The officials candidates to the 2011 Miss Manaragat Beauty Pageant: The Search for Miss Catbalogan City faced members of professional and campus press last August 10, 2011 at the Honeyben’s Flaming Hat Restaurant.

The candidates’ first public appearance came after an orientation held at the same venue, wherein they were briefed regarding pageant rules and regulations as well as the proper conduct required of them during activities including rehearsals.

The ladies who appeared before the press were Rachel Rondina (#1, Sierra Islands), Lyra Rabi Eneran (#2, Brgy. Maulong), Liberty Bonafe (#3, Brgy. Estaka Buri), Lou Dominique Piczon (#4, Brgy. 4 Poblacion), Jasmin Japzon (#5, Brgy. 11 Poblacion), Pearl Gonzaga (#6, Brgy. Guindapunan), Ana Marjorie Cayas (#7, Brgy. Silanga), Maria Lourdes Papiona (#8, Brgy. Canlapwas), Ma. Jenebie Hernandez (#9, Brgy. Pangdan), Glennah Avenido (#10, Brgy. 04 Poblacion), Vilma Montaña (#11, Brgy. Darahuway Dako), Jackie Lyn Escala (#12, Brgy. 13 Poblacion), Oddette Maffi Tarrayo (#13, Brgy. 08 Poblacion) and Kristine Mae Baculpo (#14, Brgy. Mercedes).

As of this writing, three (3) of the candidates particularly Bonafe, Montaña,  and Hernandez have backed out. In Bonafe’s place came Ms. Jonalyn Montejo who will represent Brgy. San Andres. Contestant number 5, Jasmin Japzon has also changed her representation and is now the official candidate of Barangay 01 Poblacion. These changes have reduced the number of candidates to twelve (12) in all.

Aside from being the basis for choosing the Darling of the Press Special Award, the press conference is also the activity wherein the pageant’s theme is most explored. The original theme, which is “Rediscovering Catbalogan’s True Beauty”, was retained for this year although it now focuses on two main issues namely environmental protection and cultural preservation. The first step that organizers to address the latter is to have all interviews be conducted in the local vernacular.

The members of the press who were present for the presscon included PIA-Samar Manager Alice Nicart, DYMS Anchor Myra Mabangue-Tambor, Samarnews.com Publisher Ray Gaspay, Samarnews.com contributor Emy Bonifacio, Samar National School’s The Samariñan Editor-in-Chief Paul Saisses and Marian Footprints Editor-in-Chief Mark Bernales from St. Mary’s College-Catbalogan.

Following a photo shoot right after the press conference, the candidates sat for a one-on-one interview with PIA Manager Nicart and Councilor Stephany Uy-Tan for the first of two interviews that will serve as a basis for the awarding of the Miss Eloquence award on Coronation Night.


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