• ROGER D. BELTRAN
Twenty-two-year-old Yvonne Catamco was crowned Miss Bacolod MassKara 2023 during a three-hour star-studded pageant held Monday night at the University of St. La Salle (USLS) Coliseum in Bacolod City.
Catamco, a Tourism Management student at USLS, was crowned and sashed by Mayor Alfredo Abelardo Benitez and First Lady Nikki Benitez, Miss Bacolod MassKara Universe 2022 Kara Villarosa, Victorias City Mayor Javier Miguel Benitez, and Senator Raffy Tulfo, who was one of the judges.
She took home P150,000 in cash prize, a brand new phone, two round-trip tickets to any local destination, and was named the ambassadress of Kingsford Hotel.
Catamco, who was awarded Best in Swimsuit, was also declared Miss Megaworld, taking home P150,000 worth of stays from Megaword Hotels and Resorts, and Miss AirAsia.
She got the nod of the judges after answering the final common question: “We are tagging Bacolod City as the next super city, what do we have to do as Bacolodnons to embody the super city?”
“Bacolod is known as a super city and what makes our city a super city is our spirit. The spirit of each and every Bacolodnon, the spirit of resiliency and optimism that gives us the catalyst or serves as catalyst for us to survive higher, to stand up wiser and bolder each time we fall. And also the same spirit that gives us the power to see the positive part of everything especially the struggles that we encountered as a city. And if we could learn to share it, to radiate the spirit that resides in us, we can in spirit, and empower the world around us and we can all become the super people,” she answered that made the crowd cheer.
She was also awarded Miss Northwest Inn, Miss DITO Telecommunity, and Best in Swimwear.
Tracy Mae Sunio, 23, a former student of Riverside College Inc. and now a virtual assistant at Breakthrough Realty LLC, was the first runner-up. She received P100,000 in cash and was also named Miss Merczi.
Second runner-up was Elli Rose Elola, 23, a Psychology graduate from the University of the Philippines, who received P50,000 in cash. She was also Best in Evening Gown and Darling of Social Media.
Marianel Tan, a Communications student at USLS, who landed in the top five, won the most number of corporate awards, namely Miss Phirst Bacolod, Miss Bingo Plus, Miss Road Safety Ambassador, Miss Flower Studio, Miss SM City Bacolod, Miss Belo Beauty and TikTok Queen.
Tan also received the minor awards for Best in Talent, Best in Festival Costume, and Best Evening Gown Designer.
Jada Biaxyl Celeste, a Business Administration student at USLS and also among the top five, won as Miss Global Strategic, Miss Manulife, and Best Festival Costume Designer.
Cailah Jhane Delarma was Miss Congeniality.
Allona Nejar was Miss Robinsons Place Bacolod and Miss Photogenic while Geralyn Joy Basto was Miss EastWest Bank as well as Suzuki’s Choice Award winner, where she won a motorcycle.
Other candidates were Georgette Ysabelle Millan, Therese Pira-an, Janine Cabrillos, who was chosen Darling of the Media during the Press Presentation, Rose Mariel Sansing, Kyle Santillan, Ma. Ericka Panganiban, and Crizwin Claire Española.
Aside from Tulfo, the other judges were Air Asia Philippines CEO Ricky Isla, stylist Lovelyn Segovia, Global Strategic’s Jonathan Lochbaum, designer Avel Bacudio, talent manager Keren Pascual, Megaworld’s Harold Geronimo, Miss Universe Philippines 2009 Bianca Manalo, and DILG Undersecretary Margarita Gutierrez, who sat as the chairman of the board of judges.
The coronation night was hosted by actor Marco Gumabao and content creator Janeena Chan while actor Carlo Aquino serenaded the candidates. | RDB