IT WAS truly a Cinderella-like night for beauty queen Cinderella Faye "Cindy" Obeñita, representing Barangay Carmen, as she was crowned Miss Cagayan de Oro 2019 last Saturday, August 24, at the Atrium of Limketkai Mall.
Obeñita was expected to land in the top 5 spot as she already shone in the pre-pageant competition and bagged several corporate and special awards such as Miss Personality, Best Gown Design, and Best in Evening Gown.
Together with her on the top 5 spot are Nicole Ramos, the Miss Cagayan de Oro First Runner-up; Pauline Pielago, Miss Cagayan de Oro Second Runner-up; Vincy Vacalares, Miss Cagayan de Oro Third Runner-up; and Souarthizae Violon, Miss Cagayan de Oro Fourth Runner-up.
"Ako gyud unang nabati, the first word that came out of my mind was 'chuy'. I was definitely really impressed and mao na sya ang word that was being given to me during the preliminary round. And I really believe that the stars have aligned tonight, so thank you gyud kaayo sa tanan nagsalig," Obeñita said.
"Wala gyud ko nag-expect. But akoa gyud gi-expect kay buhaton lang gyud nako ang tanan, that I will execute well, that I will answer well. Because this is not my battle alone, but it's the battle of the many people who are behind me," she added.
Experienced in the world of pageantry, Cindy returned from her three-year hiatus with a shine of a star and a fire to advocate for cervical cancer warriors and survivors.
"I had a three-year hiatus in the pageant stage and I believe the timing is really everything, so I came back now. I joined Miss Cagayan de Oro because I know that this is my timing and I want really to push my advocacy to the national pageant," Obeñita said.
"I really have worked hard for it, to become Miss Cagayan de Oro. Grabe gyud ang atong pagpaningkamot, especially sa akong family, sa among mentors, sa mga supporters. Because it is not just a dream of mine, it is a dream of the cervical cancer warriors; it is the dream of the cervical cancer survivors and even the victims of it," she added.
Apart from cervical cancer and breast cancer awareness, Cindy said she is also pushing for education.
She also expressed her resolve to involve not only Cagayan de Oro City in her advocacies and future activities and programs, but also the neighboring cities and municipalities.
"Dili na nato buhatan ang atoang mga programs sa kababaihan dili lang diri sa city. But I think we should also include our neighboring cities and municipalities, because after all the progress of Cagayan de Oro is because of the collaborative efforts of the surrounding cities and municipalities," Obeñita said.
"The four other girls also have different advocacies naa na silay mga worthwhile causes. So kaming mga Miss Cagayan de Oro candidates, i-push forward gihapon na siya namo. Dili lang tungod kay karon nag-coronation night na, human na, lugar dayon ang among advocacy. No, it is the beginning of a much bigger work ahead of us," she added.
Asked for her fiesta message, the newly-crowned Miss Cagayan de Oro 2019 encouraged everyone, particularly the people from neighboring areas of the city, to come join the festivities in the celebration of the Higalaay Festival.
"We are celebrating the Higalaay Festival, because we are celebrating the bounty of love of the higalas here in Cagayan de Oro. So to all our neighbors, come visit us here in Cagayan de Oro because there are a lot of activities that await all of you," she said.