Cebu Bet wins Reyna ng Aliwan 2017


Marla Alforque

Cebu bet wins

NOT all beauty queens get to win two crowns in one year.

But there’s no stopping 21-year-old Cebuana Marla Alforque as she brought two crowns in just four months—Sinulog Festival Queen in January and the eighth Reyna ng Aliwan crown for Cebu last Saturday night.

Marla rought a back-to-back victory for Cebu, as fellow Cebuana and Reyna Aliwan 2016 Cythia Thomalla passed her the crown, during the coronation night held at Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP), Pasay City.

Alforque, a native of Valencia, Carcar City, bested 19 other candidates, including her fellow Cebuanas Kathleen Mae Lendio for Danao City’s Karansa Festival and Apriel Smith for Dalaguete’s Utanon Festival, who secured the
second top spot, as the first runner-up.

The Education graduate from the Cebu Technological University was also named as the second Best in Costume. She wore the creation of Malayka Yamas during the pre-pageant night last April 21.

Another candidate from Cebu Apriel Smith, who joined Binibining Pilipinas two years ago, went home with the
special awards for Best in Swimsuit and Best in Long Gown.

The second-runners up were Venisse Charm Costibolo of Sangyaw Festival, Ma. Ahtisa Manalo of Niyogyugan Festival and Arielle Jazmine Roque of Tuna Festival.

Ricky Ballesteros, executive director of Sinulog Foundation Inc., said that he is proud with the three Cebuana candidates dominating the Reyna ng Aliwan, since they started joining way back in 2009.

“Cebu beauties stood out in the entire competition, they were also press favorites,” Ballesteros told Cebu Daily News

According to Ballesteros, Alforque was not supposed to join this year’s Reyna ng Aliwan because for her, she wasn’t ready yet.

“It was supposed to be Sinulog Festival Queen 2015 Yanny Penserga this year, and Marla will be sent represent next year. But unfortunately Yanny got hired as an international flight attendant and they are not allowed to do swimsuits,” he told CDN.

It was not until two weeks before the competition that Alforque said yes to joining this year, and had to cram in training even in the Holy Week under Malayka Yamas and Jonas Borces.

“She is really a performer on stage but if makigstorya ka niya she’s very shy, typical gwapa na probinsyana. But I think she gave the best answer during the Q and A,” said Ballesteros describing the newly crowned Reyna ng Aliwan.

Growing up in one of the mountain barangays of Carcar City, Alforque was described to be the typical shy probinsyana. But to everyone’s surprise,
Alforque transformed on stage during the Aliwan.

“She transforms on stage. Even the press noticed that she looks like a younger version of Pia Wurtzbach,” said Ballesteros.

He recalled that during the costume competition, Alforque was teary-eyed backstage after bagging only one award from last Friday’s pre-pageant night, and she also had to deal with the pressure of not breaking the consecutive victory for Cebu.

“Iyang minor award is only first-runner up for Festival Costume.

Mura siyag kahilakon after that.

Mauwaw siya nga basig di siya kadaog unya nagsige na biyag daug ang Cebu. So I told her to just enjoy the pageant.

Win or lose, she will still be our queen,”said Ballesteros.

Getting all the movitation that she needs, Alforque nailed the Q & A when she was asked where is the best place for her to bring the tourists in Cebu. Her answer was:

“The search for Reyna ng Aliwan is different from the other contests because they are looking for the woman who will represent ingenuity and unity.

Because my dear, ladies and gentlemen, Aliwan is a kind of event which gathers all of the people with various ethnicities that showcase theirrespective
cultures and tradition. And they are looking for that Reyna who can stand proud of who she really is and can represent Aliwan to the different parts of the world,” she said.

When asked why Cebuanas are dominating the Reyna ng Aliwan, Ballesteros shared that it is but fortunate that most of the Sinulog Festival Queens are a total package, of beauty and brains.

Organized by Manila Broadcasting Company, Aliwan Fiesta is an annual event that gathers different cultural festivals of the Philippines in Star City
Complex in Pasay City wherein regions compete in dance parade, float competitions, and beauty pageant.

Carcar City and Lumad Basakanon were also invited to join the Aliwan Fiesta.

But according to Ballesteros, the choreographer of Carcar City received the invitation late and the Lumad Basakanons don’t have the budget to join this year.

TAGS: 2017
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