• ROGER D. BETRAN
Cauayan’s bet Alliah Janine Al Rashid, 19, was crowned Lin-ay sang Negros 2023, besting 26 other candidates during the pageant night held at the jam-packed Panaad Park and Stadium in Barangay Mansilingan, Bacolod City Friday.
During the question and answer portion, Al Rashid was asked “what is your promise to all Negrense women?” A portion of her answer said: “To all the Negrense women who were watching today, I know the many cases of misogyny, and I promise that I will make a safe space for all of us where we can freely express ourselves, at the same time, I will advocate for jobs for every woman.”
“Regardless of our gender, everybody deserve to have a job. Everybody deserve equal rights. Either man or woman, we are all human, we deserve the same level of love and respect,” she added.
Aside from the coveted crown, Al Rashid, a Bachelor of Science in Tourism Management student at the University of St. La Salle, received a cash prize of P80,000, a full college scholarship for a year, P50,000 worth of Azta Salon Services for one year, and a round-trip international ticket courtesy of EGY Travel and Tours.
She also won the special awards for Best in Evening Gown and Best in Festival Costume (Urban Legends category) and was chosen as Miss Cali.
This is the first time for Cauayan to win the title since the pageant’s inception in 1994.
Jasmine Claire Pesquera of Sagay City, named first runner-up, received P50,000 and a 75 percent college scholarship for a year, while Ricah Alcorin of Don Salvador Benedicto, who was adjudged second runner-up, went home with P40,000 and a 50 percent college scholarship for a year.
Pesquera was also awarded Best in Festival Costume (Spirits and Deities) and People’s Choice, while Alcorin was chosen Best in Swimwear.
Ma. Xenia Angela Guanco of Hinigaran, declared third runner-up, received P20,000 and was chosen Ms. Ayala Malls and Ms. Coca Cola, while Keziah Nicole White of Kabankalan City, who was named fourth runner-up, received P15,000.
Each winner received a sash, a bouquet and a trophy, while the first, second, third and fourth runners-up each received a P5,000 worth of Azta Salon Services.
Other awardees of the night were Catherine Pearl Lopez of Escalante City, Best in Talent and Miss Globe’s Best in Production Number; Bago City’s Chelyn Halpin was Miss Photogenic; Marace Salo of Toboso was Miss Congeniality. Steppi Vanessa Felice Bacolado of Cadiz City and Juliet Angeline Alvarez of Sipalay City were chosen Miss Pepsi Cola and Miss Smart, respectively.
Rounding up the top 10 were Bacolado, Ina Marie Hengelmolen of Silay City, Paola Nicole Reconquista of Victorias City, Althea Nicole Gadingan of Talisay City, and Janella Marie Avelino of La Carlota City.
Meanwhile, Axel Que won as Best in Festival Costume Designer (Urban Legends) for Lin-ay sang Hinigaran, Dean David Ang as Best in Festival Costume Designer (Spirits and Deities) for Kabankalan City and Chino Christopherson as Best in Evening Gown Designer for Victorias City.
On April 14, Lyzabelle Blythe Villa of Himamaylan City was chosen Muse of Media at the press presentation in Ayala Malls Capitol Central Activity Center, while the corporate awardees on April 18 were Bacolado of Cadiz – Miss Entrego, Miss Robinsons and Miss EGY Aesthetic Medical Spa; Al Rashid of Cauayan – Miss Gasul Elite, Miss Bioclon from Aldrtz and Miss SM Store; White of Kabankalan – Miss EGY Travel and Tours; Alvarez of Sipalay – Miss Stonebrothers; Gadingan of Talisay – Miss Alagang Silka; Hengelmolen of Silay – Miss Merzci; Villa of Himamaylan – Miss Glower Studio; Sandale Kishia Masangcay of Bacolod City – Miss Pau Masaje and Miss Northwest Inn; and Thea Marie Abaño of Moises Padilla – Miss Minute Burger.
Other candidates were Mariam Althea Escalona of Binalbagan, Givernie Anne Tomarong of Calatrava, Ednalyn Garcia of Candoni, Denielle Orsua of E.B. Magalona, Khriselle Villarete of Hinoba-an, Ma. Neil Loqueloque of Ilog, Melanie Claire Torillo of Isabela, Allaena Dominique Angeles of La Castellana, Rebecca Gail Gerdon of Murcia, and Cristine Joy Gadiana of Pulupandan.
Comprising the coronation night’s board of judges were Miss Universe 2021 Top 5 Beatrice Luigi Gomez, Miss Supranational Philippines 2022 Allison Black, Aces & Queens General Manager Mikee Andrei, Lin-ay sang Negros 2013 Samyah Al-Dossary, ICA Chief-of-Staff of Miss International Organization Stephen Inventor Diaz, VHC Productions CEO Victor Lim Hao Cuenco, and Top Model Universe 2022 third runner-up Lorenzo Isip.
Adding excitement to the pageant was balladeer Ronnie Liang, who entertained the audience and serenaded the candidates.
The Lin-ay sang Negros 2023 pageant night was hosted by Kurt Soberano and Pau Dimaranan.
The activity is one of the much-anticipated events of the 27th edition of the Panaad sa Negros Festival, the “festival of all festivals” with the theme “The Promise Renewed”.*