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Bacolod City, Philippines Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Teen MassKara Pageant

Twenty teeners – 10 in the male category and another 10 in the female category – are vying for four titles at stake in the inaugural edition of the Perfect Teen MassKara pageant.

The competition, to be held at BAYS Center on Oct. 19, is one of the highlights of the 40th MassKara Festival in Bacolod City.

Winners will earn the title Mr. and Ms. Perfect Teen MassKara as well as Mr. and Ms. Teen MassKara.

Gemash Belleza, event organizer and director, said that the pageant will also recognize the first and second runners-up in both male and female categories.

Roy Cajilig, event producer, said 10 pairs of special awards will, likewise, be presented – best in production number, talent, swimwear, modern Filipiniana/barong, congeniality, repartee, photogenic, Doovote, mass media choice as well as the Picture City Prize.

In addition, organizers said, corporate awards will be given during the pageant night along with recognition for the mask and Filipiniana/barong designers.

The male candidates are Laymart Santoquia, 18, freshman at John B. Lacson Colleges Foundation; Valfer Alo, 17, Grade 11, Colegio San Agustin Bacolod; John Ray Rodriguez, 16, Grade 10, Domingo Lacson National High School; Quer Largavista, 15, Grade 10, STI West Negros University; Jonathan Cordova Jr., 16, Grade 11, Luis Hervias National High School;

Chris Paul Tijamo, 19, freshman at STI WNU; Jasper Cuyos, 16, Grade 11, La Consolacion College; Rodel John Bisagas, 17, Grade 11, Mariano G. Medalla Integrated School; L John Calantas, 18, college freshman, CSA-B and John Michael Dato-on, 16, Grade 11, Bacolod City National High School.

The female aspirants are Diana Dawn Einosas, 18, Grade 12, LCC; Justine Tadia, 16, Grade 11, Liceo De La Salle; Althea Mhey Lim, 17, Grade 11, UNO-Recoletos; Clarabelle Faith Ligacion, 16, Grade 10, CSAB; Dapnie Celine Cabacas, 15, Grade 10, Fr. Gratian Murray Integrated School;

Daniela Pornias, 15, Grade 10, Negros Occidental High School; Kristine Kyle Alcantara, 15, Grade 10, BCNHS; Shanelle Liane Estrera, 18, Grade 11, LCC-B; Jesrel Tupaz, 18, Grade 12, LCC-B and Iana Rica Nicavera, 15, Grade 10, USLS Integrated School.

Pre-pageant activities include personality development and team building with Karen Pedrera as moderator and lecturer at the Bacolod Adventist Medical Center Conference Room on Sept. 8; visit at the Aksyon Radyo Bacolod with Councilor Israel Salanga on Sept. 15;

Live appearance at ABS-CBN ‘The Morning Show’ on Oct. 2; and a speech training at Focus Direct Inc., a BPO company, on Oct. 5.

The talent presentation will be on Monday, Oct. 14 at 6:30 p.m., at the Ayala Mall Event Center.

Cajilig said ticket reservations and queries can be made through Tel. No. 09270336153, 09276487684, 09175037799 or 09228588339.*

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Pick up Road Trips for Negros Media

The first Negros Ford Media Drive held last week could be considered a watershed moment for the members of the provincial media who have long been longing for the same opportunities to develop content for their mostly non-existent motoring sections.

For the first time ever, a top brand like Ford stepped up and presented not one, but three variants of its Ranger Pickup line for selected members of the media to test drive. Ford Philippines and Ford Negros Occidental joined forces and arranged to loan Ford Rangers – XLT, a Wild Trak and a Raptor – for 24 hours. We got to see how those pickups that spanned the breadth of the Ford Ranger line perform as we explored the foothills and uplands of our picturesque island.

The trip started at the Ford Showroom in Talisay City passing by the iconic Ruins before going up for the participants to sample some fruits in Barangay Concepcion. Then we drove to the heart of Bacolod City via Alangilan, stopping at the Bacolod City Government Center for a quick photoshoot before heading to Don Salvador Benedicto for a sumptuous lunch that included a fried frog dish at La Guada.

The afternoon saw the convoy exploring the mountains of DSB, stopping at one of the pineapple farms at Barangay Bago where we saw how the spiky yellow fruit is planted and harvested. We got a taste of their produce and confirmed that the pineapples from that part are truly among the sweetest we have encountered.

If we didn’t turn back at that point, we would have ended up in Calatrava and Sagay but we had an appointment for merienda at the Stonepeak Café back in the heart of the mountain town.

The day’s drive finally ended at the La Vista Highlands Mountain Resort in San Carlos City. I forgot to check how many kilometers we had collectively logged on the three Ford Rangers at that point but the first -ever media drive in Negros Island definitely exceeded expectations.

The Media Drive

Our team got first dibs on the top of the line Ford Raptor. I was a passenger from the showroom to Concepcion and got behind the wheel from Concepcion to BGC. The relaxed pace of our convoy did not allow drivers to truly experience the power of the Raptor’s new 2.0 liter Bi-turbo diesel engine but the pleasant drive gave us an opportunity to enjoy its premium ride and amenities.

We swapped to the base model XLT for the drive for lunch at DSB. I rode shotgun and to be fair to a base model Ranger, the difference in ride comfort from the Raptor that we had just swapped from, while noticeable, was not that significant. In other words the XLT held its own in terms of riding comfort, especially for a base model pickup. Of course it was not as well appointed and the amenities were more basic, but the XLT felt and performed like most proper and modern pickup trucks that have managed to improve ride comfort and driving dynamics while retaining their utility as the segment evolved through the years. After lunch I got to drive the XLT for a few kilometers of mountain roads, in suddenly torrential rain where it performed with quiet confidence. The only hitch we encountered was figuring out how to operate the windshield wiper control stalks since they worked in the opposite direction that I have been used to.

We swapped vehicles and places again and got the third Ranger: the WildTrak. We rode through the twisty mountain roads to the Barangay Bago pineapple farms, learned some new things about pineapple farming, and witnessed the load bearing capability of the Ranger XLT when its cargo area was fully loaded with harvested pineapples for the trip back to town.

We had merienda at the Stonepeak Café and I took the wheel of the WildTrak for the last leg of the day’s drive, this time in the dark. I had not only tried out the three variants of the Ford Ranger line, I had also driven them in different conditions – dry, wet and dark.

Growing familiarity with the driving dynamics of the Ranger Pickup line by then made the drive to La Vista Highlands at the other side of the mountain an easy and pleasant one.

By the end of that day, I had realized that although I have been ruling out pickups in my vehicle options in the past decade due to my experience with the agricultural ride quality that defined pickups in the late 90s and the impracticality of a large capacity but open cargo bed when it comes to everyday use, especially for those who regularly bring kids to school and buy groceries. However, today’s pickups have evolved into different and highly refined beasts that are a far cry from their predecessors. They have improved vastly on almost all aspects, from ride comfort to engine power, fuel economy and amenities, and have become worthy of consideration for most car owners who are in need of a practical workhorse.

An added advantage for pickups is they are now considered as agricultural equipment, making them eligible for tax exemptions that increases their affordability. Considering the safety, comfort, driving dynamics and convenience they currently offer, a great pickup like this generation of Ford Rangers can definitely give one of the best bangs for your motoring buck.

Ford has taken the lead in test drives for the provincial media. Hopefully other brands also follow suit so our newspapers can develop stronger motoring sections that can produce content that the local motoring markets can relate with.*

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Pick up Road Trips for Negros Media
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