By Juan Escandor Jr.
NAGA CITY---With the provinces of Sorsogon and Masbate failing to send candidates to this year’s search for Ms. Bicolandia, 24 aspirants from the four provinces of Bicol were presented Sunday, Aug. 27, during the formal launch of the regional beauty pageant that precedes the 9-day religious regional fiesta of the Our Lady of Peñafrancia in September.
Of the 24 candidates, 20 made it to the list of official candidates after they sashayed in casual dresses and swimsuits and went through the question-and-answer portion.
Camarines Sur/Naga City contenders dominated the beauty pageant with 11 out of the 20 official candidates selected to vie for the 2017 Ms Bicolandia crown.
For the other of half of the official candidates, three contenders each come from Albay, Catanduanes and Camarines Norte.
For Camarines Sur/Naga City, the successful applicants that made it to the top 20 are Julia Novel N. Gonowon and Maria Lina N. Prongoso from Iriga City; Trixia Jorgia P. Aganan, Krizzia Ann P. Toral and Azucena Desideria Quintana from Naga City; and Maria Angela M. Rodrigo from Magarao, Camarines Sur.
Also from Camarines Sur are candidates Leorosa Maria M. Kennedy and Sandra Vivo from Lagonoy town; Elaine Pascual from Tigaon town; and Ma. Kyla A. Magayanes from Ragay town.
Albay is represented by Paula Madarieta Ortega from Ligao; Kayesha Claudine Chua from Legazpi City; and Lyra R. Velchez from Tabaco City.
Camarines Norte’s bets who got the nod of the panel of judges to join the final round of selection to the Ms. Bicolandia 2017 include Faith Kristel G. dela Pasion from Vinzons town; and Angelita O. Marasigan and Febelin G. Peña from Daet town.
The official candidates from the island province of Catanduanes are Denise Omorog, Sigrid Grace Flores and Hannah Lei V. Aquino.
This year’s prizes include P200,000 cash and trip to Hongkong or Singapore for two for the winner of the Ms. Bicolandia while the first runner-up will receive P100,000 cash. The second runner-up will receive P50,000 in cash, the third runner-up P35,000 and the fourth runner-up P20,000. All winners will be given their respective sashes.
Those selected for special awards will receive separate cash prizes. Those chosen as Best in Production Number, Best in Swimsuit, Best in Evening Gown, Miss Photogenic and Miss Congeniality will be given P7,000 in each special award. The Darling of the Press will receive P5,000 and the Best Designer of the Evening Gown will be P10,000 richer.
The talent scouts of the winners of the Ms. Bicolandia will be rewarded with separate cash prizes. The talent scout for the Ms. Bicolandia winner gets P20,000; first runner-up, P15,000; second runner-up, P10,000; third runner-up, P7,500; fourth runner-up, P6,000.