16-year-old lead dancer crowned festival queen-A A +A
Sunday, January 15, 2012
THE lead dancer of Lumad Basakanon was crowned Sinulog Festival Queen 2012, besting 13 other lead dancers during the pageant night at the Cebu City Sports Center last Friday.
Apriel Smith, daughter of the late African-American basketball player Daryl Smith, was also adjudged best solo performer and best in festival costume.
Designed by Danny Booc, the costume worn by the 16-year-old third year high school student of the Abellana National School also won the best festival costume design.
Last year’s winner Steffi Rose Aberasturi, also from Lumad Basakanon, turned over the crown to Smith, who is not new to winning beauty contests, having won the Miss Milo Little Olympics contest in 2010.
Other winners in this year’s search were Nerissa Modesto of Tanuan, Leyte (first runner-up), Conchitina Cleofe Yu of Alang-Alang, Leyte (second runner-up), Shekina Rose Lasola of Dumaguete City (third runner-up) and Angel Lou Pates of Lanao del Norte (fourth runner-up).
The contest’s judges included Power Dance choreographer Douglas Nierras, Miss Earth 2008 Karla Paula Henry and Miss Cebu 2010 Mia Zeeba Ali Faridoon.
Aberasturi joined all the contestants during the opening number, which also featured dancers from the University of Cebu Dance Company. The contestants then introduced themselves one by one.
Each lead dancer then performed with their group for three minutes. Among the most well-applauded group performances was that of Tribu Himag-ulaw of Placer, Masbate, whose lead dancer wore a costume decorated with artificial lion heads.
The crowd roared in awe when life-sized crocodiles, gorilla and zebra entered the stage at the end of the group’s performance.
The Tribu Lingganay from Alang-Alang, Leyte, a first-timer in Sinulog, also wowed the crowd with their colorful props.
When the emcees announced the group as winner in the best in group performance and best in musicality, their supporters, including the town mayor seated near the stage, jumped in joy.
During the final showdown, the contestants, each holding a Sto. Niño, danced their best while careful not to hit each other with their outsized costumes.
Shekina Rose Lasola of Dumaguete won majority of the corporate awards, including the SM City Cebu Glamor Girl, Miss Shopwise, Miss Teletech and Miss Globe. She was also adjudged best in runway and best in group production presentation.
Miss PLDT award went to Smith, while the Miss Photogenic award went to Danilie Rose Damolo of the Bulacao Community School.
The Search for Sinulog Festival Queen has been one of the highlights of the festival since 2004. The winner is chosen based on her beauty, grace and dancing skills.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on January 15, 2012.