I am a Probinsyano and my province is Amazing. My province is Southern Leyte, not Leyte, and it is celebrating it’s 53rd Founding Anniversary! As per tradition, the major highlight of the celebration all eyes are on the search for the annual Miss Southern Leyte beauty pageant. It’s the celebration of the feminine beauty and brains, of graces and wits, and of those neverending debates of rigged results.
Okay, there you have it this MSL is not just an ordinary pageant, it’s an event with rich tradition, with fabolous history and oh those yummy controversies. A year without MSL is no year at all for this province. July 1 is the official celebration of the Founding Anniversary, but we all know that it’s June 30 we Southern Leyteños are all looking forward: the date of the pageant. This year the organizers tried to held it last June 29th and we got a storm wrecking havoc. So they were forced moved it back to June 30, tradition lives on! You see there’s a certain pride in every municipality involved, not just for the candidates, about competing to get a crack to that elusive crown against the overwhelming pre-judged norms that the result might be rigged/Lutong Macau already. Don’t get me wrong, I hear things (and see things) that back in the days it was total year-in year-out domination for Maasin, the provincial capital. Other municipalities in some period actually boycotted due to frustration or something, until there was no pageant for some time, then it came back again thankfully it got a little ‘fairer’ (i.e. a few municipalities started winning the crown). I never really saw a pageant until I got into college and the MSL is well beyond the apparent post-rigging days. Trust me, this pageant is a stuff of legend.
And this year, it’s back with a vengeance! Bigger and Grander than ever
with a bloated almost P2M budget! No word was fitter to describe this year’s pageant other than ‘amazing’. No wonder this year’s theme is Amazing Thailand. Just brilliant. And below is the gallery of the lovely ladies from the 19 municipalities of Southern Leyte.
And below is the close-up of the beautiful and lovely candidates. And oh, by the way, these photos I stole from the official photographer’s (EPIC Photographers) facebook page. Sue me! But I love their works, love the aesthetics and class. Kudos photographers!
I am however going to withhold myself from posting any shots of the candidates in swimsuit. I am conservative gentleman (daw). Hahaha. Just click this link and this one for the swimwear photo-ops. I think those shots are terrific.
This year’s beauty pageant is definitely the grandest staging of the pageant to date. I just love the quality of the production of the stage highlighting Thailand’s culture from the Buddha statues, those Thai dragons, those fantastic paint job out there, the lightings and the booming sounds. They said money cant buy beauty but it can certainly buy a beautiful night on a grander stage. The lovely candidates look pretty awesome out there from their production number, to the jaw-dropping swimwear part and all the way to the final Q and A
slaughterhouse part. That was one badass night for people who got a flair for the spectacular.
Now I’m going to confess my sins, I mean my bets. Of course on top of the list is my hometown’s candidate Miss Bontoc: Angelique Masayon. I’ll root for this girl anyway if she’s from another municipality, because this girl is awesome! Probably the strongest bet our town have sent to MSL. She’s actually my little brother’s classmate in elementary until her family migrated to Canada a decade ago. She left as a little girl, but came back like a goddess.
And she also happens to be a multi-talented and multi-awarded athlete out there in Alberta see below (stolen picture again from her uncle Jet):
That’s beauty, brains, a fluent English and some serious power rolled into one. But but but… there are other candidates who are bent on capturing the crown too. My early favorites were:
Miss Anahawan because she’s really smoking hot. See pix below.
Miss Hinunangan because her fans are loud and her smile is a knockout. See below.
And to wrap up my top 5 are Miss Macrohon and Miss Sogod simply because they are pretty in those pictures.
And before I went on with the result, there is this one major glitch of the night: the emcees. I never thought how important the role of the Masters of Ceremonies until this this year’s MSL. Perhaps we were spoiled by those talented speakers on previous years we seem to forget that our night’s entertainment are in their hands. And MSL 2013, with a big budget to spend, somehow managed pick up the wrong kind of talent for the job. This year’s emcees practically stole the spotlight of the event, on a negative way. First, they are relatively new to this gig and are still so vain with their glorious pasts; two, they just didn’t have the coordination/teamwork; three, they were oral reading the script; and four they simply suck. The pageant started around 8:30 in the evening and the emcees practically dragged the competition into a 6 hour marathon! It was almost 3:00 when it was all said and done for the night. Thank you emcees, and to the organizers I hope they’ll just hire the local talents because they’d be a lot more fitting for the job. And yeah local speakers can also pronounce the municipalities and the personalities’ names Properly. Nganung mangimport man lage’g taga Cebu nga naa may ato nga mas fighter?
Then we enter the Top 5. Unfortunately, Miss Bontoc did not make it. I don’t know why or how, it must have been the judges were looking for a particular set of qualities because frankly Angelique, in my own eyes deserves, to be in the Top 5. But hey, I’m not a judge. Then the shockwaves continued as Miss Maasin was also cut out, which probably NEVER happened before. The Magic Five were Miss Sogod, Malitbog, Marcrohon, San Juan and Hinunangan.
Like in the Miss Universe the Magic Five loses all their points they’ve earned on the previous rounds and they are back to zero to face the final question that could make or break their destiny. It all goes down to the brainy part. But unlike the Miss Universe the final question of the MSL went extremely brainy-nerd mode that even a seasoned essayist ( like a Lourd De Veyra, Patricia Evangelista and perhaps an L.G. Tabada) will have a hard time coming up with an answer, even on writing.
And it goes like this “Elucidate (Wtf is dat w0rd? is that English?) or describe the values that links Unity, Solidarity and Teamwork towards a self reliant andprogressive Province of So. Leyte?”
(I wonder what happens to the classic major major and love vs religion type of questions?)
Of the five candiates, two managed to answer on the right note which was pretty amazing given the immense pressure of the situation. And after that part, I knew exactly the order of the winners well before the final results came in. It doesn’t take a genius who will win that one, unless Macau happens. It didn’t. Faith in Humanity and to the Judges restored! Pak-pak mga Southern Leyteños!!! And here’s the result.
Miss Southern Leyte 2013: Miss San Juan – Godece Jasmine Ouano Rosal
1st Runner-Up: Sogod
2nd Runner-Up: Hinunangan
3rd Runner-Up: Macrohon
4th Runner-Up: Malitbog
And the result was a total shocker, at least before the Q and A part. I never saw Miss San Juan coming into the Top Five. I did not even noticed her or at least I completely ignored her because I prejudged based on the looks and appeal of the candidates. But give her credit, she deserves the crown. She won it fair and square. She simply devoured the final Q and owned the night. An unexpected twist of event to have an underdog/Cinderella story happening on MSL. This is definitely a night of first; like 1st time for a Pacific Town to win the crown as far as I can remember (and please don’t trust my memory haha I could be wrong).
But the biggest winner is the MSL, the pageant itself. If there’s one thing that’s was proven in this year’s edition it is the fact that the crown is everybody’s ball game. It’s not exclusively for Maasin-Sogod-Macrohon. It’s winnable by the rightful lady, regardless of which town she comes from. And for the meantime that Lutong Macau thing has to put to rest. I hope it’s for good. Now that is one amazing thought.
Congratulations ladies. And please, please accept my facebook invites. hahaha 😛