KAREEN Ty. Lin-ay sang Silay 2009. Charming. Comely. Appealing. Spectacular. Splendid. “And, now…ladies and gentlemen, our Lin-ay sang Negros sa Panaad Festival 2010…is Lin-ay sang Silay Kareen Ty!” (Round of applause.)

She is a Taurus lady. Strong-willed. Determined. Visionary. Possessing managerial skills. Has aesthetic taste. Compassionate. Has appetite for social action. She was born on May 15, 1990. She spent her elementary school days at Guinhalaran Elementary School. Silay Institute provided her the knowledge and skills in preparation for college activities. And, she was Vice Mayor of Silay City during the Boys and Girls’ Week 2004 by the Rotary Club of Silay.

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To date, she is in her third year as Bachelor in Hospitality Management student at La Consolacion College. She is program chairman of the Student of Hospitality and Tourism Management Student Council (also doing odd jobs for the council as model, emcee, project coordinator, event organizer, etc.) In 2008, she was Miss La Consolacion College and in 2009, she represented Barangay Guinhalaran in the pageant, “Search for Lin-ay sang Silay 2009.” She won the title and that was the beginning of good fortune. She enjoyed the scholarship grant of the Silay City Government.

Mayor Jose Montelibano and Vice Mayor Mark Golez, together with the city councilors, presented and congratulated her in front of the City Hall employees during the Monday flag ceremony. She was the honoree during the motorcade which traversed the major streets of Silay.

During the interview after her coronation, she said, “I value life because it is precious. Family solidarity is important to support life. Life can only gain meaning if the members of the family support each other.” Now, Kareen belongs not only to her own family. She is now a part of the Negrense Family. She will represent Negros Occidental in cultural, tourism and government-related functions. As model of the lady Negrenses, she will carry the virtue and courage of our women.

“I will support what is good for the environment. I will take pride in the promotion of our festivals. Together, we will tell the world the beauty of our province. Tourists should come and enjoy the hospitality of the Negrosanons, taste our delicacies, have fun in our beaches and ecotourism parks. Negros is more than sugar. We have more surprises for you. WOW Negros!”

Her preparation for another phase of adventure starts now. She will be Negros Occidental’s bet in the “Search for Miss Western Visayas – Tourism” in the last quarter of 2010. Our lassie enjoys browsing at the internet or reading Christian books and of course, does not neglect household chores. She is an active member of her church, Assemblies of God.

She loves to listen to mellow music which oldies enjoy. She goes out also for the “blues” for a change. Kareen has no preference for food. She can go for laswa, pinamalhan, tinola, grilled chicken, or the standard hotel food. “Any food is part of God’s blessing.”

She looks forward to be successful and finish with flying colors her on-the-job training (local) and possibly avail of a work experience in Canada or Singapore which she needs. “At all times, I trust God. Take care, the Lord will strengthen you each step along the way. Take courage, the Lord has the power to help you heal and grow. Take heart, the love of God will never let you go.”

When asked about challenges, her response is, “Work hard every day to be the best person you can be, but never feel guilty if you fall short of your goals. Every sunrise offers a second chance. At the end of every challenge, I always want to go home…to be with my family, which somehow I missed…my father Ricardo; my mother, Ma. Nenita; and my two brothers and sister. Home is always the best sanctuary.”

She wishes to work as a flight attendant or land in a job as an event organizer, or handle a hotel assignment where she can meet people with ideas on socio-economic development. “I am waiting for my specific task as Lin-ay sang Negros 2010 and I want to enjoy the scholarship offer.”

“I am still Lin-ay sang Silay and I know that Mayor Oti Montelibano is preparing for the big event in Silay in June, that is, our 250th Silay Anniversary (1760-2010). I am excited to hand over the crown and scepter to my successor. At the moment, I assure Silaynons that I will always be in the frontline together with the tourism staff to promote and market Silay as the ‘seat of arts, culture and ecotourism in Western Visayas.’ Thank you Negros.”

That’s Kareen Ty. Simply Negrense.