Miss Mandaue 2018 Mediaâs Choice
Miss Mandaue 2018 Media’s Choice Pheobe Godinez (center) with first runner-up Gabriella Carballo and second runner-up Charyzah Esparrago
Photos by Joy Torrejos

Miss Mandaue 2018 Media’s Choice

Karla Rule (The Freeman) - April 18, 2018 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — The search for the next Miss Mandaue is in full swing as the 12 candidates were presented to and grilled by tri-media members during yesterday’s Media’s Choice Selection event at the Maayo Uno Hall of Maayo Hotel.

A collective of articulate ladies, the contestants were as eager as they were beautiful – many of them took it upon themselves to come forward, three, four, five at a time as press folk and even Mandaue City government officials picked their views on a myriad of topics: from the Mactan channel waters, the possibility of LGBTQ+ candidates joining the pageant, Mandaue City’s woes and how they plan to address it, their role models, to the relevance of pageants.

Scoring the highest was Pheobe T. Godinez who was hailed Miss Mandaue 2018 Media’s Choice winner. The 19-year-old STEM fresh graduate from the Science and Technology Education Center in Lapu-Lapu City considers her brother as her role model and the Miss Universe Philippines crown her goal. She was listed as Toledo City’s Binibining Cebu candidate last year but backed out due to conflict in schedule with her studies.

On the relevance of beauty tilts and the real meaning of empowerment despite the standards attached to these competitions, Godinez said: “Pageantry really does in a way empower you in so many ways. As a child, I never imagined that I would be standing here in high heels and full-on makeup. But through pageants, I built my confidence. I can initiate conversations with anyone, I can speak my mind and I’m not afraid. So depending on how you do it and who organizes it, I believe it does empower women.”

Declared first runner-up was Gabriella Carballo, 19. Given the chance to become Miss Mandaue, this third year Nursing student from Cebu Doctors University talked about her concerns on Mandaue City’s environmental sanitation as a way of living up to the pageant theme “#MyMandaue #MyDuty.” She talked about experiencing and witnessing the sanitation problems of the city firsthand, and has heard the Mandauehanons’ struggles with it. Therefore, she offers to make Miss Mandaue a platform to inform and teach the community through classes on sanitation and waste disposal, as well as give them a push by initiating clean-up drives.

“I definitely want to become a role model for Mandauehanons of all ages. I want to embody a strong woman who is also kindhearted and can implement my advocacies alongside the government. I have heard the people’s pleas about sanitation. I know this is a very large thing to achieve, but I believe that all of us together can truly make a change. I want to prove to everyone that if we could stand here in high heels and make up, it doesn’t mean that we can’t go out and clean up. I believe that a community that works together can only become stronger,” said Carballo.

Media’s Choice second runner-up was Charyzah Esparrago. The 18-year-old business administration economics major and style consultant shared her views on the recent DENR announcement on the contamination of the Mactan channel. She suggests that Cebuanos should not focus on the negativity surrounding the issue, instead to “not see it as a stop sign but as a warning that we should take care of our beaches, resources and environment.”

The winners said they felt how stiff the competition has become during the Media’s Choice event. Godinez, Carballo and Esparrago shared how they studied and read up on the news and kept up on recent events in Mandaue and he world to prepare for the competition. Despite competing against each other, the ladies reveal the best thing they took away from the activity was the opportunity to listen to each other’s views and helping each other out as they review.

The Media’s Choice activity is a vital part of the ladies’ standing in the competition, which adapts a scoring system.

As the longest-running pageant in Cebu, Miss Mandaue has made a name for itself as the proud springboard to some of the country’s successful and potential-laden beauty queens and personalities like that of recently crowned Bb. Pilipinas Grand International Eva Patalinjug, the first Binibining Cebu Apriel Smith, Cynthia Thomalla who is currently in Egypt as she competes for Miss Eco International, Bb. Pilipinas 2018 Top 15 finisher Ena Velasco, television personalities like ABS-CBN talents Phoebe Fernandez and Nicole Tuazon, as well as GMA talent Diva Mantalaba, among many other successful women.

The rest of the Miss Mandaue 2018 hopefuls are 17-year-old Regine Garcia, a Grade 12 ABM student; 18-year-old Shelley Lee, a third year medical technology major from the Southwestern University-PHINMA; junior analyst and accountancy graduate Jean Olive Zoilo, 22; 19-year-old Carneah Basmayor, a fourth year mass communication student from the University of San Jose Recoletos; Mary Ann Antigua, a 17-year-old Grade 12 STEM student from the University of San Carlos Talamban Campus; Lyre Lyka Panis, a 20-year-old BS Psychology fresh graduate from Cebu Normal University; Frances Jade Pino, a 17-year-old Grade 12 STEM student from Cebu Doctors University; 19-year-old marketing management major from USC, Maria Angelica Pantaliano; and 17-year-old Grade 12 STEM student from Cebu Doctors- University, Nicole Borromeo.

Other pre-pageant events include the Talent Competition and the Fitness Competition. Come pageant night, the 12 candidates will be shortlisted to six finalists and from there, the top three winners are hailed. This year, organizers have brought back the swimwear competition to prepare the ladies should they wish to compete on the national level.

Whosoever is crowned Miss Mandaue 2018 will take home P100,000 while the first and second runners-up will be granted P50,000 and P30, 000, respectively.

The Miss Mandaue 2018 coronation will be on May 6 at the Mandaue City Sports Complex. (FREEMAN)

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