Part 6 of the Libotero Eastern Visayas series.
After our very satisfying dinner at Calle Z Cafe, Sir Gerry and Ma’am Ludette brought us to RTR Plaza to watch the Bituon Han Leyte or the festival queen competition of the Pintados-Kasadyaan Festival of Festivals 2011.
When we arrived, the program has already started but we still proceeded to watch. The RTR Plaza, which stands for Remedios Trinidad Romualdez, is named after the mother of former first lady Imelda Marcos. It is the largest public plaza in Tacloban.
Every June, the plaza is virtually converted into the Pintados-Kasadyaan Festival Park where various cultural and other social activities, all in paying homage to Sr. Sto. Nino, are held.
The Bituon han Leyte or the festival queen competition is the search for the ultimate lead dancer who possesses not just beauty, but brains and exceptional dancing skills as well. Candidates will not walk the ramp in swimsuits and evening gowns but with their respective festival costumes instead.
One of the highlights of the competition is the ritual presentation where each candidate together with the contingent she represents would give a 2-minute preview of their performance for the streetdancing and ritual showdown at the Leyte Sports Development Center the next day.
This year, 12 candidates represented their respective towns and festivals in the Bituon Han Leyte 2011! And ofcourse, the most-awaited and entertaining part of the competition would have to be the Question and Answer Portion! The big question goes like this, “What asset of your city/municipality would you like to promote and how would you promote it”?
The ladies were really able to put up a show. Some were really nervous and rattled and were mumbling random words which sounded quite funny but one candidate really stood out among the rest and is just very deserving of being declared Bituon Han Leyte (Star of Leyte) 2011! She is no other than Candidate #4, Rosejaen Tiunayan representing the Pamilipig Festival of Sta. Fe, Leyte. Her answer to the question was flawless! She started off by saying that her town has 3Ps. People. Place. Potential and then went on to deliver a very outstanding world class answer.
She also bagged other awards such as Miss Talent, Miss Congeniality, Miss Photogenic. Here are the rest of the winners of the Bituon Han Leyte Festival Queen Competition 2011!
1st runner-up: #10 Mariane Hernandez – Quiot Festival, Isabel, Leyte (she also bagged the Ms. New Placenta award)
2nd runner-up: #8 Alone Jane Rebodillo – Tulo-Usa Festival, Tolosa Leyte (she also bagged the Best in Festival Costume award)
3rd runner-up: #13 Cris-an Sharmaine Avila – Bato-Balani Festival, Bato, Leyte (she also bagged the Miss Olive C award)
4th runner-up: #12 Jenny Ann A. Palacio – Karatong Festival, Dulag, Leyte
Meanwhile, here is a short clip of the Bituon Han Leyte Parade of Costumes
After the competition, we felt the need to quench our thirst so we proceeded to Best Foods and Friends Coffee Shop, just located at the left side of the RTR Plaza stage. There, we got to encounter Palo Mayor Remedios Petilla, the chairwoman of the Pintados-Kasadyaan Festival of Festivals 2011 so we took the chance for a photo-op! Yihee!
(L-R) Don, Fitz, Rina, Mayor Matin Petilla, Sir Gerry, Alvin and the Libotero
Aside from the numerous activities held at the plaza during the festival season, what piqued my interest was this photo wall within the park:
Zip Southern Leyte. This new zipline located at the highest bridge in the country, the Agas-Agas bridge in Sogod, Southern Leyte, is said to be the longest zipline in the Philippines, with a length of almost one kilometer!
Gawd, when will I ever have the guts to try a zipline!
(…to be continued)