After years of longing to bring home the crown, Cebu’s Sinulog Festival has once again proved that the Reyna ng Aliwan is rightfully owned by their city.
Nicole Borromeo, a fresh SHS graduate of Cebu Doctor’s University, bested 20 other candidates from all over the Philippines and strengthened the streak of Cebu in the beauty pageant.
Aside from snatching the crown, Nicole also got hold of at least three special awards during the Pre-Pageant night held last Friday, April 26. She was named as Ms. White Rose, Best in Swimsuit, and Best in Evening Gown.
The 18-year-old beauty queen also clinched the Best in Festival Costume after she confidently graced the stage of Aliwan Fiesta with her white ballgown which was designed by Cebuano designers Orville Biongcog and Brianna Alexis Gomez. As per Nicole, it was the same gown she wore during the Sinulog Festival Queen 2019 competition in January.
During the Question and answer portion, Borromeo was asked how did she train for the pageant and her opinion on the continuous streak of Cebuanas in the Reyna ng Aliwan.
“I have prepared for this pageant through, of course, mental preparation, physical exercises since the backpack is really heavy but the most important thing that I really have to prepare for is my mindset,” Nicole said.
She also added one value Cebuanas have when joining pageants is perseverance.
“We know what it takes to take home the crown and will do our best to do so. And we understand that crowns are not just made of rhinestones and jewels… crowns are more than that. They are about dedication, discipline, consistency, and most importantly, their courage,” she said.
The Reyna ng Aliwan 2019 is Borromeo’s first national crown, she also holds other titles such as the Sinulog Festival Queen 2019, Miss Silka Cebu 2017 and Miss Mandaue 2018 first runner-up.
Nicole is the ninth Cebuana who won the Reyna ng Aliwan title. Past winners include Marla Alforque (2017), Miss Eco International 2018 Cynthia Thomalla (2016), Steffi Aberasturi (2014), Miss Earth 2014 Jamie Herrell (2013), Miss Tourism International 2014 Angeli Dione Gomez (2012), Binibining Pilipinas Supranational 2015 Rogelie Catacutan (2011), Miss Tourism International 2012 Rizzini Alexis Gomez (2010), and Sian Elizabeth Maynard (2009).
During the press launch on Monday of the Aliwan Fiesta week, Borromeo was running late from the airport and almost came barefaced in front of the media.
However, she appeared to the public with confidence and poise as she answered the questions of the media present in the launching event.
In an exclusive interview, Nicole can’t hide her happiness on bringing back the crown to their lovely city of Cebu. She also revealed that the judges might have seen her confidence that’s why she was able to snatch not just one special award but rest of the major awards and even the crown itself.
“Like I really just did my best out there and I just give everything to God and that aura must’ve just radiated,” Nicole said.
After the Reyna ng Aliwan 2019, Borromeo will be staying in Manila to also prepare for the Miss Teen Philippines 2019 pageant on May 8. She will also be Cebu’s representative in Miss Millennial Philippines 2019, a pageant in GMA’s noontime show “Eat Bulaga!”
Aside from Borromeo, Singkaban Festival’s Aubrhie Carpio was hailed as the first runner-up winner. Meanwhile, a triple tie for the second place went to Roi Neve Comada (Panagbenga Festival), Alayyza Izzabelle Tolimao (Agten Tufi Festival), and Leandrea Gabrielle Batingan (Tanglawan Festival).