With a microphone firmly clasped in one hand, the host for the night cleared her throat and began to speak: “And Miss Silliman… Cover Girl (1st runner up)… is…”
Time stood still. Half of the arena was shouting “CCS!” and the other “High School!”
Within a few seconds which seemed to have lasted for an eternity, the host on stage took a quick side-glance and shouted, “High School!”
This meant Miss College of Computer Studies was the 71st Miss Silliman.
She comes from a college that was a mere spectator of the prestigious Miss Silliman pageant in the last five years. As she led its comeback, she successfully took the crown from College of Business Administration, the college undefeated for three consecutive years.
After the College of Computer Studies (CCS) rested for five years in the Miss Silliman pageant, Alyssa Palencia a senior BS Information Technology (IT) student makes a major comeback when she was declared the 71st Miss Silliman, besting ten other candidates last Aug. 25 at Lamberto Macias Sports Complex.
She was followed by Miss Silliman Cover Girl, Jasmine Helen Dudley-Scales (Senior High School), l; Miss Headline Girl, Cieline Mona Jalosjos, (College of Engineering and Design).
Meanwhile Shekainah Yunque the defending college, College of Business Administration, , landed on 3rd runner-up, and Giullia Rae Lawas from the School of Public Affairs and Governance was the 4th runner up.
After being crowned, Palencia said she was still in disbelief. “I’m just really overwhelmed with all the support that I’ve gotten from my college, my family, and everyone else. I’m so extremely humbled,” she said.
Aside from the title, Palencia was named Darling of the Press- a distinction given to the most outstanding candidate during the Press Launch. She also garnered the Best Speaker award.
When asked the standard question, “If you were to be Miss Silliman and you were given the chance to reign for another year, would you accept the offer?” Palencia said that she is more than willing to accept it.
“As a Silliman woman, I embody the color RED- ready, empowered and determined to fulfill her duties as Miss Silliman for another year,” she said.
Meanwhile, Hanz Denzil Villahermosa, Miss Silliman Committee chair, said though the pageant wasn’t as perfect as the committee wanted it to be, he rests assured that they have given their best. He expressed his gratitude to all the members of the committee for being hard working, committed, and welcoming to criticisms.
“Every single member really did their best. The candidates are amazing. We are blessed to have such amazing candidates this year, both beautiful inside and out. That is what Miss Silliman is about. It doesn’t really weigh more on one side. It’s more of celebrating beauty CCS makes comeback at Miss Silliman 2017 inside and out.”
On the other hand, Dr. Dave E. Marcial called Alyssa a blessing to the college after he admitted he never really prepared so much as dean of CCS, except from giving advice and showing his full support.
“The goal of the college in participating in activities in Silliman is just basically to have fun and represent the college. Winning actually of Alyssa is a plus blessing,” he shared.
The emotional mother of Miss Silliman 2017, Dyren Grace Lo Palencia, was left speechless over the happiness she felt for her daughter.
“Very happy and proud. Unexplainable yung feelings,” she said with a wide smile.
Alyssa behind the spotlight
Positive feedbacks on Alyssa kept coming after the announcement of her win.
As a student, Alyssa was said to perform well. Dr Marcial said, “She’s very good. She is my advisee. If you are my advisee, you must be good.”
According to her mother, Alyssa might have gotten her spontaneous and powerful way of talking from her love for reading. She shared that Alyssa likes to stay in her room and read lots of books. She narrated that Alyssa would often hide herself under her blankets so she wouldn’t catch her reading books late at night.
Former CCS governor and a close friend to the winner, Clarice Pocot, said she is confident that Alyssa’s “genuine care for others, passion for the things she loves, and drive to make people around her proud makes her 150% worthy of the crown.”
She shared, “If you get to know Ling well, she would really have your back in times that you’ll need her. When you get bullied, she’ll defend you. When you feel down, she’ll do what she can to make you feel better. She’s willing to make sacrifices for the things she’s passionate about.”