THE 35 official candidates of the scholarship pageant dubbed Mr. and Ms. Republic of the Philippines – 16 males and 19 females – were presented to the press during a special presentation held at Hotel 101 in Pasay City last Thursday.
Local candidates in the scholarship contest came from the National Capital Region, Cordillera Administrative Region, Ilocos Region, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, Calabarzon, Mimaropa, Bicol Region, Western Visayas, Central Visayas, Easrern Visayas, Zamboanga Peninsula, Northern Mindanao, Davao Region, Socsargen, and Caraga.
Candidates from the overseas Filipino communities are from the US, Canada, and Europe, Nordic countries, Asia, Australia, and New Zealand.
“The 2017 Mr. and Ms. Republic of the Philippines promotes the image of a new Filipino: intelligent, self-assured and empowered as global ambassador of Philippine tourism and goodwill,” said CEO and President Lynette Padolina, a finance architect and a certified public accountant.
Prizes for the Mr. and Ms. Republic of the Philippines include scholarship grants up to P900,000, cash prize of P100,000 to the top winners; and P30,000 cash to runners-up, travel opportunities, abroad to attend the Philippine Independence Day celebrations, and wardrobe allowances worth P100,000.
The official candidates are (male division) – Emmanuel Elarmo Jr., Philip Andrew Aquino, Jerome Vasquez, Abegail Feliciano, Jeffrey Montibon, Cristian Jimmy Navarette, Christian Banzuela Padiila, John Carlo Morales, Christian Patrick Suntay, Jay Lester Abrenica, John Louise Peras, Jedryk Costes, Dennis Frias Malones Jr., Mac Ericson Cinco, Willy M. Quinto, and Norman A. Wileman III.
For female division, the candidates are Lana Christine Palting, Marinel Angeline Dizon, Patricia Mae Baratilla, Chariss Jedidiah Gusay, Giselle Jabonitalia, Cindy Marriah Dumol, April Liban, Regina Carmela Calma, Princess Joesel Bajamonde, Viana Angeline Lazo, Ma. Beatrix Panganiban, Jan Mariel Torrefiel, Thamara Alexandria Pacursa, Arla Pacencia, Anna Marie Panganiban, Leah Alivio, Adora Jane Bonadeo, Excelsa de Jesus, and Jheian Crizchanel D. Velasco.
New York-based Dr. Romulo Alcalde Aromin Jr., chairman of Mr. and Ms. RP search, said that the grand coronation night will be held at the grand ballroom of Sofitel Philippines Plaza on Jan. 31.
After almost four decades, Ms. Republic of the Philippines is revived from its prestigious roots of being the official pageant for selecting candidates to the Miss World pageant from 1970 to 1976. This year, the search has been expanded with the inclusion of male candidates.
Ms. Republic of the Philippines luminaries are Ms. RP for Ms. World 1973: Evangeline Pascual, Ms. RP 1972 Ms. Luzon Elizabeth Oropesa (multi-awarded dramatic actress); Anna Bayle – Ms. RP 1975 Ms. Luzon (the first Asian supermodel); Bessie Badilla – Ms. RP Visayas 1977 2nd runner-up (Filipino international model); and Ms. RP 1977 for Ms. World 1976 Joy Salazar Conde who relinquished her crown to 2016 Ms. RP Fermina Dianne Ramos.