Luzon beauties dominate Aliwan Fiesta pageant
MANILA, Philippines — After crowning winners from the Visayas and Mindanao in its first two editions, the Aliwan Fiesta Digital Queen (AFDQ) search finally proclaimed a winner from Luzon this year, with the island group copping all three spots in the podium.
Marikit Manaois from Baguio City bested 11 other aspirants from all over the Philippines in a virtual competition conducted online on Nov. 5 via the Aliwan Fiesta Facebook page. Pageant veteran and heavy favorite Maica Cabling Martinez from Nueva Ecija was proclaimed first runner-up, while Sophia Noreen Guillermo from Ilocos Norte was hailed as second runner-up.
Manaois inherited the crown from last year’s winner Shanyl Kayle Hofer from Minglanilla, Cebu. Jannarie Zarzoso from Cabadbaran, Agusan del Norte won the contest’s first edition in 2020.
With Manaois’ victory, AFDQ has now crowned queens from the Philippines’ three major island groups.
The top winner received P50,000, with an equivalent amount going to her chosen charity program, and a paid vacation for two at Feliz Hotel Boracay, inclusive of airfare and pocket money.
Aside from the main title, Manaois also received the Palmolive Naturals #GandangNatural award and the Miss Charm title, while Martinez took home the lion’s share of special awards—Miss White Rose Papaya, Best in Talent, Pride of Place Citation, Best Digital Video Production, and Netizen’s Choice.
Manila Broadcasting Co. (MBC) first mounted the virtual competition in 2020 to continue the “Aliwan Fiesta” legacy even while the world is battling the COVID-19 pandemic. And with the global health crisis extending up to this year, AFDQ has seen two more online editions, with the most recent one being the third.
MBC PR consultant Susan Isorena-Arcega told the Inquirer in an earlier interview that the contest is looking for a queen “with the potential to host, to be a product endorser, to compete nationally, and to be of real service to the community.”
She also said that the competition went virtual again this year because “we are being very careful in light of the new resurgence of COVID-19 cases. And being a major media entity, it behooves us to always carry our mantle of responsibility.” EDV
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