Lea Salonga as one of the Judges in Miss Universe

One of the Filipinos Pride, a Tony and Oliver Award-winning theater actress, the Disney legend and the Broadway star Ms. Lea Salonga has been chosen by the Miss Universe Organization President Paula Shugart and NBC Universal head Donald J. Trump to be one of the seven telecast judges of the 2011 Miss Universe pageant. This will be held in at the Credicard Hall, Sao Paulo, Brazil this September 12, 2011 as the preliminary judges selected the top 15 semi-finalist for the pageant’s night.

Lea Salonga is the fifth Filipino to become a judge in the 60-year history of the world’s most prestigious beauty pageant. The most recent Filipino judge for the Miss Universe beauty pageant was Manila Bulletin Publishing Corporation Chairman Don Emilio T. Yap when the contest was held in Manila in 1994. India’s Sushmita Sen won the beauty pageant. The first Filipino judge for the contest was the late Gen. Carlos P. Romulo when the Miss Universe contest was held for the first time in Manila in 1974. The late Amparo Munoz of Spain won the contest, only to give up her crown later. Fashion designer Josie Natori became the second Filipino judge in 1989; and later singer-actress Kuh Ledesma in 1991.

Miss Universe 2011, the 60th anniversary of the Miss Universe pageant. Ximena Navarrete of Mexico will crown her successor. Contestants from 89 countries and territories are participating in this year´s pageant, surpassing the previous record of 86 contestants in 2006.

Joining our very own Lea Salonga in judging the 89 delegates of Miss Universe 2011, are the following: Adrienne Maloof, from Bravo’s hit series “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills”. Amelia Vega, Miss Universe 2003. Connie Chung, U.S. broadcast legend. Helios Castroneves, three-time winner of the Indianapolis 500. Isabeli Fontana, Brazilian supermodel and Vivica Fox, actress & television producer.

Andy Cohen of Bravo’s “Watch What Happens: Live” and Natalie Morales of NBC’s “Today” will be hosting the event. Live performances will come from Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter Bebel Gilberto and Brazilian native pop singer Claudia Leitte.

Miss Philippines Shamcey Supsup and the 88 other contestants were judged based on personal interview, evening gown, and swimsuit. The personal interviews were conducted for two days, ahead of the preliminary competitions on swimsuit and evening gown. A total of 16 semifinalists are expected to be announced in the finals. Telecast judges will then choose the Top 8 and Top 4 contestants.

The live coverage of the 2011 Miss Universe beauty pageant will be shown on ABS-CBN on September 13 in the morning.

The Journey of the Philippines Miss Universe

Miss Philippines 2011 Shamcey Supsup arrives at the Escola de Moda fashion school in Sao Paulo

Shamcey Gurrea Supsup a Filipino beauty titleholder form General Santos City, who will represent the Philippines in the Miss Universe 2011 pageant in Sao Paulo, Brazil this coming September 12, 2011. Shamcey graduated as a Magna Cum Laude from the University of the Philippines-Diliman with a degree in Bachelor of Science in Architecture. She is really the best example of a Beauty and Brain. She topped the June 2010 Architecture Licensure Examination in July 2010. She was crowned Bb. Pilipinas-Universe last April 10, 2011 through the 2011 Binibining Pilipinas pageant and took over the crown from the 2010 winner and Miss Universe 2010 fourth runner-up Venus Raj.

The gorgeous contestants are now in Brazil for the big event and for the first time in the history of the Miss Universe, the organizers have allowed online voting. The candidate with the most number of votes will have an automatic spot in the top 15 finalist. Miss Universe 2010 from Mexico, Ximena Navarrete will crown the next Miss Universe on the pageant night. According to the Miss Universe organizers, the outcome of the online poll will give one fortunate contestant a spot in the semifinals. But it’s not the contestant with the highest number of votes but the one with the highest AVERAGE who gets a spot in the Miss Universe 2011 semifinals. Last year, an online poll was also conducted in the contest. However, it had no bearing on the results as it was probably a test run for this year. Venus Ray, Miss Philippines in last year’s event, got the most number of votes.

Miss Universe Philippines 2011 Shamcey Supsup poses in swimwear

The Bb. Pilipinas-Universe 2011 Shamcey Supsup is one of 89 candidates in the 2011 Miss Universe. She is now in São Paolo, Brazil after ten days of rigorous training in Colombia. Miss Korea is Shamcey’s roommate.

Filipinos have until September 11, 2011 at 6 p.m. to vote for Shamcey. The Filipina beauty queen expressed her deepest gratitude for everyone who voted for her online. To vote visit this LINK.

RP may import 150 M liters of ethanol from Brazil

The Philippines may import around 150 million liters of ethanol this year, mostly from Brazil, as domestic output remains short of demand, a senior government official said Wednesday.

Local production capacity of the biofuel is projected to double to 78 million liters this year from 2009, still far short of the forecast demand of 219 million liters.

“We may end up importing around 150 million liters this year, give or take several tens of millions, depending on local production and availability,” Rafael Coscolluela, vice chairman of the National Biofuels Board told Reuters in a phone interview.