BESTING 13 other candidates from all over the country, as well as outside the country, 20-year old Jansen Dina Andres was crowned Miss Laoag City Pamulinawen International Quest 2007 at the Ilocos Norte Centennial Arena on February 10.
Ms Andres represented the Laoag City Association of Barangay Councils (ABC) being the 2006 Miss ABC in the second staging of the Pamulinawen Festival beauty search wherein everyone with Ilocano blood, be it from the Philippines or abroad, are qualified to enter.
Andres, a third year Political Science major student at Northwestern University, dreams of becoming a successful lawyer someday.
Other winners in the said beauty search were Maricel Bonifacio, who hails from Ballesteros, Cagayan representing the Ilocos Norte Mining Corporation, first runner-up; Gretchen Aguinaldo from Hawaii representing the Kalayaan Group of Hawaii, second runner-up; Maricel Manzano from Candon City, Ilocos Sur representing Jimei Club, third runner-up; and Melissa Peña from Mandaluyong City, Metro Manila representing the Ilocos Norte Water District (INWD), fourth runner-up.
For winning the coveted title, Andres received a cash prize of P50,000 and round-trip ticket to Hong Kong for two plus hotel accommodation. Runners up, meanwhile received P10,000, P7,000, P6,000 and P5,000 respectively.
Last year’s winner was Namkin Hamid, representing the Ilocos Norte Electric Cooperative (INEC).
Meanwhile, Ms Chevylle V. Fariñas, Laoag City Social Concerns Council and Pamulinawen beauty pageant committee chairperson, proudly stated that the winners deserved their titles considering that aside from being beautiful they also proved that they are intelligent.
With the successful staging of this year’s beauty contest, she is hopeful that next year’s beauty search would also be as successful.
For his part, Laoag City Mayor Michael V. Fariñas congratulated the winners and all those who participated in the beauty search for giving their best during the pageant.
The mayor also expressed his gratitude to the organizers and to everyone who contributed to the success of the pageant.
President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo served as guest of honor and speaker during the pageant as she wished all the candidates good luck.
Mrs. Arroyo, who rendered her speech in Iluko, divulged that her grandfather hails from Bacarra, Ilocos Norte which is why she said her heart also belongs to the Ilocanos.
In her speech, she thanked Laoag Mayor Michael V. Fariñas along with all city government officials for inviting her to the celebration.
Dominic B. dela Cruz