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Queen pageant raises the bar

(The Freeman) - July 28, 2015 - 10:00am

CEBU, Philippines – The pageant took a break last year, promising to return with a vengeance as its founders regrouped to re-examine their vision.

 

This year, the Queen pageant – a prestigious tilt for transgender women – is back with a bang. It’s now called Queen Philippines, after it was known as Queen of Cebu for straight five years.

 

Unveiled Saturday at the Rizal Library, the 25 candidates are representing Palawan, Agusan del Norte, Misamis Oriental, Albay, Bohol, Cebu, Leyte, Masbate, Samar, Ilo-ilo, Pampanga, Mountain Province, Bukidnon, Surigao del Norte, Negros Occidental, Benguet, Bulacan, Ilocos Sur, NCR, Sorsogon, Cavite, Zamboanga, Davao del Sur, Maguindanao, and Basilan.

 

During their first media encounter, the ladies shared their stories of strength and resilience in reaching self-acceptance, and living up to

society’s standards.

 

The candidate from Benguet, who goes by the stage name Fayel Valenciano, said of the struggle to be accepted: “You have to open up and be true to yourself. You have to be a better version of you and you have to something good to others so they’ll respect you because then, you can live up to the standards of society.”

 

Asked about the relevance of joining the pageant, Erika Diaz of Cebu answered, “I want to inspire people. I want people to see us, to look up to us as transgenders with good character.”

 

Cary Santiago, the brains behind the Queen pageant and its overall chairperson, said that spectators should expect a coronation night of glamour and elegance.

 

Beyond the glitz though, is an undertaking that has charity at its core. Proceeds of the event, as in past stagings, will be donated to The Seven Sisters House of Mercy Home for the Elderly in Mojon, Talisay Cebu, the Cebu City Task Force for Street Children, and Transgender COLORS Inc.

 

The finalists will vie for the titles of Queen Universe, Queen World, Queen International, Queen Earth and Queen Tourism this Saturday,

8 p.m. at the Pacific Grand Ballroom of the Waterfront Cebu City Hotel.

 

Expect this year’s theme of “Choose Philippines” to be reflected in the different segments such as the National Costume opening, the Swimsuit Competition, the fashion explosion that is the Fun Wear portion, the classic Evening Gown, to the highlight: the Question and Answer portion.

 

Asia’s Songbird Regine Velasquez-Alcasid will be the pageant’s celebrity performer for the third time.

ACIRC BENGUET CARY SANTIAGO CEBU CITY TASK FORCE CHOOSE PHILIPPINES ERIKA DIAZ OF CEBU EVENING GOWN FAYEL VALENCIANO FUN WEAR NBSP QUEEN
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