By Dominic Zi Ann Ng | News Writer
Vol. XCI No. 5
Aug. 28, 2019
When people think of pageants, they have this certain mental image based on what they have seen on television: handsome and beautiful faces, well-defined chins, daring outfits, and high heels are a few examples. However, most people don’t understand what these pageants are like from the perspective of actually participating in it.
As Silliman University (SU) held its annual Hibalag Festival King and Queen at the Hibalag booth area on Aug. 21, 14 candidates representing different festivals of their regional organization vied to claim the throne as this year’s Hibalag King and Queen.
With this year’s theme, “Uprising regions through festivities,” seven regional organizations participated in the event with candidates Shayne Badon and Jon Rebo Abalde of Sibugaynong Sillimanians; Dan Santos and Janina Carol Saladaga of Silingan Zanorte Sillimanites; Isabela Redaja and Christian Jake. Malubag of One Luzon Sillimanites; Bridgette Leann Monda and Jynn Relle Flores of Siquijorian Students for Enrichment, Enlightenment, Development and Service (SEEDS); Vederica Blanche Remolador and Kim Arthur Labasan of Kadugong Bol-anon; Von Joseph Serna and Joiance Nicole Parnada of Surigao Deep Sillimanites; Carlos Lumanog III and Rhayana Marie Dalisay of West Visayan Circle. But only one male and female will have a seat to this year’s Hibalag King and Queen throne.
Kim Arthur Labasan of Kadugong Bol-anon and Shayne Badon of Sibugaynong Sillimanians seized the spectators’ attention as they lively dance their way during their production number, awarding them as Best in Production Number.
Hibalag Festival King 2019
Kim Arthur Labasan of Kadugong Bol-anon was crowned Hibalag Festival King 2019. It is not new for him to perform in such a setting because prior to winning the title, he has competed in and won six different modeling and pageant competitions. However, he is proud of himself for achieving such a feat.
Before the pageant, Labasan and his partner, Vederica Blanche Remolador, planned thoroughly what they were going to do in winning the crown. Remolador and her mother were the ones who got their festival costumes from Bohol from a well-known designer. Labasan, on the other hand, found a choreographer to help them with their dances in the competition.
On the night of the pageant, Labasan felt excited to showcase their festival from Bohol. During the competition, Labasan and Remolador had each other’s backs; they supported each other mentally and emotionally all the way.
For him, his winning moment was a superb, “All of my hard work and the effort I put just to compete for the Hibalag Festival King paid off,” exclaimed Labasan. But he wasn’t completely happy because his partner did not win as he tried to reach out to her still after the event. Nonetheless, Kim was happy to be the Hibalag Festival King 2019 and he is proud to represent Kadugong Bol-anon. He also added, “As a result of the competition, it is my duty to my organization to promote the culture and festivity of our region, Bohol.”
Hibalag Festival Queen 2019
Shayne Badon of Sibugaynong Sillimanians was crowned Hibalag Festival Queen 2019. Though she was no stranger to this kind of competition, it was the first time for her to compete outside of her hometown. Badon still felt the pressure and nervousness of the competition, given the fact that she’s representing her whole region.
She was not expecting that their beloved governor would be there at the competition and most especially her family who traveled for almost ten hours from Mindanao just to support her as she grace as the stage.
During the pageant, Badon showed full confidence as she danced and answered the questions. She gave all the best that she can give and displayed what the true spirit of a Sibugaynon is.
After announcing the 2nd and 1st runner up, Badon closed her eyes and prayed for the next Hibalag Festival Queen 2019 to be her.
“I can’t explain the feeling, that winning moment for me was all worth it because it was unexpected,” said Badon. She never thought that she will win because the other candidates were also remarkable and amazing with their overall performances.
True to its annual tradition, Hibalag Festival King and Queen continues to prove that pageants are beyond the physical beauty of the candidates. This event highlights the significance of different cultures the Sillimanians are known to experience by sharing it onto the stage.