Tuesday, June 4, 2013

2004 Miss Bohol Sandugo: Rhiz Nova Arenas

2004The year that Atty. Dan Neri Lim began his three term stint as City Mayor of Tagbilaran. 

His sister Gesnell Lim- Yap of Bohol Tropics Resort handled the Miss Bohol Sandugo edition that year and what a fabulous and spectacular pageant it was. 

On July 19, 2004, A jampacked crowd witnessed the grand coronation held at the Bohol Wisdom School gymnasium. 

More than 20 lovely ladies from all over the province vied in the three- week long pageant that included a closed- door Panel Interview

Among the judges that year was 2004 Bb Pilipinas- Universe Maricar Balagtas.

It was her second time to judge the pageant

The candidates included : Jill Ivy Maire Loquias (Antequera), Michelle Palaca (Baclayon), Bea Uy (Batuan), Maria Stephanie Alesna (Bilar), Cheryl Amormarie Eastman (Calape), Benia Nika Lao (Candijay), Donna Maricel Cardino (Clarin), Faye Michelle Mahinay (Corella)

Hanna Rose Milagrosa (CVSCAFT), Rodelyn Ann Buena (Dauis), Joyce Amor Lague (Dimiao, Marian Licayan (Duero),Abegail Gozum (Guindulman), Rhiz Novah Arenas (Inabanga), Hazel Laganson (Lila), Chimney Arat (Loay)

Jacqueline Tutor (Mabini), Rhea Jane Echavez (Maribojoc), Richelle Anne Guibone (Panglao), Grace Ylanan (Pilar), Lorraine Marie Evasco (Tagbilaran City) ,Redelyn Rosales (Talibon) and Kathy Lynn Atuel (Ubay), 


An interesting sidebit: 

If Michelle Palaca of Baclayon didn't withdraw from the competition, it would have been a battle royale between two reigning campus beauty queens. 

You see, Michelle was the reigning Miss University of Bohol and Rhea Jane Echavez of Maribojoc was the reigning Miss Holy Name University

2004 Miss Bohol Sandugo Press Presentation
June 22, Bohol Tropics Resort 

Among the early faves were Miss Batuan Bea Uy, Miss Guindulman Abigail Gozum, Miss Tagbilaran City Lorraine Evasco, Miss Calape Cheryl Eastman, Miss Clarin Maricel Cardino and Miss Maribojoc Rhea Echavez who was also the reigning Miss Holy Name University. 

Other girls that were gaining momentum included Miss Duero Marian Licayan and Miss Ubay Kathy Lynn Atuel who would eventually make a splash in the 2008 Miss Cebu Pageant considered the most prestigious pageant outside Manila. Richelle Ann Guibone who represented Panglao was also being talked about

But the girl to beat that year was Rhiz Nova Arenas of Inabanga who was recently crowned Miss Bohol Ubi Festival Queen 2004. She possessed not only the charm and allure of a beauty queen but also the eloquence and sensibility of the perfect spokesperson

The Coronation Night opened with the Parade of Festival Costumes and Introduction of Candidates. The Swimsuit and Evening Gown Competition came next 


Named Miss Talent was Miss Batuan Bea Uy. Selected Miss Photogenic and Best in Swimsuit was Miss Clarin Donna Maricel Cardino, then a sweet sixteen year old high school senior. Seven years later, Donna Maricel would be crowned Miss Mandaue City 2011 and would be selected as an official candidate to the 2011 Miss World Philippines Quest


The cut to the Top Ten Semi- Finalists then followed. I remember advancing to the next round were the girls from Ubay, Calape, Dauis, Bilar, Clarin, Panglao, Batuan, Duero & Inabanga. 

I remember the silence that followed after the announcement of the Top Ten was made. Perhaps, it was the shock of not seeing some of the early faves like Miss Tagbilaran, Miss Maribojoc, Miss Guindulman and Miss Tagbilaran City who didn’t make the Top Ten. 

Well, it’s always a reality in pageants where beauty is relative and subject to the taste and preference of the judging panel


After the Top Ten Semi- Final Interview, another cut was made and continuing their journey towards the crown were Miss Panglao, Miss Ubay, Miss Calape, Miss Inabanga and Miss Duero. One final question sealed the deal for the girls.

At this point, Miss Ubay and Miss Inabanga aced the final question but the three other finalists acquitted themselves   well also.

Would it be the tall and voluptuous Miss Duero or would it be the sweet and articulate Miss Ubay? The half- American beauty from Calape was a crowd favorite as well.

Would the sophisticated and poised lady from Panglao steal the thunder from the other finalists?

But among the keen beauty watchers who were there that unforgettable night, it was on Rhiz that they placed their bets on. She was eloquence and candor personified during the final round .Only one would be declared Miss Bohol Sandugo 2004 and the rest of the finalists would be equally named Miss Bohol Sandugo Princesses

After the deliberations among the judges, Rhiz Nova Arenas confirmed her frontrunner status by being crowned Miss Bohol Sandugo 2004.

In the sea of gorgeous and alluring women, she stood out for being the complete package; beauty, brains and breeding

It was one of the rare instances where there was near- unanimity in the final verdict.

L-R: Miss Duero, Miss Ubay, Miss Inabanga, Miss Calape & Miss Panglao
Presently, Rhiz Nova Arenas is based in Makati where she is kept busy by a rewarding  & fulfilling career in the telecommunications industry. 

I had the opportunity to emcee the 2010 Miss Bohol Sandugo with Rhiz Arenas
09 Miss Bohol Sandugo Daisy Jean Quilicot & 04 Miss Bohol Sandugo Rhiz Nova Arenas
Good luck Rhiz and Godspeed!

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