READ: Binibining Pilipinas 2017 Q&A for Top 15 finalists

enablePagination: false
maxItemsPerPage: 10
totalITemsFound:
maxPaginationLinks: 10
maxPossiblePages:
startIndex:
endIndex:

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 1) — The top 15 finalists of the Binibining Pilipinas 2017 went through the most-nerve-racking portion of the pageant for the coveted Miss Universe-Philippines title.

During the pageant's coronation night on Sunday, the candidates were asked questions ranging from typical beauty pageant questions to pressing current event issues, such as death penalty and same-sex marriage.

Despite the nerves, candidates exuded confidence as they answered, while others fumbled—but never losing the poise of a beauty queen.

Early fan favorite Sirene Sutton was asked if it is right for parents to demand support from their children. The early frontrunner failed to articulate her answer before the 30 seconds given to her.

Below are the questions asked by the judges and the answers of the finalists as they were delivered.

Question for Christagale Borja: What kind of day would describe the best day in your life?

Christagale Borja: "It will definitely be this day. This is the moment I've been waiting for. I've been challenged mentally, physically, and emotionally. I moved from Great Britain back to the Philippines, left my stable job, my career, and this is what I'm fighting for and this is the best day of my life."

Question for Sirene Sutton: Is it right for parents to demand support from children in exchange for raising them?

Sirene Sutton: "Will you please repeat the question? Yes, it's right for parents to demand. No."

Question for Katarina Rodriguez: What is your definition of a winner?

Katarina Rodriguez: "My definition of a winner is somebody who understands that winning isn't just because of the real way, it's because of the responsibility that comes along when you win and how you execute the job after you win. I think a winner is somebody who knows how to inspire others, who is kind, and brave, and so ever curious."

Question for Mariel De Leon: What activity perceived to be male-oriented can you do as well, if not better, than males?

Maria Angelica "Mariel" De Leon: "Well I think I can box better than males. I believe I can do anything better than males because it isn't about gender at all. It's about your abilities, your strength, your weaknesses, and your confidence within yourself. With that, you can achieve anything."

Question for Elizabeth Clenci: If you are caught in a heavy, terribly frustrating traffic, what are the best ways to make your time productive?

Elizabeth Clenci: "If I'm caught in traffic, what I usually do is read or I sleep, 'coz time is of essence so I feel like when you're stuck in traffic, you really need to make use of your time. So, I read or I sleep or I talk on the phone with a loved one."

Question for Larah Grace Lacap: The making of a beauty queen is about transformations. What are the most significant transformations you have gone through in your pursuit to become a beauty queen?

Larah Grace Lacap: "The most significant change I've had before joining Binibining Pilipinas is I'm more motivated in what I wanted to do and I am more physically fit than before because I know that what I wanted to do will make me a better person."

Question for Kristel Guelos: Hidilyn Diaz, Olympic silver medalist, exemplifies the physical strength of the Filipina. What kind of strength as a Filipina can you show to the universe?

Kristel Guelos: "As a medical practitioner and as a Binibining Pilipinas candidate, I can show the universe the dedication and passion I am having right now. And that is what I can share to others to become an influence of goodwill and to motivate others to become the better, the best version of themselves."

Question for Rachel Peters: This week, the Philippines hosted the ASEAN Summit. If you were invited to speak, what would have been your message to the leaders?

Rachel Peters: "I believe that one of the biggest problems that our country faces today is divisiveness in politics, in religion and also in culture. And I believe that it is something that is the same across the world. And that is something I would want to address. I believe that when people can learn to tolerate each other's differences and respect each other's opinions, then we will just be a stronger nation and world."

Question for Gabriella Ortega: What fear do you have that you would like to conquer, and why?

Gabriella Ortega: "The fear that I have that I would like to conquer is the fear to fail. That's something that is happening to me in this journey because I receive so much love from my relatives, it was so overwhelming. And I thought, 'Oh if I'm going to fail, what's going to happen?' But then I thought, what you have to do is embrace the people that love you because they accept your failures and your achievements in life and here I am in the Top 15."

Question for Charmaine Elima: What is your view on cursing or pagmumura?

Charmaine Elima: "My view about cursing is something that we should avoid. It is something that other people can hear from the older ones. The things that children should not hear because the children follows what the older people says. So for me, my view about cursing is something that we should avoid in our everyday lives so instead of cursing - that's negativity - we should be more focused about positivity and promote and embrace life as we should..."

Question for Maria Camille Manalo: A high percentage of students are being bullied in schools everyday. What is your message to the bullies and their parents?

Maria Camille Manalo: "My message to the bullied students is no matter what you came from, from being bullied, just stand up, prove to them that they're wrong and then no matter what happen to you, prove to them that you can stand up on your own. Give them your best shot. And that's all."

Question for Nelda Ibe: Death penalty has been a big issue concerning the Philippines in the recent months. Are you for or against death penalty?

Nelda Ibe: "Well, I believe that we should not condemn life. We are sinner but then, we have to give importance to the life that God has given us. So, my stand is, I am against of it. Because we should celebrate what God has given us, and that is life."

Question for Chanel Olive Thomas: Many countries have already legalized same-sex marriage. Do you think the Philippines should follow? Why or why not?

Chanel Olive Thomas: "As a Christian, I do believe that marriage is between a man and a woman. However, I do believe that everyone, every single person in the world deserves to be with whoever they want. And if they want to get married, that is fine."

Question for Juliana Kapuendl: The Philippines has become a powerhouse in the pageant world. What do you think are the main reasons that made this possible?

Juliana Kapuendl: "I think the main reason that the Philippines became the powerhouse of pageants is because of resilience. Like our previous beauty queens, even though they failed on the first time in joining Binibining Pilipinas, they tried second and third time, they emerged victorious not only in our country, but in the whole universe."

Question for Jehza Mae Huelar: What is the role of a beauty queen in a country that lacks unity?

Jehza Mae Huelar: "I think that the role of a beauty queen is not just winning the crown but also to become the voice of the people. I believe that I can use my voice to the people who have affected by the war in my city and to those who are affected by the earthquake in Mindanao. So I will use my voice to become the influence, the influential voice to the other people and it would unite our Filipinos.

The candidates were judged on their intelligence, poise, and personality. The points they earned in this category made up 20 percent of their final score.

Rachel Peters, the 25-year-old Filipino-British stunner from Camarines Sur, was crowned Binibining Pilipinas-Universe 2017.

The pageant's other winners include Bb. Pilipinas 2017 International Maria Angelica De Leon, Bb. Pilipinas 2017 Supranational Chanel Olive Thomas, Bb. Pilipinas 2017 Grand International Elizabeth Clenci, Bb. Pilipinas 2017 Intercontinental Katarina Rodriguez, and Bb. Pilipinas 2017 Globe Nelda Ibe.

The runners up were Charmaine Elima, who won first runner up, and Kristel Guelos, who came in second runner up.

The coronation night was co-hosted by Pia Wurtzbach, Miss Universe 2015. The Philippines hosted the Miss Universe 2016 pageant last January.