Sunday April 1, 2018

Republic of the Philippines Scholarship Pageant successfully launched its second season last January 31st, staged at the Sofitel Philippine Plaza Ballroom. Miss Cindy Dumol from Roxas City was proclaimed Miss RP whereas Miss Excelsa de Jesus of New York was crowned as Miss RP International. This year was the first time ever that Mr. RP was launched as the organizers also believe in providing the same opportunities to its male delegates, with Mr. Dennis Frias Malones of Bulacan besting other sixteen delegates across the country. Both winners focus on advocating a more equitable education for the economically disadvantaged. Mr. Malones was given a cerebral wreath designed by Arnel Papa, to complement the Miss RP crown. A vesture was made by Ulysses King from naturally woven materials with hand painted local inscriptions in baybayin, “Pilipinas Kong Mahal”. In addition to scholarship opportunities and travel, winners were given custom commissioned fine jewelry designed by Bernadette Villacorta of Hiyas Jewelry.

2018 Winners Cindy Dumol and Dennis Malones Minor awards included: People’s Choice Awards went to Christian Suntay and Excelsa de Jesus; Best in Ternowas designed by Roland Lirio as modelled by April Liban(Isabela) whereas the Best in Barong Tagalog was designed by Ulysses King and worn by Jerome Vasquez (Batangas City); Most Photogenic: Jedryk Costes (Taguig) and Ma. Beatrix Panganiban (Quezon); Best in Talent: Excelsa de Jesus and Mr. Willeman III; Friendship Award: John Carlo Morales and Marinel Angeline Dizon; Hotel 101 advocates: Will Quinto and Thamara Alexandria Pacursa; and Verde Salon advocates John Carlo Morales and Beatrix Panganiban.

The pageant continued its tradition of showcasing the best in Vinta inspired evening wear instead of the national costumes as with other pageants. Manny Halasan won the Best in Vinta as worn by Ma. Beatrix Panganiban whereas the male counterpart was designed by Estien Quijano and was worn by John Carlo Morales. Gowns were accessorized by Mila Imson with designer Christopher Munar and stylist Mac Mendoza. Hotel 101, under Double Dragon Properties, was the official residence and hosted the delegates and staff. With Dr. Romulo Aromin, Jr., Chair of the 2018 Search’s vision of also showcasing the best in the Filipino in its diverse forms of artistic expression, Alba Productions, Inc (with RD Alba and Philip Anthony) was brought in from Hollywood to bring in stateof- the-art staging. The roving camera, used in major international pageants was first used here back home. During the benefits gala on January 30th, international artist Richard Gabriel, sculptor pedis par excellence from Milan was featured, back-to-back with homegrown artists Jonathan Dangue for his architectural lamps, and surrealist Jeffrey Guanlao. Ditta Sandico, an established fashion designer for 32 years was featured with her own brand of combined fabrics as Banaca (banana abaca), Pinalino, Abeliloco, Mangyan Habol, in her creations. The Founding Supporter Jaki Penalosa with Aisha Penalosa, Bo Parcon and Djohn Clement, dazzled the audience with their beautifully executed Hablon from Iloilo in their modern designs. Ulysses King and Simon Ariel Vasquez presented their opening collection of sartorially designed Barong.The Bolt of Talent 2017 winner Lance Busa sang the RP Theme roundelay, “Nagiisang Kislap sa Buong Daigdig”, composed by the organizers themselves with sound engineering provided by Acoustic Underground. Inc.

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