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Oh, my Goddesses!

CEBU, Philippines - Queen 2010’s Mythical Goddesses of the World, the second installment of last year’s highly successful and much ballyhooed Queen, A Pageant for Alternatives, had spectators glued to their cushioned seats. “I fell in love with Miss Universe pageants back in the 80s,” Chairman Cary Santiago told me of his inspirations. “And old-fashioned films,” echoed co-chairman Wendell Quisido. Thus a spectacular show, still a pageant for alternatives, with fantabulous production numbers was unveiled again, with the candidates donning the latest goddess dresses and fun wear from Clothes for Life members.

I didn’t know whether to laugh or to cry when Santiago and Quisido added: “So we commissioned little girls to act as little sisters to their big ‘sisters’ in the Evening Gown portion.” Well, quite a lot in the audience were teary-eyed when a video of the candidates visiting the grannies in a home for the elderly and putting smiles in the formers’ faces. The visit was flashed on giant screens (three to be exact), with Sakdap’s heart-wrenching rendition of I Believe. On the flip side, a personality named Jaya did a comical performance and microphone-gobbling stunts.

All kidding aside, the long white numbers in question nailed the mythical goddesses’ ethereal look in the much-applauded evening gowns as 30 crystal chandeliers courtesy of Ms. Nancy Roble upped the glamour factor. Once again, the designers focused their attention on party frocks with bolts of chiffon, yards of satin and tons of embellishments. The best adjudged by Preview’s fashion editor Darryl Chang was Jp Cabigon’s infanta gown on Miss Spain and those chunky neckpieces that drew the eyes to the Castilian beauty of the candidate from a prominent Cebuano family. Before that presentation, the younger set of designers altogether put the element of pure fun in the Funwear portion with Miss Venezuela in Peewee Senening’s Poison Ivy meets Victoria Secret vixen was Best in Funwear.

While many other members of Clothes for Life might not score any prizes for fashion innovation, they were all winners here: A for effort and a spirit of solidarity, to raise funds for the various charitable institutions supported by the group. It helps, of course, that they were in turn supported by the Philippines’ notable personalities the likes of Miss Universe 1974 Margie Moran Florendo, Marco Protacio, Arcy Gayatin, Marguerite Lhuillier, Mayen Carmona, Marina Benipayo, Rica Paras and Kenneth Cobonpue as honorable judges, media personality Jude Bacalso and Vince Escario as hosts, stage designer Doro Barandino and director Engr. Junjet Primor. Bravissimo! (THE FREEMAN)

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