Controversy hounds 2015 Miss Silliman University pageant
Juancho R. Gallarde (The Freeman) - August 25, 2015 - 10:00am

CEBU, Philippines – The 2015 Miss Silliman University beauty pageant, deemed as one of the most prestigious contests in Dumaguete City and Negros Oriental was marred by the controversial decision of the board of judges to add first a sixth contender to the Top Five finalists, and then two more to convert it Top Eight finalists, before announcing the winner.

The proclamation of the winners came at past midnight, after a two-hour lull in a confusing situation that drew boos and heckles from the crowd, many of whom left the venue without waiting for the results.

Finally, the crowned 2015 Miss Silliman University was Genin Raya Amiscaray from the College of Business Administration. Completing the winner’s court were Shama Bulangis (Miss SU Headline Girl) of the School of Public Affairs and Governance, Jeva Rhoden (Miss SU Cover Girl) of the College of Arts and Sciences, Maria Cristina Coodwin (3rd runner-up) of the College of Nursing, and Dae Narah Garcia (4th runner-up) of the College of Mass Communications.

All of them were the original five finalists, who before the final question-an-answer portion, were joined by a sixth “finalist” Lexandria Bliss dela Cerna of the College of Engineering.

Lawyer Felipe Remollo, one of the judges, later said Dela Cerna was the board’s number one, but after getting all the minor awards, was not called to the Top Five, to the surprise of the crowd.

The pageant, under the auspices of the SU Student Government, went on smoothly when judges board chair Miguel Braganza II announced “a very special case” of converting the five finalists into the Top Six. But after the six passed the final Q-and-A, Braganza went onstage again to announce that the committee on rules decided to add two more finalists into the Top Eight. This triggered howls and boos from the spectators.

The rules committee, headed by Jason Chao Capundag, explained that even if Dela Cerna topped in her performance to put her to the Top Six, the judges only placed her 8th among the top contenders, so to be fair to the 6th and 7th placers, they should be included into the Top Eight finalists.

Amiscaray, after being crowned, told The FREEMAN: “None of this mess was any of our fault as candidates; it was a matter between the committee and the judges. Personally, I feel sorry for my co-candidates because what we went through was not easy at all. We had to sacrifice months of preparation and hard work, emotional stress and everything. I’m so proud of each of us and I wish them all the best because I have found new friends from among the contestants.”

Remollo, also a member of the SU Board of Trustees, said it was a learning experience for both the organizers and judges to maybe make a review of the set of rules for the next pageant.

ACIRC BOARD OF TRUSTEES CERNA OF THE COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING COLLEGE OF ARTS AND SCIENCES COLLEGE OF BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION DELA CERNA MISS SILLIMAN UNIVERSITY TOP TOP EIGHT TOP FIVE TOP SIX
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