Friday, February 15, 2013

1999 Miss Bohol Sandugo: Ria Nina & Jenifer

Year 1999 proved to be one of the most competitive editions of Miss Bohol Sandugo. 

With the first- ever Tigum Bol-anon Tibuok Kalibutan (TBTK 1999) taking place in July that year to coincide with the Sandugo Festival, pageant organizers were pressured for TBTK was also launching the first Miss Bohol International Pageant. 

With the first- ever Tigum Bol-anon Tibuok Kalibutan (TBTK 1999) taking place in July that year to coincide with the Sandugo Festival, pageant organizers were pressured for TBTK was also launching the first Miss Bohol International Pageant. 

To be staged only a week apart, it was inevitable that people would talk and compare both pageants.

The Rotary Club of Tagbilaran was designated by the Bohol Sandugo Foundation, Inc. to organize the annual beauty spectacle. The club scoured the entire province, met the town mayors, school administrators and govt. agencies to invite them to send candidates. Sixteen girls from all over the province who met the minimum requirements were named as official candidates


The top favorite was Maria Ria Nina Cubillo who first joined the pageant in 1997. She had generated some buzz already for she had placed in the 1999 Miss Mandaue Pageant two months earlier.  

Other faves were Miss Catigbian  Jenifer Ejoc, Miss Tagbilaran Marime Marapao who exuded the Julia Roberts vibes, Miss Loay Kristal Lim who would later on win the 2001 Miss University of Bohol title, the stunning Eurasian beauty from Alicia, Jane Eurlings and the vivacious and sultry Miss Tubigon Rosemary Baura. 

The town of Alburquerque sent an exquisite chinita porcelain doll Liezl Tinio who reminded everyone of Miriam Quiambao who won the Miss Universe 1st RU title that year. 

Another worthy contender was the voluptuous Jan Varquez Morisawa of Loboc who had flawless skin, impeccable English and an angelic face


Even the line-up of judges was impressive. The Spice Boys from Congress composed of Ace Barbers, Mike Defensor and Miguel Zubiri were among the 17 high- profile panelists who were tasked with choosing Bohol’s fairest who would reign during that year’s Sandugo Festival

Maximiel Tallo, Bohol’s mega designer & eventologist, choreographed and directed the entire show. After the girls competed in the swimsuits, evening gowns and interviews, the names of the Top Ten were revealed


As far as I can remember , making the Top Ten were Miss ABENA, Miss Tubigon, Miss Loboc, Miss Panglao, Miss Loay, Miss Tagbilaran City, Miss Candijay, Miss Alicia, Miss Catigbian. I forgot the name of the 10th finalist. You have to understand that all these pageant night data have been culled from my memory bank. 

Who can recall the name of that girl? 

The biggest upset and most shocking moment of the night was the non- inclusion of heavy favorite Liezl Tinio from Alburquerque. 

Time has proven that Liezl should have been up there in the Top Ten. Today, she even looks more stunning and more sophisticated


After another round of interviews, the next cut was made and the following advanced to the final round: the crowd favorites Miss ABENA, Miss Alicia, Miss Catigbian and Miss Tagbilaran City confirmed their frontrunner status when they all made the Top Five. 

A pleasant surprise was Miss Candijay, the morena beauty Jake Cadorna who came out from nowhere to snatch the fifth and final spot. To date, Jake still holds the record as the highest placed Candijaynon in Miss Bohol. 

The first Candijaynon to place was Haidee Ingking back in 1991 where she was 4th RU

After the final question, the judges then deliberated and compared notes. The lengthy discussion only heightened the tension inside the jampacked DWCT Gym.

After Josely Yap Ferniz, 1998 Miss Bohol Sandugo, made her farewell walk, the final results were announced. 


Named 3rd RU was Miss Tagbilaran City, 2nd RU was Miss Candijay, 1st RU was Miss Alicia.

The last two girls left onstage were Miss Catigbian and Miss ABENA. 


The final announcement proved to be anti- climactic for both girls were already assured of a title each. It was just a matter of assigning the right girl for the Bb. Pilipinas and Mutya ng Pilipinas pageants


For the first and ONLY time in Miss Bohol Sandugo’s history, two ladies were crowned as Miss Bohol Sandugo with the two titles of equal importance for the two new beauty queens were to be Bohol’s automatic bets to Bb. Pilipinas and Mutya ng Pilipinas, then the two most important national pageants in the Philippines

Incidentally, both girls declined to enter their respective national pageants because of their priority on education


Pageant experience gave Maria Ria Nina Cubillo of Calape who represented the Association of Bohol Executives of National Agencies (ABENA) headed then by Rtn. Fancy Baluyot the Miss Bohol Sandugo- Bb. Pilipinas title. She first joined Miss Bohol Sandugo two years earlier where she was selected Miss Photogenic

Her second try for Miss Bohol Sandugo finally gave her the crown. The 5’9” Latina- looking stunner also won the Best in Swimsuit & Best in Evening Gowns. She was also declared Miss Photogenic

Jenifer Today: Forever Beautiful

Another tall and willowy beauty, Jenifer Apayor Ejoc gave the Municipality of Catigbian, her hometown, its first Miss Bohol title when she was named the 1999 Miss Bohol Sandugo- Mutya ng Pilipinas

Aside from the coveted crown, Jen also won a handful of corporate awards.

Jenifer eventually finished her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science degree in 2001 and took her BSED qualifying thereafter so that makes her a double bachelor’s degree holder. 

She then took her Masters in Public Administration but decided to take a break. 

Love beckoned and she tied the knot with her college sweetheart Dustin Michael Sarmiento in April 2003. They have two kids, Dana Mariaye and Diana Mave

Jen with her man Dustin Michael
She resumed her educational pursuit and so took her Masters in Political Science at the Cebu City- based University of San Carlos

She has been handling Political Science and other Social Sciences classes for college students at the Holy Name University since 2003. Can you imagine having a Miss Bohol titleholder as you college professor?
That's me with Jen Ejoc- Sarmiento representing the CAS Faculty in a dance contest!  

Dancing the Kuradang to the audience's delight
By the way, Jen turned out to be one of my closest friends when I taught in HNU for six wonderful years. The friendship was cemented because we were always assigned in committees during special campus activities. 

In fact, we were picked as the representatives of the College of Arts & Sciences in an inter- college traditional dance contest among faculty members back in February 2010

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