SHAILA Mae Del Mar Rebortera, representing Talisay City, Cebu, was crowned Sinulog Festival Queen 2018.
The fifth year Dentistry student—with a smile just as dazzling as her sparkling pink festival gown—accepted her award on the big stage during the event held at the Cebu City Sports Center last Friday night, Jan. 19.
Rebortera, 21, won 10 out of the 16 corporate awards that were given out that night, and bested 11 other candidates for the major prize.
“I have so many blessings here in Cebu from Sto. Niño—for my education and my career in pageantry and modelling—so this is sort of like me saying thanks and giving back,” Rebortera replied when asked for her reason in joining the pageant.
With a little background in ballet, the half-British festival queen born and raised in Davao, with roots in Cebu, managed to come out on top of the competition.
“I’m not a naturally born dancer, but it’s just such a nice feeling to be able to dance for Sto. Niño.”
Other candidates among the top five were first runner-up Mary Faith Libres (Catbalogan, Samar), second runner-up Bianca Wilhelmina Willemsen (Carcar City), third runner-up Isabel Dalag Luche (Tribu Kandaya) and fourth runner-up Maerylle Blauta (Abuyog, Leyte).
Six other special awards were given out: “Best Designer,” “Best in Festival Costume” and “Best in Production” all went to Luche; “Best in Musicality” went to Blauta; “Best in Group Presentation” and “Best in Solo Performance” were awarded to Libres.
Rounding up the Festival Queen candidates are Blanche Caranoo (Hugpong Kabatanonang Mananayaw sa Sapangdaku), Jewel Alexei Buot Image (Pundok Maampuong Tisa-anon), Ma. Sonia Fate Cal (Tisa Performing Arts), Mary Claire Briones (Hugpong Karikas), Danica Antonette Suello (Tribu Madasigan), Rocheld Delos Santos (Tribu Mahugyawong Pasil) and Imee Thea Laron (Municipality of Tuburan, Cebu).
All 12 candidates and their respective production teams showcased their talent and hard work that night with a showcase of elaborate costumes, delightful music and dedicated group performances that gave honor to Cebu’s patron saint, Señor Sto. Niño.
Published in the SunStar Cebu newspaper on January 23, 2018.
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