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A beauty from Las Piñas was crowned Ms. Waterlily 2016 during grand coronation held in Las Piñas last Thursday, culminating the annual celebration of the Waterlily Festival in the city.
Patricia Erika Louise de Leon of Brgy. Pamplona 3 was named Ms. Waterlily. She won a crown and P25,000 cash.
First runner-up honors went to Kate Dominque Arcega of Brgy. Zapote while second runner-up was Monica Belgica, of Brgy. Manuyo 1. Each of them received a crown and P15,000 and P10,000, respectively.
Sheila Marie Pielago of Brgy. Talon 5, was the People’s Choice Award.
This year’s candidates from 12 barangays of Las Piñas competed in the annual pageant.
A pre-pageant was held at the Villar SIPAG, C-5 Extension last July 26.
In the contest candidates were required to wear a long gown (strictly mestizo terno) made of 100 percent waterlily and should maintain the natural color of the plant.
Senator Cynthia Villar and the Villar SIPAG (Social Institute for Poverty Alleviation and Governance) led the celebration of the 11th Waterlily Festival in Las Piñas.
“Through this (Waterlily) festival, we are able to showcase the city’s deep love for the environment as giver of life and livelihood,” said Villar, who was recently elected chair of the Senate committee on environment and natural resources.
When it started in 2005, Villar shared her dream that one day it will be a festival as famous as Cebu’s Sinulog and Benguet’s Panagbenga Festival.
At present, the festival continues to attract visitors and tourists to the city because of its unique attribute as a celebration of nature and culture.
For many years, waterlilies caused flooding in Las Piñas until Villar, then Representative of Las Piñas, started the SagipIlog Program to rehabilitate the Las Piñas-Zapote River. Truckloads of waterlilies collected were then turned into baskets, trays, mats, hampers, slippers, chests, lampshades, etc. (Robert R. Requintina)