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Freeman Cebu Entertainment

Nurse from Baguio wins main Hiyas ng Pilipinas crown

Vanessa A. Balbuena - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines —  A nurse from Baguio City romped  off with the main title of Hiyas ng Pilipinas 2022, while Lapu-Lapu’s representative was the lone Cebuana out of nine to penetrate the Top 5 and finish with a crown during Sunday’s finals at Pacific Grand Ballroom of Waterfront Cebu City Hotel and Casino.

Dean Dianne Balogal, who had already captured the attention of media during the November 2021 launching of candidates where she was voted Darling of the Press, bested 33 other candidates from all over the country for the Hiyas Ng Pilipinas Tourism World 2022 Dean Dianne Balogal title. The win thus earned her the right of representing the Philippines at Miss Tourism World 2022 to be held in England.

Asked during the casual Q&A for the Top 16 semi-finalists whether she preferred working as a nurse in the Philippines or abroad, Balogal said, “Working in the Philippines is not really about the salary. It takes heart, compassion and dedication in order to work here. If you get to spend the time with your patients, you’ll see that they really need help and they need people who can inspire, empower them, and be that image of hope and strength to them. Especially in this time of pandemic, we are really struggling with under-staffing. But being a nurse in the Philippines is such a satisfying job and I would love to continue working here. Proudly.”

For the final question given to all Top 5 finalists, Balogal likewise acquitted herself well when asked how she, as a possible Hiyas ng Pilipinas winner, can help bring back life and boost tourism in the country given the adversities of the pandemic.

“To be an ambassador of Hiyas ng Pilipinas is such a great honor and privilege, as this is an organization that empowers women to embrace their local communities and promote them to the world, as well as giving back to the community thru charitable activities,” she answered.

“One needs to have compassion, dedication and perseverance in order to do that. And that’s exactly who I am – I will bring that aspect to reach out to the community and present them to the world.”

Named Hiyas Ng Pilipinas Elite World 2022 was Azriel Atima Coloma of Tacloban City, who is set  to compete at Miss Elite World 2022 in Egypt.

Phoebe Tutor Godinez, a model and Mass Communications major at Cebu Normal University, nabbed the third title of Hiyas Ng Pilipinas Tourism Queen International 2022. She will compete at Tourism Queen International 2022 in Malaysia.

Evangeline Fuentes of Pangasinan, and Maria Guizzelle de Leon of Quezon Province were named first and second runners-up, respectively.

Among the judges were Cary Santiago, Jojo Bragais, Rian Fernandez, Miss International Queen Philippines 2022 Fuchsia Anne Ravena, Miss Supranational 2013 Mutya Datul, Bb. Pilipinas Grand International 2021 Sam Panlilio, Bb. Pilipinas Supranational 2018 Jehza Huelar-Simon, and Supermodel International Philippines Diana Mackey.

The Board of Directors of Hiyas ng Pilipinas, the very first Cebu-based national pageant, is made up of Director for Charity Karla Tandoy, Finance Director Sugar Borja Sagarino, Communications Director Auguste Izhar Pepito, Public Relations Director Alma Maria, Operations Director Roy Erwin Tizon, National Director Eva Patalinjug, Vice President Jesselle Saniel, and Chairman of the Board Ronald Yap Elpa.

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