The tradition of selecting the woman who carries not just the face, but the intellect and grace as well, to represent Cebu in the coming year, lives on as the Miss Cebu 2013 pageant was launched during a press conference last Monday afternoon at the Marriott Hotel.
Now on its 29th year, the pageant continues to be the biggest one down south as it continues to present not just to the country but to the world also, the true beauty of a Cebuana. One of these dozen young ladies will assume that role come coronation night on January 16 at the Pacific Grand Ballroom of the Cebu City Waterfront Hotel.
The finalists for the crown are: 23-year old BS Nursing graduate, Mary Ann Maraon; 19-year old BS Nursing student, Therese Christine Llamada; 21-year old nurse, Janessa Fe Alcarez; 22-year old architect, Jehanne Frances Dy; 20-year old Psychology student, Marivee Ann Velasquez and 23-year old nurse, Reinalyn Nonol.
Also making the final cut are 21-year old interior designer, Patricia Ann Estuart; 19-year old biology student, Namrata Neesha Murjani; 21-year old nurse, Ely Rose Angcon; 19-year old BS Philosophy student, Maria Gigante; 21-year old nurse, Maebelle Erica Barro and 18-year old dentistry student, Mary Lorens Goyenechea.
The contestants, the media and the gathered guests were welcomed to the event by the project’s chairperson, the equally-lovely Ms. Georgia Felice “Jaja” C. Rama.
“As we begin the search for Miss Cebu 2013, we are also preparing another spectacular show for the global audience as we all know that the Miss Cebu coronation night is one of the most awaited events during the Sinulog week festivities,” said Jaja in her speech.
“From today until the coronation date, there are a lot of exciting activities lined up for our candidates, ones that will serve as avenues for personality development and growth plus opportunities to know more about Cebu City, its culture, heritage and people in a series of workshops, talks and seminars. They will embark on Cebu City tourism activities such as the official Cebu City Walking Tour called Pasiyo sa Kabilin which promotes the different heritage sites in the city and the Adventure Cebu program which promotes ecotourism in the heart of Cebu City’s mountain barangays,” she added.
The assembled media also got to know the contestants better in a brief tete-a-tete that was hosted by Miss Cebu 2012, Pierre Anther Infante and her runner-up, Rachel Chloe Palang.
With the contestants coming from different walks of life, they were asked to describe what obstacles were there for each and every one of them. Some of them had this to say.
“It’s definitely facing the crowd but I’m slowly trying to overcome it,” said the half-Indian, Namrata while Marie Ann said that it was trying to balance her studies and the pageant’s activities at the same time. Reinalyn also said something along the very same lines as she is also trainor in the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) industry by night.
Marivee on the other said, that she isn’t used to having the spotlight trained on her but realizes that all these will help her grow more as a person.
The contestants also admitted that there is a lot riding on their shoulders as of the moment but were more than willing to take on the challenge. “There is a lot of pressure to represent not just ourselves well, but also our respective schools,” said Jehanne.
“The pressure is always there, the pressure to bring the name of Cebu,” stated Marivee.
Patricia though, put it succinctly in saying, “It’s really not about the prize, but about the journey in getting there.
Another notable contestant among the group was Therese, the younger sister of a previous winner, Miss Cebu 2011 first runner-up, Teffanie Lene Llamada. Asked if there was any added pressure on her considering the footsteps that she’s following, she had this to say: “No, there isn’t any. Anyone can be Miss Cebu. Any one of us can be Miss Cebu in our own way.”
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