Mia Zeeba Farridon, 19, a mass communication student from the University of the Philippines Cebu College, bested four other top finalists and was crowned Miss Cebu 2011 during the annual pageant at the Waterfront Cebu City Hotel and Casino last night.
The final question was “In what way as a Cebuana can you help in the aspect of nation building?”
Her response stood out from the rest.
“As a mass communication student, the most effective communication tool is through the word of mouth. I will use my knowledge and my recognition to spread the word, keeping my value and confidence in helping build a stronger nation… It starts as a Cebuana and as a Filipino,” she answered.
Farrido won P60,000 cash, P50,000 worth of training from Elite Manila, a roundtrip ticket to Hong Kong via Cathay Pacific, and a waterbed.
In the preliminary rounds, Farridon was asked what makes her confident.
“The people that surrounds me makes me confident. Without the supporters, without these lovely candidates without these amazing organizers and sponsors, there will be no Miss Cebu. Miss Cebu given me the chance to strengthen my weaknesses and convert them as my strength,” she confidently replied.
The runners up were Teffanie Lene Llamada (First Runner Up), Vanessa Claudine Amman ( 2nd Runner Up), Rose Mare Gore (3rd Runner Up) and Aiko Iyanne Selyano (4th Runner Up).
The pageant opened with a depiction of the Chinese New Year complete with dragon dances. Later dancers clad in their sparkling golden Venetian attire in masquerade and oversized fans just like in a ballroom appeared. Slideshows of Venice's architecture and famous sites were also flashed in the background.
Other special awards include: Miss Friendship Waterfront: Vanessa Claudine Ammann; Miss Photogenic: Katrina Yuson; Best Evening Gown: Teffanie Lene Llamada; and Best Evening Gown Designer: Philip Tampus.
The ladies were serenaded by Cebuano ABS-CBN star Matteo Guidicelli, who also co-hosted the show with Menchu Antigua, former Miss Philippines-Earth runner up.
Cebuano Macky, finalist of Pilipinas Got Talent, sang the hits “Beautiful World” and “Broken Vow.” Kim, d magician also did magic tricks to entertain the audience at the Pacific Grand Ballroom at the Waterfront Hotel.
The lustrous Ms. Cebu 2011 crown worn by the winner was intricately designed by Janice Bañez Minor, the first winner of Miss Cebu.
Twenty seven years after she was crowned, Minor is now a world-renowned exporter of home and furniture accessories, and for the first time, she made her first crown for the new Ms. Cebu.
The crown swathed with rhinestones and high-grade Swarovski crystals were meticulously done by Minor’s team in her factory.
“I will tell you frankly I have never made a crown in my life. In fact I was hesitant to take the job because I have never done that before. Since they were right in saying it would mean something special coming from a former Ms. Cebu so I made myself do it,” Minor told Cebu Daily News.
The crown’s core was wrought by hand into shape using brass metal. Rhinestones were welded in place by finely soldering them together with the lustrous Swarovski crystals.
“I used a lot of rhinestones and zirconium. I was very lavish with all the Swarovski crystals. I would not put a prize to it anymore,” Minor said.
Swarovski crystals of teardrop and ball shapes of 25 millimeter to 25 millimeters in diameter dangled on the crown.
The Cebu City Tourism Commission asked her to make the crown shortly before Christmas. With her busy schedule, it took her sometime to create a design fit for a queenly Cebuana.
Since she already has available stocks of materials, it did not take her long to make the piece.
“I tell you. It is very satisfying for me to make something that I would wear myself. If roles would be reversed I’d put myself in her shoes how I feel with the crown with it. I think I would be very proud with that crown in my head,” she added.
She would have wanted to unveil the crown herself in last night’s pageant but her schedule would not permit as she is preparing for her sample designs for her furniture and jewelries for her trip to Paris.