I have lost count of all the provincial/regional beauty pageants I have judged the past few years. But it’s quite easy to recall one or two that really stood out in terms of production values, over-all stage design and direction plus the entire concept of the whole show. The recently-concluded Miss Ilocos Norte is one of them. Aside from a comfortable venue (Centennial Arena Laoag City) that would closely rival the inside seating capacity of a MOA Arena or Araneta Coliseum, the house was packed to the rafters with supporters coming in busloads from all over the province. What’s more, the well thought-of stage design was proudly inspired by the local fabric “Inabel” that accentuated the total look and feel of the proceedings.
Paolo Bediones (himself an Ilocano from San Nicolas) navigated everything seamlessly and made sure that his hosting was as professionally conducted as possible. If that wasn’t enough, the panel of judges included a good mix of individuals coming from pageantry (Rachel Peters, Ina Adina – a former Miss Ilocos Norte titleholder – and yours truly), fashion (Designers Joji Loren and Vittorio Barba), TV (Patricia Tumulak), politics and local achievers (like recent bar topnotcher Dave Camarao).
Throughout it all, the strongest favorite – Dianne Lacayanga of Paoay – held on to the lead from start to finish, while a come-from-behind 1st Runner-Up pleasantly surprised the decision-makers when Keena Madamba of San Nicolas edged out the other front-runners to come close to winning the crown.
Kudos to all the organizers, especially Aian Raquel of the Ilocos Norte Tourism Office (including Kristian Ranjo, Xavier Ruiz, Khrisian Pedro and Clyde Panlaque) for continuing with the annual province-wide beauty pageant that keeps getting every year.
And many thanks for inviting yours truly to judge and for normannorman.com to cover the big event.
Till Miss Ilocos Norte 2018! 🙂
Here are videos from the finals courtesy of Raymond Valera.