The city government here is set to stage the first virtual Miss Hundred Islands pageant on March 26 to amplify its tourism campaign.

Photo: VIRTUAL PAGEANT. Alaminos City’s search for Miss Hundred Islands 2021 commences with the introduction of the 12 official candidates. To be held on March 26, 2021, it is the first virtual beauty pageant in the province of Pangasinan more than a year after the Covid-19 pandemic hit the Philippines. (Photo by Liwayway Yparraguirre)

In an interview on March 19, 2021, city tourism officer Miguel Sison, Hundred Islands Festival overall chairman, said Mayor Arth Bryan Celeste last week gave the go-signal for the holding of the event, which was stopped last year as total lockdown was declared all over Luzon due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).

The candidates in the virtual pageant are Angelica Joy Campued, Jescelynne Ramos, Locel Peralta, Elisabeth Jane Henanger, Alliah Cristelle Gaqui, Armae Vergara, Kisha Nicole Aranas, Ma. Hannah Amor Sison, Alaina Shane Dela Cruz, Alexandra Mina, Krizza Mae Lazo, and Elisha Ann Pamo.

Sison said seven of them were candidates in the Miss Hundred Islands 2020 pageant, which was abruptly canceled due to the pandemic.

“It is a challenge for Alaminos City to come up with a pageant different from the rest, the first virtual beauty pageant in Pangasinan. No one can deny that we are the number one tourist destination in the province, and this is one way of promoting it,” he said.

Sison said the pageant night will be held at the Don Leopoldo Sison auditorium. Physical spectators inside the venue will be limited to 150 persons as against its 1,500 actual capacity.

“The pageant will commence at 7 p.m. on March 26, (and) will be telecast at the official Facebook page with a delay of an hour. The actual announcement of winners will be done live,” Gary Dacanay of Mindworks Production said in a separate interview.

Aside from the expanded prizes, Dacanay said “production is spectacular, with beauty queens and celebrities as judges. We are receptive and adaptive to new ideas. LGU (local government unit) Alaminos conforms with the science of protocols and the science of handling this pandemic.”

City administrator Emilou Gellado assured that all minimum health standard protocols and precautions will be strictly implemented in the venue with the candidates and a limited number of audience.

Winners of the Miss Hundred Islands 2021 will receive a PHP100,000 cash prize, PHP5,000 monthly during her reign, and a four-year full college scholarship on her course and school choice.

Miss Environment will receive PHP75,000, while Miss Tourism will get PHP50,000. (Liwayway Yparraguirre, PNA)