DAGUPAN CITY – Benedix Esguerra Ramos and Shaima Rashed Gad, both from Barangay Pantal, were adjudged as the Mr. and Ms. Balon Dagupan, respectively, during the well-attended pageant night on December 15 at the city plaza.

Ramos, who is ­­­­23 years old, joined the Mr. and Ms. Balon Dagupan to gain experience and at the same time fulfill one of his dreams – to be an ambassador of goodwill.

“The pageant is one good avenue of giving me a bigger voice to represent a platform, to make a difference. With the honor and responsibility, these are enough reason to push through something not just for me, but also for my city. The prize is just a bonus,” said Ramos.

On the other hand, Gad is 17 years old and is blessed with overflowing talents like singing, dancing, public speaking and writing. Gad wants to be an advocate of youth and women empowerment. She intends to use her title as a platform to address social issues, to be an aid of peace building among the city people.

During the pageant night Ramos was asked on what makes him proud the most about Dagupan City and he responded by saying that the Mr. and Ms. Balon Dagupan pageant itself is already something that every Dagupeño should be proud of and that everyone should be very proud of their own representatives in the pageant.

Gad won the hearts of the judges and the crowd as well when she told the crowd that she would invite President Rodrigo Roa Duterte to meet Mayor Belen T. Fernandez who she said was not just a model but an architect to the economic progress and development of the city “and because of her Dagupan City is now one of the best city in the country,” she said.

After winning the Ms. Balon Dagupan, Gad in her facebook account expressed her gratitude and said, “ True beauty isn’t just measured by a beautiful face and a perfect body, but rather a hand that extends help towards those who are in need, and a voice that empowers not only the youth, but as well as the citizens of our city.”

The pageants first runners up in the Mr. and Ms. Balon Dagupan were Virgilio Cendaña of Barangay Mayombo and Gerina Chanel Ancheta also of Barangay Pantal; while the second runners up were James Lee Sabado of Barangay Herrero-Perez and Karla Zabala of Barangay Malued.

Ramos and Pauline Casilang of Caranglaan were adjudged as Mr. Ms. Flawless.

Cendaña and Mary Angelic Dimalanta of Lasip Grande were chosen as Mr. and Ms. Coca-Cola; Mr. and Ms. Headzone were Frenchworth Hortaleza Solano of Barangay Pantal and Zabala.

Ms. Creamsilk (Unilever) was Ancheta and the Master Eskinol (Unilever) was James Relova Sabado of Herrero-Perez.

Mr. and Ms. Congeniality were Moses Gan of Pogo Chico and Zabala; the People’s Choice Award went to Makheos Quiambao of Caranglaan and Ancheta and the Mr. and Ms. Photogenic were Chrisdine Fung of Pantal and Ancheta.

The Best in Business Attire award went to Syed Zoriel De Leon of Calmay and Ancheta; Best in Swimwear – Sabado and Ancheta; and the Best in Formal Wear were Quiambao and Ancheta.

Mr. and Ms. Balon Dagupan will be formally crowned during the Balon Dagupan Gala Night with Reception Ball for Balikbayans and Pawil Dagupeños on December 26 at the city plaza.

Congressman Karlo Alexie Nograles of the 1st District of Davao City will be the guest of honor and speaker. (Joseph C. Bacani/CIO/Dec. 18, 2017)