Left to right: Co-2nd Runner-Up Arielle Jazmine Roque, 1st Runner-Up Apriel Smith, Reyna ng Aliwan 2017 Marla Alforque, Co-2nd Runners-Up Ma. Ahtisa Manalo and Venisse Charm Costibolo
Last year’s winner Cynthia Thomalla during her farewell walk
Just as I predicted, four of my Top 5 picks for Reyna ng Aliwan 2017 made it to the magic circle with Marla Alforque from Sinulog Festival of Cebu getting the crown and the top prize of PhP100,000.00. Apriel Smith from Utanon Festival of Dalaguete, Cebu was named 1st Runner-Up in a perceived close fight for the title after she claimed the important awards of Best in Swimsuit and Best in Evening Gown. Three (3) ladies shared 2nd Runner-Up honors – Maria Ahtisa Manalo from Niyogyugan Festival of Quezon, Venisse Charm Costibolo from Sangyaw Festival of Tacloban and Arielle Jazmine Roque from Tuna Festival of General Santos City.
Apriel Smith getting 1st Runner-Up
From Cebuana to another Cebuana in Reyna ng Aliwan 2017
Marla being crowned by Cynthia
Reyna ng Aliwan has always been a stronghold pageant for the Queen City of the South, having claimed a lion’s share of victories more than any city or province around the Philippines. And this year is no exception as the province landed a 1-2 punch for the highest placements.
Congratulations to all the winners!
P.S. While I am happy that Marla Alforque won, I just can’t help but feel a bit disappointed for Apriel Smith who really performed well in all areas of competition but still placed 1st Runner-Up in the end. I would be happy seeing the organizers finally bucking the trend of crowning fair-skinned beauties and pushing for more diversity with its winners in the future. Just my two-cents worth. 😉
Coronation Night will be April 22
The crowning of Reyna ng Aliwan 2017 will already be this coming Saturday, April 22, at the CCP Complex. So I need to share with you now my favorites for the title, or my Top 10. If I were a judge, the successor of last year’s Cynthia Thomalla will definitely come from among Apriel Smith, Ma Ahtisa Manalo, Marla Alforque and Kathleen Mae Lendio – three Cebuanas and a Quezonian. We know how the Queen City of the South has dominated this competition for many years now, and this batch is no exception. We’ll see if the girl from Candelaria will upstage the strong troika from Cebu.
I have made an effort to rank them according to who I want to win most, as follows (all photographed by my partner Joy Arguil):
Maria Ahtisa Manalo
Kathleen Mae Lendio
Venisse Charm Costibolo
Alexia Sonia Edmund
Cherry Rose Fernandez
The Reyna ng Aliwan 2017 Official Candidates with reigning titleholder Cynthia Thomalla with previous winner Steffi Aberasturi and former runner-up Alexandra Faith Garcia
Earlier in the day, the Press Launch of Aliwan Fiesta 2017
was held alongside the Press Presentation of the Official Candidates of Reyna ng Aliwan 2017 at Passion Restaurant inside Resorts World Manila.
Twenty (20) beautiful stunners representing an equal number of festivals around the country presented themselves in elegant gowns to the delight of the members of the media who were invited for the event. One of them will succeed reigning titleholder Cynthia Thomalla during the Coronation Finals this coming Saturday, April 22 at the CCP Complex in Pasay City. Pageant presentation will be held a night before in the same venue.
Below are the Official Candidates and the festivals they represent.
Candidates 1-10 from right to left
Candidates 11-20 from right to left
It was obvious from reactions of the Press who the clear favorites are. First off, the three (3) Cebuanas are all in strong contention – Apriel Smith from Utanon Festival of Dalaguete, Kathleen Mae Lendio of Karansa Festival of Danao City and Marla Alforque of Sinulog Festival – together with Maria Ahtisa Manalo of Niyogyugan Festival of Quezon
. A dark horse would be Venisse Charm Costibolo of Sangyaw Festival of Tacloban City. And we already have five potential winners here. Let’s see who will run away with the victory this year.
