It’s that time of the year again when the Queen City of the South becomes a veritable hub for all things fun and festive. And with the annual Sinulog Festival just around the corner, it was only fitting that two Cebuanas held their coming-out party on Saturday evening.
Photo from Bigseed
Aspiring dentist Shaila Mae Robertora and multi-talented Filipino-Croatian Gabriele Raine Baljak set themselves apart from the 10 other Cebuanas vying for the distinction of Miss Cebu 2016 as they took home two special awards each during the Pre-Pageant Night that was held at the Terraces of the Ayala Center Cebu.
Shaila, a 19-year old Dentistry student from Cebu Doctor’s University with a bright smile, was named as the “Ms. Gems & Designs” as well as “Ms. Ayala Fiesta Island.”
Raine, no stranger to the bright lights owing to a career as a TV host, a radio jock, a fashion model and a musician, brought home the “Ms. Epson” and “Best in Funwear” with her black two-piece creation by Mike Yapching.
The two winners also gave the raucous crowd a glimpse into their selves during the casual question and answer segment of the show. Raine revealed that she doesn’t eat anything with a heartbeat due to a skin condition.
“I’ve found balance in eating vegetables and fruits,” said the 18-year old daughter of former Miss Cebu Tourism winner Merce Abellana.
Shaila, a captivating mestiza beauty who was a finalist in the Miss Mandaue pageant last year and a winner of the Miss CESAFI pageant two years ago, confessed that joining this prestigious pageant has opened her heart to conquering some fears of hers – notably during a canyoneering sortie with her fellow contestants.
“Canyoneering is a must-try experience for all. Admittedly, I was scared but I faced the fear I never thought existed,” quipped Shaila.
It was a fun night for the dozen dazzling dames who are competing for the crown. They started the evening by sashaying down the makeshift runway in elegant Fun Wear creations by Dexter Alazas. Later on, they showcased ensembles made by Cebu’s most promising designers – Joyce Maw, Mike Yapching, JP Cabigon and Rei Escario who took home the “Best in Funwear” design award.
The winners were decided on by a judging panel composed of Epson’s Carlo Ortiz, Ayala Center Cebu general manager Celeste “Bong” Dy and renowned designer Reyner “Rio” delos Santos.
The well-attended event also saw performances from the Power Trio, Von Saw, the Knapsack Dancers and the sensational Ana Fegi-Brown.
The Miss Cebu 2016 Coronation Night will be on Wednesday, 6:30 p.m. at the Grand Ballroom of the Waterfront Cebu Hotel and Casino.
Jonas Rey N. Panerio