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First Miss Young Sugarlandia crowned at Sugar & Smiles Festival

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• CHRYSEE G. SAMILLANO

WINNER. Newly-crowned Miss Young Sugarlandia Deanne Yvette Guinanao of the University of St. La Salle (center) with Marian Vallador, second runner-up, and Jeda Biaxyl Celeste, first runner-up, (l-r) during the pageant at SM City-Bacolod Sunday* Photos by 11-01 Studios

Deanne Yvette Guinanao, 21, of the University of St. La Salle, Bacolod City was crowned the first Miss Young Sugarlandia during the pageant at SM City-Bacolod on Sunday, highlighting the Sugar & Smiles Festival that was conceived to promote the sugar industry of Negros Occidental.

First runner-up was Jada Biaxyl Celeste, 19, also of USLS, and second runner-up was Marian Villador, 21, of the University of Negros Occidental Recoletos.

Candidate No. 3, Jonalyn Grace Diamena, 20, of Central Philippine State University, and a member of the Aeta community, was presented a special award by members of the Art Association of Bacolod-Negros for her unique beauty and charm and overall impact during the pageant. She received an artwork by Fe Sumagaysay.

The theme for this year’s maiden Sugar & Smiles Festival is “Solidarity and Diversity in the Philippines’ Premier Agri Industry.”

The 10 contestants in the search for the first Miss Young Sugarlandia in their long gowns at SM City-Bacolod Sunday*
Jonalyn Grace Diamena (second from left) receives a special award from the Art Association of Bacolod-Negros, created by visual artist Fe Sumagaysay (right), in the presence of Sandy Solinap and AAB-N vice president Chrysee Samillano (l-r)*

The main purpose of the SugarFest is to bring various planters’ federations, milling companies, and sugar traders’ groups together to work for the overall success of the sugar industry.

Meanwhile, the panel of judges of the Miss Young Sugarlandia include Gary Acuña, Albert Gamboa, and Ma. Teresa Manalili as chairman.

Acuña was former member of the Provincial Board of Negros Occidental and chaired the Committee on Tourism for nine years, and is presently the tourism consultant of Cadiz City. He is also the President of Negros del Norte Planters’ Association in Victorias Milling Co.

Former Board Member Gary Acuña, Bacolod Tourism Operations Officer Ma. Teresa Manalili, Business World columnist Albert Gamboa, and Sugar & Smiles Festival director Benjie Torre (l-r)*
Dwight Morana Jr., pageant director (right) with the team of DA Works Prod: Noel Morales, MC Po, Yan Escubido, and Adrian Colmenares*

Manalili, was a former Advertising and Promotions Manager of Philippine Airlines, and former Marketing Manager of Air Juan Aviation. She is currently the Chief Tourism Operations Officer of the Bacolod City Tourism Development Office.

Gamboa, on the other hand, is executive editor of Sugar & Smiles, and a columnist of BusinessWorld.

Sugar & Smiles Festival director is Benjie Torre.*

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