Sunday, November 4, 2012

2011 Miss Bilar Pageant

The location for today's blog feature is the Municipality of Bilar, Bohol which is famously known for its Bilar Man- Made Forest, a favorite stop for tourists before they proceed to the majestic Chocolate Hills mostly found in the town of Carmen. 

The forest is a stretch of around two kilometers of mahogany trees that stand out because of the relatively uniform height of the trees and thickness of the tree trunks 


The Bilar Man-Made Forest was part of a bigger reforestation project that was created in response to the alarming deforestation in the Loboc watershed. 

This was caused by the destructive slash and burn farming system called kaingin, which was done by the locals who sought refuge in the forested area during World War II 

The reforestation plan started during the administration of Bohol Governor Conrado Marapao in 1947 and was continued and sustained by the succeeding administrations. 

The Bilar man-made forest is a success not only because of the overwhelming support & participation for the project but also because of the spirit of volunteerism from the government employees, socio-civic volunteers, students & the scouts who responded to the call sometime between the 1960’s and the late 1970’s 

Today, the legacy of that communal spirit exhibited by Boholanos stand proud and continues to be admired by visitors from all over the world


It was March 2011 when I got a call from Bilar Mayor Norman “Tata” Palacio who requested for a meeting regarding the possibility of organizing and mounting the 2011 Miss Bilar Pageant that would serve as the municipality’s fiesta highlight on May. 

Municipal Mayor of Bilar, The Hon. Norman "Tata" Decasa Palacio
Bohol's favorite fashion designer EJ Relampagos

With EJ as my partner & collaborator in our event coordination tandem, we were able to formalize an agreement with Mayor Palacio to have our team take charge in the production of the 2011 Miss Bilar Pageant. 

ANTICIPATED. The cutting edge & fashion forward photo shoot for Miss Bilar 2011 meant that the pageant was going to deviate from the usual run- of- the- mill pageants. 

The pageant was going to be the highlight for the municipality’s town fiesta celebration and promised to showcase the beauty and talent of the town’s fairest. 

Cong. Arthur Yap & Bohol First Lady Pureza Chatto
FESTIVE. The excitement that pervaded the air minutes before the show opened became more pronounced as we were nearing the scheduled time to start. 

It was heightened by the rhythmic and explosive live tribal music provided by the Pentagon Tribal Group. Everyone was eagerly waiting for the show to unfold. It was a jampacked crowd that night with Bilarnon balikbayans in the VIP section of the venue. 

Miss Bilar 2011 candidates make a grand entrance in the pageant opening
SPECTACULAR. It was a spectacular opening number that had a frenzied and energetic choreography from talented Julan Cordova and enhanced by the heart- pounding music. 

The 13 lovely lasses made their entrance from the audience. It surely was an awesome number! 

The 1st Set of Awards: 

The Miss Friendship & Best In Production Number special titles were snagged by Herlyn Cabig of Cansumbol while Ledie Mae Paigalan was named Miss Dunkin Donuts. 

SHOWMANSHIP. The candidates’ talents in acting, singing, dancing & even playing with fire were showcased onstage. 

The Talent Portion which was 10% of the Pre- Judging had the following results: 1st Zamora who wowed everyone with her technique & flair in dancesport. 2nd place went to Cansumbol who had an acting monologue and 3rd place went to Riverside who showed off her singing talent 

THE JURORS. The judging panel was composed of Bohol’s very own First Lady, Madame Pureza V. Chatto, Major. Ramon Zabala of the 2nd Infantry Batallion based in Bilar, the statuesque Miss Tagbilaran 2010 Fer Mary Baliquig, flamboyant Mardi Gras Festival Queen of Cebu Vanity Banks and Dubai- based international fashion jewelry designer and registered nurse Mils Calimbayan 

2010 Miss Tagbilaran & Miss Bohol 1st RU Fer Mary Baliquig
Dubai- based fashion jeweler & nurse Mils Calimbayan
Bilar's First Family:Mayor Norman Palacio, wife Mylene B. Palacio 
& daughter Eliza Miel, Bilar SK Federated President

Each of the judges had a computer that was hooked to a main terminal which printed out fast & accurate results seconds after the conclusion of each competition. 

Bohol Island State University which provided the program revealed that the Miss Bilar Pageant is one of only three pageants in Bohol that has adopted the Miss Universe- like judging format. 


Amidst the lush foliage stage design that was inspired by Bilar’s flora and fauna, the 13 candidates came out in modest pink & orange playsuits. 

This particular segment proved that a beauty contestant doesn’t have to wear skimpy bikinis to be sexy. The girls had energy and showed off their grace and balance walking on those sky high stilettos while navigating the narrow catwalk. 

The 2nd Set of Special Awards:

Ingenious Media, official pageant photographer picked Ledie Mae Paigalan of Yanaya as Miss Photogenic while Lara Danica Ferniz of Poblacion was chosen as Miss Beauche Image Model. 

