CAGAYAN DE ORO. The Miss Kagay-an candidates at the Dahilayan Adventure Park in Alae, Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon.

THIS year's 12 candidates for the Miss Kagay-an beauty search all have one thing in common - most of them have "past" experiences.

But not the kind of experiences that can raise one's eyebrows. It's about them having had past experiences in similar beauty contests.

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Danikka Rose M. Fabela, an 18-year-old student of Xavier University, was crowned Bb. Tagoloan 2009. Standing tall at 5'4", Fabela has remarkable academics record during her younger years, said pageant director Glenn C. Cabaral.

Cabaral said Fabela is a multi-talented lady and a "good singer and dancer."

Another 18-year-old hopeful, Virnajenn L. Bacus, who is representing Barangay Macasandig, was crowned Ms. SK Iligan 2009.

Cabaral said Bacus has "a great determination" and "displays enormous strength being an orphan at nine-month old."

"She is also good in class," Cabaral says.

Jo Phel Reyes was Ms. Teen Northern-Western Mindanao 2008 and a national finalist for the Ms. Teen Philippines.

Rhealou Zayas, according to Cabaral, is also into a lot of beauty contests.

"The 18-year-old Rhealou belongs to a family of beauty queens, with a sister who is also fond of joining many kinds of pageants," Cabaral said.

Another candidate, Diva Catherine Opina, 19, was a regional qualifier for the Miss Teen Philippines 2007.

Representing Liceo de Cagayan University, Opina had her practicum for Hotel and Restaurant Management in the United States.

Also representing Liceo de Cagayan University, Risa Amor Guilongan is described as "a veteran in pageants", while International School student Z-Love Salcedo was Ms. Tagoloan 2008.

Other candidates do not have that much experience in joining beauty contests but can jive with the rest of the group.

Jeminah Ruth Ferrer, 23, obtained her Mass Communications degree in United Kingdom and another degree at the University of the Philippines.

"I'm not quite sure, but I think she's (Jem) into organizing an event. She's one of the organizers of the Record Breaker concert of Sarah Geronimo in Cagayan de Oro," Cabaral said.

Meanwhile, Bianca Myleen Erfe is currently working as a nurse at Xavier Maria Reyna University Hospital. She represents Barangay Lumbia.

A neophyte in beauty contests, 22-year-old Geera Maree Alquisalas says she is enjoying this year's pageant, especially the pocket activities. Alquisalas is representing Xavier University.

Noriza Torio also represents Barangay Lumbia who, according to Cabaral, is a good equestrian.

"She's well-raised. Speaks and plays violin well. She sounds-like, talks-like Amy Austria," Cabaral shares.

Another hopeful is 20-year-old Samantha Grace Reyes, whom Cabaral says: "has a story of determination."

"Last year, her application for the search was turned down. She prepared a lot for this year's search and made it," Cabaral said.

The 12 candidates for this year's contest will pit against each other in the Talent Competition Wednesday at SM City Cagayan de Oro.