The search for festival queen heats up this summer’s celebration of the annual Aliwan Fiesta, with 22 young ladies representing various festivals all over the country vying for the title of Festival Queen, or Reyna ng Aliwan 2017.
Manila Broadcasting Company, which produces the annual cultural extravaganza in partnership with the Cultural Center of the Philippines and the Cities of Manila and Pasay, has released the list of this year’s candidates.
Bets from Luzon include Alexia Edmund of the Bambanti festival of Isabela; Dianne Irish Joy Lacayanga for the Panagbenga festival of Baguio; Alyssa Charish Vivas for the Kneeling Carabao festival of Pulilan, Bulacan; Patricia Kate Gonzales for the Antipolo Maytime festival; Ahtisa Manalo, the reigning Bb. Niyogyugan of Quezon Province; Vivien Fabella representing the Boling-Boling festival of Catanauan, Quezon; and Leidda Paulette Babasanta for the Sikhayan festival of Sta. Rosa, Laguna.
Turning on the Visayan charm will be Sinulog’s Marla Alforque; Apriel Smith for the Utanon festival of Dalaguete, and Kathleen Mae Lendio for the Karansa festival of Danao. Not to be outdone, the Ilonggos are sending Elaine Segura for the Iloilo Paraw Regatta; Rowena Gandeza for the Manggahan festival of Guimaras; and Erna Torreblanca for the Masskara festival of Bacolod. The Warays, in turn, will field Venisse Charm Costibolo for Tacloban’s Sangyaw festival.
Coming all the way from Mindanao will be Julie Faith Agsalud for the Zamboanga Hermosa festival; Angelica Doguiles for the Pescao festival of Zambaonga; Carmela Villaruel for the Timpuyog festival of Sarangani; Ariella Jazmine Roque for General Santos City’s Tuna festival; Aira Abedin for the Inaul festival of Maguindanao, Kyla Ocso for the Kalivungan festival of Kidapawan, North Cotabato; and Liezel Libria for the Sultan Kudarat festival of Maguindanao.
The pageant night will be held at the outdoor stage in front of the Aliw Theater at the CCP Complex on April 21, with the coronation night following the grand parade on April 22. This year’s Festival Queen winner will receive P100,000 cash and a trophy, plus the chance to be a goodwill ambassadress for domestic tourism.
Aliwan Fiesta is supported by Pride Detergent, Unique Toothpaste, Shield Bathsoap, Tanduay, Globe Telecom, EyeBerry, Dunkin’ Donuts, Cherry Mobile, Fukuda, MyJuiz, AICS, M. Lhuillier, 2Go, Manila Bulletin, GES Led Lights, Steeltech, Maxim’s Hotel at Resorts World Manila, Bayview Park Hotel, Isla 7107, Zanea Shoes, and It Figures Facial and Slimming Salon.