Miss Bicolandia 2007: a preview

By Noel R. Volante

As I have been devoting my space to articles and features for the Peñafrancia Fiesta 2007, and as head writer of the region’s most prestigious and most awaited pageant, allow me to give you a preview of what’s to come and expect from this year’s Miss Bicolandia search.

Let me begin with the bidding process for which we participated in last August 3 at the Sangguniang Panlungsod Hall (at the city hall) of Naga. There were four bidding groups: S Events and Style, Montage, Excite, and us, the Bicol Artistic Group. S Events and Style and us are both Bikol-based while Excite and Montage are both based in Manila. After determining the order of presentation based on the order of submission of sealed bids, each group was given an hour to present their concepts, including proposed host(s) and celebrities who would add color to the pageant. For our group, being the teacher (and also an event organizer and resident emcee/spokesperson of Nagaland E-Mall), I was tasked to do the presentation. Then it was followed by some clarificatory questions from the council members. We left after our turn and I heard the session ended up almost late in the afternoon with the committee having to deliberate on the merits of all the bidders and their presentations. The announcement was postponed until after Monday, August 6; with the help of the press.

I am with the team of Bikol region’s most seasoned pageant and production (show) organizer who is also a choreographer, director, talent coordinator and line producer, all rolled into one individual by the name of Macario “Macky” Barachina. When I was still in high school, (that’s not so long ago, hehe) Macky was my choreographer in folkdance, director of Miss United Nations search, etc. So you get an idea of how young “Tita Macky” is, as he is fondly called by friends and associates. Not to mention his stints in Cebu and Brunei, Macky has worked with almost every artist in Naga, Camarines Sur, and the entire Bikol region; from singers to dancers, to choirs and bands; to even organizing an entire contingent of street dancers from municipalities, cities and provinces as entries to various festivals. He has choreographed every kind of choir whose members vary from priests to policemen, to doctors and students of all ages. Even some top local entrepreneurs and heads of offices call him “Teacher Macky.”

Incidentally, at one time there was even a rumor spreading that the initials MB or Miss Bicolandia actually refers to Macky Barachina. But of course, not everybody is happy with this joke. Anyways, this year’s theme is Promoting Bikol Culture in Harmony with Nature, courtesy of the newly-organized (which is necessary after the May 2007 elections) Naga City Beauty Pageant Council headed by the newly-elected city councilor, the foremost Bikolana and environment advocate, wife of former Congressman Cho Roco, Mrs. Bernadette F. Roco. Before her election into public office, Ma’am Badette and her group were called the ladies in green. But after the congressman’s second failed bid for a seat in the house, he is now said to be the “man in green” as he attends to their farm in Pacol.

This year’s bidding committee was composed of Councilor Roco as Chair, Councilors Salvador Del Castillo and Nathan Sergio, Mr. Jun Mongoso of the Metro PESO, Bikolandia’s fashion guru Mr. Junn Roa, and Mr. Joe Perez, and one representative from the Naga City Peoples’ Council.

After hearing the news that we got the award as this year’s production outfit, Macky and I wasted no time in preparing and doing all the documents needed for the pageant, as well as assembling all the creative and technical people who could help us mount the production and pageant. We were then joined later by another local choreographer-director, my friend and batchmate in elementary, Rommel Sto. Domingo.

By the time this article would be printed, the news could already be out on who made it to the 20 Official candidates whose selection will be done in time for the deadline for this paper. And I cannot hold the printing until Saturday evening of August 26 because press work has already started. I promise in my next few columns, I will be giving you a feature of the 20 official candidates with their pictures. Let it also be a way of promoting this year’s pageant.

So for a preview, let me just tell you that for 2007, and as I have initially mentioned above, it will be a fusion of culture and nature. For our presentation, we put it as: festivals, flora, and fauna. As a way of creative treatment, expect music, dances, wardrobes, attires and costumes in festival flavors. There will also be some visuals and spiels about species that are endemic to Bikol region. Sets, backdrops, sceneries and props will also be in “culture meets nature” theme. Even in the talent competition, candidates and their talent scouts will be advised to pattern after or cater to Bikol culture and environment. The gown competition would come in two forms: one for the candidates’ carriage; and two, for the design observing the annual theme dictated by the organizers. This part of the pageant, which comes out with the Best Designer’s Award, is a most-awaited one for local designers and couturiers. It is to be noted that some of these creative people, especially the young and budding ones, would even collaborate to put up the best design and execution for a gown. Designers are advised to focus on the Filipiniana Terno but using indigenous materials that showcase and promote Bikol from the hardshell of pili, to the ragiwdiws and all.

In one of the council meetings, there was a discussion on the language to be used during the pageant’s various activities, including and most specially the final pageant and coronation night. Discussion centered on whether to use Bikol and English only, and no translation or use of Tagalog as a “fallback language”. This still has to be resolved as the pageant days draw near.

Tentatively, the schedule of activities are: Screening and selection of 20 Official Candidates – August 25, 4:00 pm at the Naga City Civic Center; Tree Planting – August 26, 5:00 pm at the Triangulo/CBD 2 area; Press and Media Presentation – September 8, 4:00 pm at Mariners’ Polytechnic College (Baras, Canaman, Camarines Sur); Charity Day – September 9, 10:00 am at LCC Mall; Talent Competition – September 10, 4:00 pm at LCC Mall; Motorcade with Manila-based Celebrities and Mall Tour at Nagaland E-Mall – September 12, 9:00 am; and the Final Pageant and Coronation Night – September 12, 9:00 pm at the University of Nueva Caceres Sports Palace. In the morning of September 13, the top five winners are expected to join the Civic Parade.

On a personal note, it is nice to be again behind one of the most awaited pageants in the region. The last time Macky and I were involved with this search was in 2002 and 2003.

Allow me to leave you with this first and let me just fill in the blanks in my succeeding articles. Enjoy the search and show for now. Have fun this fiesta.

Source: http://voxbikol.net/index.php?option=view_view&catid=&viewid=90

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