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
The refreshing beauty of Cynthia Thomalla for Bb. Pilipinas 2017
Cynthia & I during last year’s Niyogyugan Festival in Lucena
Under most everyone’s radar, Cynthia Thomalla has been curiously circling since she placed 3rd during Miss Southern Leyte 2012 before winning Miss Pintados the following year. So when she resurfaced as Sinulog Festival Queen 2016 and went on to represent Cebu’s well-loved annual celebration en route to winning Reyna ng Aliwan 2016, the interest just got more heated up. It was only a matter of short time before KF Cebu would finally field her in the nationals. Talk is that she is being trained for Bb. Pilipinas. But will it finally be for 2017?
Anyways, watch the video of Cynthia when she guested in the radio program of a Lucena-based DJ during last year’s Niyogyugan Festival (at exactly the same time that we met again for the judging of the street dancing and dance showdown competitions).
Don’t you just love the gorgeousness of Cynthia Thomalla?
Cynthia is sweetness overload especially if you get to spend time getting to know her more (just like what I went through when we were seated beside each other for hours
). There is an infectious quality in the kind of beauty she possesses – part showbiz pop idol, part inspiring girl-next-door. If and when she takes part in Bb. Pilipinas 2017, she could be a frontrunner as one of the outstanding faces in this batch.
Your take on Cynthia, dear readers? 🙂
Get the chance to be part of Cebu's Origin Models via their Summer Workshop
If you are based in the Queen City of the South or are planning to spend time this coming April-May on vacation there, then I can maybe interest you to enroll in the Summer Workshop of Cebu Modelle Institute in cooperation with Origin Models Mamagement where you can be mentored by the likes of Cynthia Thomalla, Gazini Ganados and the Aberasturi sisters.
Read the press release below:
Get a chance to be part of ORIGIN MODELS MANAGEMENT and be part of the family with Cebu top models-guest speakers Daina Nelson, Gazini Christiana Ganados Ewamer Apriel Smith, Cynthia Thomalla, Aberasturi sisters and more . Enroll now!!!! Workshop starts on APRIL 5! For more information contact this number 09223121130
CMI Integrated workshop offers:
Basic Hair and Make up
Haute Couture Poses
Live Mannequin Poses for Ramp Modeling
in 12 modules sessions/classes which are held every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from 1:00 pm onwards.
Tuition fee is PhP5,000.00. Installment basis is allowed, just register at PhP1,000 upon enrollment and your balance can be paid on a weekly basis.
Graduation will be held in one of the malls in Cebu City by way of a fashion show.
Enrollment is now going on!!!!
Summer workshop starts on April 5.
Origin Woman : Kim Covert , Dianne Santillan, Hazel Ortiz , Jamie Herrell & Gazini Ganados
Origin Woman Jamie Herrell
is starting to get more hype nowadays. Sven Chua, Jonas Borces and the team in Cebu are crackling like the famous Chicharon
in Carcar. And they have excellent reasons to brag about. No, make them beautiful ones if you will. There is Miss Earth 2014 Jamie Herrell to begin with. She is like the muse. And then there are the ladies who were blogged here before as joining Bb. Pilipinas 2016 – Hazel Ortiz, Maria Gigante, Cynthia Thomalla and Gazini Ganados. Add to the mix the likes of Kim Covert, Dianne Santillan, Monica Tawide, Steffi Aberasturi, Kristine Beltran, Jessa Cariaga, Chloe Harris and Daina Nelson. Even Miss Cebu 2016 Raine Baljak is in the fold. Collectively, they are more than just tall and beautiful ladies under the Origin Woman tag.
This is Origin Model Management of Cebu – “Gracing covers, walking runways, transcending standards. That is an Origin model.”
Is this the breakaway group many people in local pageant circles are talking about? Well, you can call them whatever you want. I will only use the word “Origin” from now on. No intrigues. No hushed whispers. No secrets.
Left to right: Monica Tawide, Cynthia Thomalla, Steffi Aberasturi, Kristine Beltran, Jessa Cariaga, Daina Nelson and Maria Gigante
Click to know more about Origin Model Management
Clockwise from top left: Maria Gigante, Tatiana Maher, Cynthia Thomalla, Franchesca Diaz and Kim Ross (Williams) Delos Santos
You know you’ve got a big thing coming when the possible selections for the upcoming Bb. Pilipinas 2016 are getting more and more competitive as the deadline for submission of entries is starting to approach fast. While I’m not giving any absolute guarantees for the featured ladies (to date) that they will make that one crucial move to sign on the dotted line of the application form, I would still want the ones I’m really liking so far to stay committed till the screening and final selection take place at the Araneta Center.
This is not a Mythical 5 thing. Just a list of five (5) beauties who are – barring any kind of contractual hurdle in the way – starting to excite me among the first-time joiners (as opposed to rejoining or national cross-overs) we are likely to see compete in the country’s biggest beauty search.
1) Maria Gigante – the transformation is amazing for this Cebuana who was the first to actually go public with her intentions of joining. Among the five, that is.
2) Tatiana Maher – the mystery lady I blogged in the recent past. Her half-Filipina, half-Irish mix may lead some pageant fans to conclude that she looks too foreign. Wait till you see her in the flesh.
3) Cynthia Thomalla – the striking 21 year-old from Macrohon, Southern Leyte whose alluring face can really blossom into the rarest of roses if mentored and made up consistently well.
4) Franchesca Diaz Floirendo – don’t let the middle and last names influence you. She has her own beautiful brand to share with everyone and, chances are, she could wow us even more.
5) Kim Ross Delos Santos – the woman who took her sweet time to finally say yes to Bb. Pilipinas. My hope is that there won’t be any type of obstacle now, especially not in this edition that could prove to be her last qualifying year to join, age-wise.
I opted to just look at first-timers in the nationals (BbP, MWP, MPE and Mutya), instead of including the familiar options we have already seen perform on the big stage in the past. 😉