VALERIE Escamilla, a senior Hotel and Restaurant Management student of John B. Lacson Colleges Foundation-Bacolod, was crowned MassKara Queen 2016 during the coronation night held at SMX Convention Center Bacolod Saturday.
Escamilla, 20, who majors in Cruise Ship Services, bested nine other candidates.
Of the initial 11 candidates, only 10 made it to the final competition after the participant from Colegio San Agustin-Bacolod backed out due to health reasons.
Maria Angela Clarisse Estioko, 17, a Physical Therapy student of Riverside College, was declared first runner-up. She was also awarded Miss Telepeformance, Miss Olay, Miss Photogenic, and Darling of the Press.
Ancella Denise Anne Pastias, also 17, who is studying Tourism Management at STI West Negros University, was named second runner-up. She also won Best in Swimsuit and Best in Gown, and was awarded Miss Jojo Vito Designs.
Erika Joille Patayon, 16, a Grade 11 student of Negros Occidental High School, was third runner-up. She also won Best in Talent and was awarded Miss Social Media Princess.
Pink Erica Eirene Genolos, 17, of Carlos Hilado Memorial State College-Talisay, was fourth runner-up. Her other awards were Best in Cocktails, Miss Merzci, and Miss SmartBro.
Escamilla got the judges nod with her standout answer to the final question, “If there would be a plot to kill ugly women, will you be spared or will you be initiated, why or why not?
“I know and I believe that I will be spared because I will use my title as a MassKara Queen to influence my fellow youth,” she said.
She said that if she will win the title, it’s not simply a crown that will be put on her head, but that her title would be an inspiration also to her fellow youth.
Other candidates who received corporate and special awards were Janine Pearl Casilao, 20, of VMA Global College - Miss Queen Supercat, Miss Negros Bloggers Choice, Miss Designers Choice Award, and Miss Sun.Star Bacolod Readers’ Choice; Dessa Jane Dangallo, 18, University of Negros Occidental-Recoletos - Miss Skin Solutions; Lyka Jingco Legaspi, 17, Carlos Hilado Memorial State College-Alijis - Miss Congeniality.
Mayor Evelio Leonardia said that MassKara Festival is a package, and the festival cannot be complete without the MassKara Queen pageant.
He added this is the first time that the candidates are representing various colleges and universities.
“We do not only want to highlight the beauties in Bacolod, but also the brains,” the mayor said.
The board of judges was composed of Julio Cesar Da Silva from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Jojo Vito, chief executive officer, Vito Designs; Clarence Jacques Lim, Mr. University of San Carlos; Arthur Villanueva, WBO Asia Pacific Bantamweight champion 2016; Migo Dreyfus Adecer, GMA Starstruck Ultimate Male Survivor, and former Glee Australia cast member; Sam Georgiana Yu, MassKara Queen 2015; Maria Vina Claudette Peralta Oca, MassKara Queen 1992; and Maria Allyson Sollabes, trade marketing manager of Procter and Gamble.
This year’s pageant, with the tagline “For the Students. By the Students. Kara Estudyante,” was hosted by the Association of Colleges and Universities of Negros Occidental headed by Ditas Joson of the LCC-Bacolod Graduate School.