CEBU CITY, 18Jan2015 (PNA) — The lead dancer of Tribu Himag-ulaw of Placer Masbate bested 15 others to win the 2015 Sinulog Festival Queen title.
Julienne Hazel Penserga, a third year mass communication student of the University of the Philippines (UP) and the reigning Miss UP Cebu, was crowned Friday night at the Cebu City Sports Center.
Another Masbate native, Jamie Herrel, won the crown in 2013.
Penserga said she didn’t expect to win the crown but she just prayed for the Holy Child’s grace and danced wholeheartedly for the audience.
”Maybe that’s the reason why they (judges) chose me.,” Penserga said.
“I danced for His glory. I did not think of winning, I just danced with grace and I think it was important in the competition to enjoy the moment. Embrace the grace of the Holy Child and let’s not forget that this is all for his glory,” she said.
She said it has been her dream to dance in the Sinulog to pay tribute to Sr. Sto Niño, saying “the competition was a healthy, fun and tiring one as well.”
”Since I was a kid, it’s my dream to dance in the Sinulog parade and now that I was given the opportunity, it’s really an overwhelming experience,” Penserga said.
Penserga was tagged as a “modern day Queen Juana” who will represent Cebu and the Visayas to the world in prestigious pageants and socio-cultural activities.
Other winners were Ethel Abellanosa of Tuburan, Cebu (1st Runner-up); Ma. Loureen Tamayo of Southwestern University (SWU) South Campus (2nd Runner-up); Apple Joy Gamboa of Lanao del Norte (3rd Runner-up); and Joemelina Delantar of Tribu Katbalaugan (4th Runner-up).
The Festival Queen also got P50,000 while the first runner-up got P30,000.
The second runner up received P20,000, and the third and fourth runners-up got P5,000 each.
Penserga was also named as the best solo performer and wowed the judges with her graceful and all-out performance. She was also awarded Best in Festival Costume. She wore a white gown accentuated with gold layers with glowing LED lights.
She also won corporate awards such as 2nd runner-up Festival Queen Best in Runway, Miss Medicard, Miss Casino Femme and Miss Novelino Wines.
During the showdown, Penserga’s dance troupe won best in musicality and best in production presentation.
Sinulog Foundation Inc. executive director Ricky Ballesteros said the Sinulog Festival Queen is not a beauty pageant but simply a search for the lead dancer who possesses the most exceptional qualities, both in physical beauty and dancing skills. (PNA)