Wednesday, May 29, 2013


“When I grow up, I want to be a fairy. I want to turn everyone into kings and queens.” This statement is not a usual answer from kids in a beauty pageant, but it there is so much honesty and innocence in it that audience couldn’t help but cheer and clap.
Two weeks ago, I was invited as one of the judges in SM City Davao’s search for the Little Miss Sagala. The segment was actually the prelude to the main part of the show, which is the Grand Sagala Gown Competition among local designers. Given that it was a Sunday, I went yaya-less, toting my 6-year old daughter with me.  In a way, my Tatiana acted as judge herself, whispering her thoughts on the little girls’ gowns and hairdo.
Sagala is a religio-historical beauty pageant held in various towns in the Philippines during the month of May. It is one of the most colorful festivals celebrated around the country, and is greatly supported by reputable personalities and artists in the entertainment and fashion industry.
For this special edition of the traditional Flores de Mayo / Santacruzan, SM City Davao invited local designers to create gowns using innovative and eco-friendly materials, to be worn by their choice muse. The Little Miss Sagala catergory, for me, served not only as a friendly competition, but also an avenue with which adults can educate and pass on to kids the significant aspects of this religious celebration.
We heard a lot of ooh’s and ahh’s from the audience as girls paraded around the mall and answered million dollar questions onstage. They gracefully sashayed in gowns handpicked / made by supportive mothers who cheered endlessly at the back. Some gowns had a semblance to those of the Disney princesses, while there were also notable ones in traditional Filipiñana designs infused with a bit of modern pizzazz.
The judges for the kids’ segment were asked to select the top three based on decorum, poise, confidence, appeal, and intelligence.  I, together with the other judges, former Miss International Nadia Shami included, found it difficult to choose among the ten contestants. These brave souls have conquered stage fright, confidently walked and posed for the cameras, and were also able to outwit and leave the hosts speechless at times with their answers. “Please translate your question to English,” one of them quipped.
The models for the Grand Sagala Gown Competition joined the little girls in a short procession around the mall. Shortly after that came the awarding. The main title was awarded to 6-year old Florence Julienne Asistido, followed by the next 2 titlists 7-year old Candesse Gabrielle Bartolome and 9-year old Rania Muller. Designer Egay Ayag, with his gown worn by muse Krizzaleen Valencia, took home the first prize. Joey Hamabal and Maru Bernalte came in second and third.
Thank you Apol and Lara for inviting me and my daughter to your event. Congratulations to your team and to all the winners!
Story published on my newspaper column, Metro Mom.
A1, INdulge section, Edge Davao, Vol. 6 Issue 53, 29 May 2013.



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