While she feels pressured with the expectations of her fellow Cebuanos, Shaila Mae Rebortera, the 2018 Queen of the Sinulog Festival, looks at the bright side of having predecessors who seized the title of the Queen of All Festivals.
Rebortera seeks to follow the steps of previous Sinulog Festival Queens Marla Alforque and Cynthia Tomalla, who were, crowned Reyna ng Aliwan last 2017 and 2016 respectively.
According to Rebortera, Alforque and Tomalla have been guiding her in her journey in the Reyna ng Aliwan pageant.
“Hindi naman mawawala yung pressure kasi yung people from my home are expecting me to win the crown again for them. But I would like to take it also as my advantage since the Previous Reynas were also guiding me,” Rebortera said
Rebortera said that she has been preparing physically, mentally, and emotionally for the said pageant.
“Just like any other girls, diet, exercise, and walk and talk training,” Rebortera explained. “When you join big pageants is not all about looks, you also have to know yourself more so you could introduce your personality to the people.”
Rebortera also gets support from her personal Sto. Niño replica that she also had when she won the title for the 2018 Sinulog Queen.
Rebortera revealed that she will be carrying her Sto. Niño during the competition proper.
“I really carry my own Sto. Niño around cause I’m really a devotee of the Sto. Niño. I would be bringing my Sto. Niño during the pageant night for the festival costume.”
So far, the Sinulog queen is pleased with her experience in the 2018 Aliwan Festival, particularly during their visit in Star City and during their swimsuit and evening gown photo shoots since it gave her a chance to bond with the other candidates.
However, she finds it unfortunate that she is staying alone in a room after her supposed room-mate backed out from the pageant.
“We get to share our experiences. We also have similarities and differences. We’re all taking one journey right now. It’s good that we all share the same sentiments, and we also help each other out to lessen the pressure from each and everyone.”
Meanwhile, for young girls aspiring to become beauty queens, Rebortera said that they should prioritize their studies but never let an opportunity pass, like the Aliwan Festival, since it would serve as a good experience.