The Playsuit Competition Scores:

1st Miss Villa Aurora
2nd Miss Yanaya
3rd Miss Zamora 


The dreaded Question & Answer portion adopted the talk show format with the emcee asking the girls one or two personal questions then capping it with one common question that truly tested the girls’ sincerity, spontaneity, and substance. 

The plus point for this particular segment was the girls' freedom to express themselves in the language or dialect that they were comfortable with. 


The Top Three Scores:

1st Miss Owac
2nd Miss Zamora
3rd Miss Cansumbol. 

April May Abaya of Brgy. Owac deserved the Best in Interview award. 

When asked “ Which of the following would you like to be? Beautiful, Intelligent or Rich?” 

She replied “ I choose to be intelligent because if you’re intelligent, you can become rich and if you’re rich, you can always find a way to make yourself look and feel beautiful” 


The final area of the Pre- Judging was the most elegant and most romantic part of the pageant; the Evening Gown Competition which had the girls in identical flowing immaculate white EJ Relampagos Couture evening gowns. 

It was the decisive portion that separated the women from the girls. The girls' enhancement seminar- workshop paid off. They were all poised and full of confidence. 

The Evening Gown Competition Results:

1st Miss Villa Aurora
2nd Miss Zamora
3rd Miss Yanaya 


The girls were then trimmed down to the final six: Topping the preliminaries was Jeremiah Tapangan of Villa Aurora, 2nd place went to Charserlyn Clamosa of Zamora then Herlyn Cabig of Cansumbol in 3rd place. 

The top six finalists were called in random order. First to be called was Julie Ann May Jaque of Riverside, followed by Jeremiah Tapangan of Villa Aurora, April May Abaya of Owac, Charserlyn Clamosa of Zamora, then Ledie Mae Paigalan of Yanaya. Rounding out the top six was Herlyn Cabig of Cansumbol 

The finalists’ pre- judging scores were carried over to the next round & accounted for 60% of the score. The remaining 40% was decided with the final question. 


Topping the final interview was the crowd favorite from Cansumbol who, when asked what the judges should also consider when choosing Miss Bilar aside from beauty & brains, wittily replied that the judges should consider if a contestant has confidence because with confidence and self- esteem, nothing would be impossible and one would be able to give her best. Short and to the point. Wild thunderous applause ensued from the crowd. 

DESERVING The big winner that night won for her overall performance marked by consistency and refreshing aura.  Her interview was endearing. 

When asked why the judges should pick her as Miss Bilar 2011, she hesitated and would rather that the judges select the most deserving winner. 

When pressed further on how she can convince the judges, she replied with an answer that came straight from the heart. " Para sa ako, I have the beauty that truly reflects that of the people of Bilar"

Jeremiah Tapangan, the tall and morena beauty from Villa Aurora who answered in a mix of Cebuano & English was also declared Face of the Night. 

Her very engaging and likable personality plus her statuesque height, grace & elan deemed her to be the complete package. She is expected to surpass the 5th place finish of her predecessor Cherry May Ancog in the 2009 Miss Bohol Sandugo Pageant. 

Named 1st RU was Herlyn Cabig of Cansumbol and Charserlyn Clamosa of Zamora was declared 2nd RU 

It was the general consensus that the judges made the right decision in ranking the Top Three winners.


Wittingly or unwittingly, the judges of the Miss Bilar 2011 pageant has just set another trend in picking out a beauty pageant winner. They never placed a premium on the English- speaking ability of the candidates. 

The emphasis was on personality projection, candor and sincerity. To the credit of the Bilarnon audience, they were generally well- behaved and there was no collective boos nor insults thrown at any of the candidates. 

TENSE MOMENT: Seconds before the Announcement
Miah reacts when she is named the 2011 Miss Bilar
Expect the trend of smart & gorgeous Bisaya- speaking beauty queens from now on. 

That's me with Ciela Jane Concon who happens to be one of my best students in Public Speaking. With her charm, personality & gift of gab, I foresee a bright future for her in emceeing 

Overall, it was a successful pageant that truly showcased the beauty & BRAINS of Bilar’s young women. 

To paraphrase the answer of Riverside's Julie Ann May Jaque, she answered during the final round that the most important lesson she learned during the pageant was to enjoy the experience and make friends with the candidates for by joining said competition, they had been made winners. Very well said. 


Congratulations to the LGU of Bilar headed by its dynamic and youthful mayor, the Hon. Norman “Tata” D. Palacio, his very supportive wife Mylene B. Palacio, the overall pageant coordinator Mrs. Cling Omac, the hard- working staff, the SK Federated of Bilar headed by Hon. Eliza Miel Palacio

It was another successful event for EJ Relampagos & yours truly 

Special commendations also to Bohol's First lady Madame Pureza Chatto who graced the occasion and inspired the crowd with her gift of gab

Photo Credits: Ingenious Media & Hwan Mendoza

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