Who will be hailed as the Sinulog Festival Queen 2012? Every year, the female lead dancers of every contingent aim to be acknowledged for their beauty and grace in Cebu’s most festive celebration. This year’s coronation night will be at the Cebu City Sports Center on January 13, 2012, at 7:30 p.m. Prior to this, the contestants will be busy on January 12, for a photo shoot at 10:00 a.m. and the Best in Runway Competition at 6:00 p.m. at SM City Cebu.
The search for the Sinulog Festival Queen is a yearly contest among the female lead dancers held on the Friday before the grand parade. Sinulog organizers claim that the Festival Queen is not a beauty pageant. Rather, it aims to recognize the best lead dancer of Cebu's grandest festival.
To be eligible for the competition, the candidate must be single, between 14 and 24 years old and the lead dancer of her contingent. She is required to participate during the grand parade and final performance on January 15, 2012, at the Cebu City Sports Center. If she fails to dance during the said events, she will automatically be disqualified, and awards and prizes will be revoked.
The aspirant must submit the following documentary requirements: (a) completed registration form and biodata provided by the Sinulog Foundation Festival Queen 2012 committee, (b) one 4R colored close-up, half-body photo, (c) one 4R colored full-body photo, (d) Certificate of Good Moral Character signed by the delegation head, and Certification of Guarantee signed by delegation head or city/town mayor. If the candidate fails to submit the said certification, she will be ineligible in participating in the search.
Aside from the recognition of her beauty and talent, the Festival Queen 2012 will win Php50,000. The first runner up gets Php30,000, the second runner up receives Php20,000, and the third and fourth runners up get Php5,000 each.
The reigning Sinulog Festival Queen 2011 is Ms. Steffi Rose Pearson Aberasturi of Lumad Basakanon, a contingent of Barangay Basak San Nicolas, Cebu City. Eight years after the inception of this contest, a Cebuana finally bagged the Festival Queen crown. She was able to beat 19 beautiful and graceful candidates.
This victory did not come easy to the young dancer. Aberasturi, who was 16 years old at that time, tripped and fell onstage during her solo presentation. She was able to overcome this terrifying moment gracefully. She did not panic or let the accident ruin her performance. The crowd was impressed when she calmly got up and regained her composure.
“I am overwhelmed by the feat. It’s a great honor and privilege for me to win the title. But I was not expecting to win because of the accident,” she told The Freeman. “For me, that accident taught me that we experience ups and downs but if you have the determination to stand up after you fall, then something great is ahead of you,” the reigning Festival Queen added.
The designer of Lumad Basakanon, Mercury Gumera, was the one who suggested in making Aberasturi the lead dancer of their contingent. Aberasturi said she was motivated by her parents, Tribo Lumad Basakanon and by Señor Sto. Niño.
Aberasturi, who was recognized as the only candidate to kiss the Sto. Niño during the performance, collected most of the corporate awards such as the Ms. SM, Ms. Mendez Medical Group, and Ms. Samsung. She also won the Ms. Photogenic and Best in Runway awards.
The charming Aberasturi was crowned Ms. Star Teen in her school, San Roque Development Center in Liloan. She also expressed her desire to join major pageants like Miss Mandaue and Miss Cebu in the future.
Sinulog Foundation chairman, Mayor Michael Rama was so happy with Aberasturi’s win. “All the candidates were indeed beautiful but I’m glad that Aberasturi made it and a Cebuana finally won and it was a great timing because it’s during my first term,” the Cebu City mayor told The Freeman.
On the other hand, Ricky Ballesteros, a Sinulog Foundation official expressed his astonishment when Aberasturi tripped. He told The Freeman this: “I was really shocked when that happened but what surprised me was when she was able to regain her composure. There is something in her, an X-factor, I should say and she’s the only lady who kissed the Sto. Niño.” He added that he was happy and proud that for the first time, a Cebuana was crowned Festival Queen. This was also the first time that four of the top five candidates came from Cebu.
The runner ups were Jey Ann Avenido of Tribu Kandaya from Daan Bantayan, Barbette Joanne Badocdoc of Pintados Festival from Tacloban Leyte, Phoebe Corrine Pataytay of Lahug Elementary School and Denice Marie Caminade of Banay Talambanon.
Aberasturi faced tough competitions. First runner up Avenido got four out of five major awards namely the Best Solo Performer, Best in Gown Design, Best in Production Number, Best in Musicality, and Best in Group Presentation. Aside from these awards, she was also named Ms. Casino Femme, Ms. Ever Bilena and Ms. Lecit-I. Marie Marana of Buyugan Fetival was named Ms. PLDT and took home the Best in Festival Costume award.
Here is the complete list of Sinulog Festival Queen 2011 winners:
Festival Queen - Steffi Rose Pearson Aberasturi
Barangay Basak San Nicolas, Cebu City
First Runner Up - Jey Ann Avenido
Second Runner Up - Barbette Joanne M. Badaocdoc
Third Runner Up - Phoebe Carinne R. Pataytay
Lahug Elementary School
Lahug, Cebu City
Fourth Runner Up - Denice Marie Caminade
Talamban Elementary School
Talamban, Cebu City
Best in runway – Lumad Basakanon
Miss Photogenic – Lumad Basakanon
Miss SM – Lumad Basakanon
Miss Ever Bilena – Tribu Kandaya of Daanbantayan Cebu
Miss Mendez Medical Group – Lumad Basakanon
Miss Face of theNight – Carcar Cebu
Miss Smart – Lanao del Norte
Miss Mendez Gluta – Inayawan
Miss Lecit E – Tribu Kandaya of Daanbantayan Cebu
Miss Bioderm – Lanao del Norte
Miss Casino Femme – Tribu Kandaya of Daanbantayan Cebu
Miss Samsung – Lumad Basakanon
Miss PLDT – Buyogan Festival, Abuyog Leyte
Best Solo Performer – Tribu Kandaya of Daanbantayan Cebu
Best in Festival Costume – Buyogan Festival Abuyog Leyte
Best in Festival Designer – Tribu Kandaya of Daanbantayan Cebu
Best Opening Production Number – Tribu Kandaya of Daanbantayan Cebu
Best in Musicality – Tribu Kandaya of Daanbantayan Cebu
Best Group Production Presentation- Tribu Kandaya of Daanbantayan Cebu
Will another Cebuana win the Sinulog Festival Queen title this year? Watch the coronation night on January 13, 2012 at the Cebu City Sports Center.