2018 MsTIZANG BANGUS – Ayesha Lopez (4th from right) of Zamboanga City, 2018 MsTizang Bangus, is crowned by 2017 MsTizang Bangus Ivern Doroteo, along with Dagupan City Gender and Development focal person Dr. Wendy Bernardo, during the pageant held on April 21, 2018 at the city plaza. (CIO photo by Jojo Tamayo)

DAGUPAN CITY – Ayesha Lopez was crowned as the new MsTizang Bangus after besting 13 other contestants in the pageant held on April 21 at the Dagupan City plaza.

Coming all the way from Zamboanga City, the newly crowned 25-year-old MsTizang Bangus has been winning beauty contests for a cause as evident in her experience in a non-government organization called AIDS Society of the Philippines.

Aside from the coveted title, Lopez brought home the grand prize of P30,000 while Yeng Lavitoria of Paniqui, Tarlac received P20,000 for being the 1st runner up.

Pampanga native Ethel Olaya received P10,000 as this year’s 2nd runner up while also bagging three special awards amounting to P2,000 each, as MsTizang Fantasy Costume, MsTizang Swimsuit and MsTizang Long Gown.

Contestants Santy Layno of Baguio City, Rachel Sison of San Fabian and Carla Garcia of Dagupan City were awarded MsTizang Darling ng Bayan, MsTizang Friendship and MsTizang Globe respectively, with each receiving P2,000 as cash reward.

Non-winners were able to take home a consolation prize of P2,000 each.

Epee Rafanan of the 2018 Bangus Festival Executive Committee said that this year’s theme of ecology and the environment is in line with Dagupan City Mayor Belen Fernandez’s campaign on making the city clean and safe for all Dagupenos.

“Here in Dagupan, our beloved Mayor has a cleanliness program that we would like to jive with. We would like to use our LGBT community to spread the message of cleanliness and preservation of the environment, said Rafanan.

Meanwhile, 2018 MsTizang Bangus Ayesha Lopez praised the event for not just being LGBT inclusive but also being held for a cause, saying: “I applaud the organizing team and the city government for having these kinds of events that tackle a good cause. I hope other cities would replicate this.” (Verdelle De Vera/CIO/Apr. 22, 2018)