Reyna ng Aliwan 2017 from one of these ladies (left to right): Apriel Smith, Maria Ahtisa Manalo, Kathleen Mae Lendio, Marla Alforque and Venisse Charm Costibolo
Watch the finals at the CCP Complex. Admission is free and you will also be regaled with festival street dancing from all over the Philippines. Only from Aliwan Fiesta 2017
This coming Saturday, all roads will lead to the Ali Mall Activity Area for the Bb. Pilipinas 2017 Talent Competition
This coming Saturday, April 8, thirteen (13) Binibinis will showcase their talents in singing, dancing, speed painting, and martial arts, among others. And it will all happen right at the Ali Mall Activity Area starting at 3pm.
In the meantime, here are archived photos from last year’s Talent Competition to align this feature with the Throwback Thursday theme. If you will recall, Vina Openiano (first photo below among the performing Binibinis from 2016)
Vina Openiano who was named Miss Talent
Maria Lina Prongoso
Angela Gene Valdez
Priscilla Kim dela Cruz
Handsome brothers Junnel and Jovani Manansala will vie for Model Supremacy 2017 soon!
It is not very often when siblings would join a pageant or modeling competition at the same time. But when the Brothers Manansala – Junnel and Jovani – screened for Model Supremacy 2017, there was no denying the electric presence that both individuals exuded in front of the board of judges such that they were green-lighted to enter the final round and eventually selected as Official Candidates. There’s just no way to deny either one of the chance to prove their worth as upcoming models and/or popular personalities.
Jovani (left) and Junnel during the Final Selection for Model Supremacy 2017 at The Penthouse 8747
I can even distinctly remember one of the members of the panel who asked Junnel the tricky question “Are you too good to be true?”, to which the reply was a most disarming smile that convinced everyone even more that he is in. As for the younger Jovani, he has this instant charm the minute he projects and shines with his trademark boyband looks. He was also an easy pick to get the golden envelope congratulating him as one of those who made it through.
Junnel and Jovani will make the runways sizzle for Model Supremacy 2017!
Expect these guys to win you over once the heat of the competition for Model Supremacy 2017 starts blazing in all the provincial pocket shows and the finals to be announced soon. Just like my blog last February 19
about Apriel Smith and Marah Smith, these four represent just a fraction of the outstanding contenders for the biggest modeling search this year!
The congratulatory message inside the envelope that sealed the deal for Junnel and Jovani to become Official Candidates of Model Supremacy 2017
Neither sisters nor cousins, Apriel and Marah represent the best of Cebu and Davao for Model Supremacy 2017
First off, this blog post is not part of my Bb. Pilipinas 2017 Watch. Some may quickly conclude that these beautiful ladies will file their application forms for the nationals, especially the appearance of Apriel Smith who was a Top 15 finisher during Bb. Pilipinas 2016.
Apriel Smith and Marah Smith represent the best of Cebu and Davao – respectively – in the upcoming Model Supremacy 2017 for Mossimo Bikini Summit Philippines. They are not related at all. It just so happens that they share the same surname. And in terms of modeling style and potentials, they have entirely different personal pegs as well. While the former possesses a sophisticated exotic quality, the latter exudes a raw soulfulness that you can definitely see and appreciate once the competition to find the most supreme models of 2017 goes full blast starting March till May.
Marah (leftmost) and Apriel (2nd from right) during the VIP Sponsors Night of Model Supremacy 2017
Apriel and Marah are just two of the many promising personalities on the runway, in shoots and videos in motion who will make Model Supremacy 2017 the biggest and the hottest search to come out of the popular Mossimo Bikini Summit PH league.
Watch out for more about Model Supremacy 2017 soon!
Apriel Smith for BLNC Magazine’s Color Issue No. 4
Maria Gigante for BLNC Magazine’s Color Issue No. 4
Don’t you miss former Binibinis Apriel Smith and Maria Gigante of Cebu City? I do. It’s a good thing BLNC Magazine featured both ladies in their Color Issue No. 4.
Apriel and Maria are shown in colorful palettes that make their exotic skin stand out even more. And you might ask if they are still seriously considering another attempt in the nationals in 2017. And I say, why not? And then I add, “Positive!” I am positive that I will see them again. Maybe not simultaneously, but I am certain that their gorgeous faces will grace Bb. Pilipinas once more.
The question is, who do you want to reurn first?
Apriel or Maria? 😉