to master it. There are many people who believe that the Pinoy’s proficiency in English has deteriorated over the years. Perhaps it is time to revamp the whole system and make Pilipino the medium of instruction.

    She would be safer in Kiev 🙂 I suppose but again the event will be televised. No sense in stressing herself with English. Why not get an interpreter instead ?

  28. Lionheart – I bet the other blogs are more vicious 🙂

    The incident has triggered a variety of reactions – anger, disappointment and pity which methinks are all valid.

    Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  29. what is more embarrassing for our country are the judges who had put her as representative for the Ms. World. cant help but entertain bad thoughts on how or why this candidate coveted the bb pilipinas world title. there must be a reason, and i cant think of a fair reason to had her win.

    if this candidate was only humble enough to speak the native language, then everybody could have at least given her credit, or even applaud her for doing so. but she was really a trying hard candidate who does not have the wits to think what her bad performance could result to. i can understand better contestants who bring interpreters than a show off like her.

  30. Bing – I kinda agree with Ryan_b’s comments that perhaps the judges saw a Melanie Marquez in her but was this attiribute , ignoring her performance be allowed to “railroad” other candidates? The judges are to blame for this fiasco methinks 😦

    I totally agree that Pinoy pageants must allow their candidates to speak in the native language. Heck if other nations do it why not Pinas ?

  31. okay lang kung barok ka mag-english. barok din kse ako. pero wag yung mukhang mayabang or feeler ka. hehe. at pag sinabihan ka nang okay lang magtagalog, magtagalog na lang 🙂

  32. Tin-tin – you’re so humble 🙂 Di baleng barok basta cute di ba? hehe 🙂

    I agree with you that one must not show too much cockiness esp in front of the public when you’re not sure of yourself 🙂

  33. How can Pinoys be proficient in their so-called second tongue when the very people who are responsible for teaching them habitually speak in “barok” English? Case in point, those public school teachers. It boggles me how this country can claim to be the third largest English-speaking nation on earth when even Singaporeans kids speak way better English than most Filipino adults. Ay sus!

  34. Snglguy – there are people who believe that the Pinoy proficiency in spoken English has deteriorated over the years and this had been attributed to the perception the decline of the overall quality of education in the country. Perhaps the reason is that our medium of instruction is not in our mother tongue and moreover, although we are great with written communication – reading English books, watching English movies and TV shows, we do not speak English that often. Also our educational system does not encourage verbal discussions and oral articulation. Our measure of intelligence is through test scores and never with oral proficiency.

    We have that common Pinoy habit of disdaining people who are articulate as mayabang. How often do we hear in the Pinoy worplace comments such as – ” magaling lang magsalita yan kaya na promote – pero walang alam yan “. Our concept of an intelligent person is is educational achievement , the school he went to, his grades – never his power to articulate and influence people. Therefore in the office we often see people with higher educational achievement being promoted even if the person is horribly monosyllabic when he speaks and has no conversational skills whatsoever.

    Therefore the saying ” your mind will teach you what you know but your mouth will take you where you want to go” may not be that easily appreciated in our culture.

  35. Bro, a lot “oldtimers” tell me that those who grew up, and was educated, during the American period, spoke and wrote better English. Which is not that far-fetched, really, because many of our best writers such as Nick Joaquin and F. Sionil Jose were products of that period.

  36. Sngl – I agree with you. The commercialization of education in view of the burgeoning population has definitely added to the decline in quality. Elitism has prevailed today – only those graduates from elite schools are considered having the better education. They have nothing to prove. Their diplomas are their passports to getting the better jobs.

  37. Trust it to bw to show us this beauty pageant goof ups. 🙂 Where do you find these clips?

    Well, anyway, after watching it, I was surprised when you said that she still won. Oh well.

  38. Niceheart – i’ve become a pageant fiasco reporter now hehe 🙂 This time I got emails from family and friends when I was on the road ( took my laptop with me) and my sis even called me on my cell phone LOL 🙂

    It would have been no big deal if she didn’t win but she surprisingly did so it created a stir 🙂

  39. that is so true…naging mababaw na tayo. 😦

  40. “She would be safer in Kiev I suppose but again the event will be televised. No sense in stressing herself with English. Why not get an interpreter instead?”

    Well, I guess it would not be that easy to find a Tagalog-Russian interpreter. Kasi kung mag-Iingles siya tapos itratranslate into Russian baka naman puro “I’m very sorry” and itranslate into Russian, LOL.

    Hmmm…I have my reservations in using Filipino as a medium of instruction, especially in math and science subjects. There are just no Tagalog words for some scientific terms.

  41. Ipanema – which begs the question – ” can we ever stick to rules and do things seriously” ??

  42. Jayred – if the pageant committee cannot fly an interpreter to Ukraine, I would volunteer as long as they pay my expenses LOL 🙂

    I believe Tagalog terms can be invented to substitute for the english scientific terms. It would be a tall order but it is doable. It is ironic to think that we look like foreigners in our own country. What would be the difference with a Thai and Pinoy student studying in a university in Pinas? Nothing ! 🙂

  43. Sorry Bro, ngayong lang ako nakapasyal sa blog site mo. Janina’s family is close to me in fact kabisado ko na ang buhay nila. She is not booboo in english, well mapang-husga talaga ang mga pinoy. Janina’s family is not that close, they are not rich and famous likes most of the candidate. Alam mo ba naglalakat lang siya mula Farmers hanggang Araneta, unlike her felow candidates na pulos naka-kotse. Her father is a Jeepney driver while her mother was treated for mental disorder (sabi nila medyo na-stress sa sobrang hirap ng buhay)But Janina manage to study in MCU sa tulong na rin ng mga Tita niya sa Abroad. Her relatives is not supported to her and to her family. (Kaya I understand her when she was asked about her family during the pageant’s night medyo malilito ka talaga or magsisinungaling ba siya about her family) Maski sino siguro mahihirapan sagutin yun, dahil hindi naman talaga siya suportado ng family niya, matiyaga lang yung bata. Just give her a break, malay natin baka bigyan niya ng karangalan ang Pilipinas just like Melanie Marquez and other beauty titlists.

  44. Ysrael – thanks for the info. I wish her all the best and hope that lady luck be with her in in Kiev 🙂

  45. Miss Teen South Carolina answered that question badly, but she’s still got her looks to fall back on…

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