This year’s victor wasn’t a dancer. Monika Afable, 17, struggled during training, knowing that she was going up against experienced performers and one well-acclaimed ballerina. Hailing from Eastern Samar’s Tribu Rayhak, Monika was the youngest among the ten other festival queens.
“Inalay ko lang talaga lahat ng ginagawa ko kay Señor Sto. Niño,” Monika said. “This is for the Sto. Niño so I really did my best.”
Learn more about Sinulog Festival Queen 2020 here.
Sinulog Festival Queen 2020 Is Monika Afable of Tribu Rayhak
Monika Afable is a senior high school student from Eastern Samar National Comprehensive High School. Donning a heavy cathedral-inspired ensemble, Monika wowed the board of judges, which included master couturier Cary Santiago, actor/makeup artist/impersonator Paolo Ballesteros, and Miss Millennial Philippines 2019 Nicole Borromeo.
Aside from winning the prestigious crown, Monika also brought home several other awards: Miss Mega Sardines, Miss Tender Juicy, Miss Mang Inasal, Miss McDo Queen, and Miss Robinsons Galleria. She also won Best in Runway during the runway competition 3 days prior. She won the P150,000 cash prize as Sinulog Festival Queen 2020, awarded a Driptea franchise worth P280,000, and will be the brand’s ambassador for an entire year. Like last year’s winner, she will automatically represent Cebu in Eat Bulaga’s Miss Millennial Philippines 2020 pageant, which in the past two years have been won by Sinulog Festival Queens Shaila Rebortera (2018) and Nicole Borromeo (2019).
Sinulog Festival Queen started in 2004. It is an annual search for the best Sinulog lead dancer. This means that the ladies have to show confidence and grace on stage while wearing heavy costumes and larger-than-life props. Sinulog Festival Queen is not a regular pageant where contestants sashay the runway in swimwear and evening gown. There is no question-and-answer portion. The lead dancers perform with their group. They also showcase their talent during a solo performance.
The coronation night was held on January 17, Friday, at the Cebu City Sports Center. According to the guidelines, the competition is divided into different phases with each phase bearing particular points. These are pre-judging for beauty and figure (25 points); opening production number (15 points); group production presentation (30 points); solo performance (20 points); and festival costume (10 points).
Finishing first runner-up and winning P100,000 was Jesselle Saniel of Talisay City’s Inasal Festival. The 23-year-old Tourism student at the University of San Jose-Recoletos was selected Best in Opening Production Number, Miss Pioneer Adhesive, Miss Toughest Queen, Miss Shell Advance, and Miss Magnolia. She was Pasigarbo sa Sugbo Festival Queen 2019 second runner-up, Miss Mandaue 2019 second runner-up and Miss City of Talisay 2018.
Winning P50,000 is second runner-up Jane Darren Genobisa of Carcar City, a 22-year-old Literature major at the University of Southern Philippines. The Binibining Pilipinas 2019 finalist was also named Miss AirAsia, Best Festival Costume designed by John Aldo Loquinario and Best Solo Performer.
Sabrina Ruth Bogard, a 21-year-old Marketing student at the University of San Carlos, and representative of Barangay Labangon’s Banay Labangon is third runner-up and Best in Runway first runner-up, bringing home P30,000. Her group also won Best in Instrumentation/Musicality and Best in Group Presentation.
All candidates received P20,000 in financial assistance.Monika Afable of Borongon Is Sinulog Festival Queen 2020 by George