Filipino women are known around the globe for their exotic beauty, and strong but charming personality. It is really debatable if their names are at the bottom list in any international beauty pageant as they always carry themselves with sophistication and charisma. In the Philippines, the Ilonggas (Filipino women residing in the province of Iloilo) are popularly known to be very soft-spoken, sweet and meek, but once asked to perform a task, they always put their best foot forward.

The Miss Iloilo Paraw Regatta, is an Ilongga beauty pageant. It is one of the events included in the week-long celebration of the Iloilo Paraw Regatta Festival. This contest aims to promote Ilonggas’ exquisiteness and to advocate beauty with a purpose. This year, out of fifty applicants, only twelve lovely Ilonggas qualified and were given the opportunity to vie for the biggest crown at the West Visayas State University Cultural Centre last February 21, 2014.

This beauty contest has been staged for decades and Miss May Pioquinto, was crowned as the first ever Miss Iloilo Paraw Regatta. Indeed, Miss Pioquinto is a perfect emblem of beauty with a purpose because even years after her reign was over, she continued to uplift Iloilo and Philippines around the world. Miss May Pioquinto is currently the president of a non- profit organization called ASPROFIL based in Murcia Spain, which promotes the good image of the Philippines and its people. Since1996, this organization has focused on community development projects in the Philippines.

On its 42nd year, the Miss Paraw Regatta was organized by ABS CBN, a national television network claimed to have Ilonggo roots. Various local and national companies also sponsored the event. Just like the festival, the contest was composed of a series of events, showcasing the different strengths of the young ladies. The pre-pageant events included the festival costume, swim suit, formal wear, talent and public speaking.

During the coronation night, the dashing and gorgeous contestants heated up the stage as they entered in their very alluring festival costumes followed by three sets of swim wear, and to end the night with glamour, they all stood elegantly in their perfectly fitted monochromatic gowns. Based on the pre-pageant results, only five candidates moved forward for the final interview.

For the final interview, the top five candidates were asked to complete the sentence: “The Iloilo Paraw Regatta Festival has been sailing fun for the past 42 years because…”, and candidate number 4 surely nailed the question and got the public’s conformity when she mentioned that it is because the Ilonggos’ have preserved their rich culture that the festival has survived the test of time. Surely, candidate number 4, Miss Janica Ella Honrade, a student from West Visayas State University reigned supreme, bagging the title as the 2014 Miss Iloilo Paraw Regatta.

Miss Paraw Regatta 2014: Miss Janica Ella Honrade

Runners Up:

1st runner up – Miss Ma. Ahriana Lovely Huyaban
2nd runner up – Miss Sheryl Jaafary
3rd runner up – Miss Jan Krishnah Catague
4th runner up – Miss Christine Joy Dumalag

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