By Sean Rafio
It was the most beautiful night in Iloilo City when the new set of Ilongga beauty queens were crowned on Wednesday, January 15, 2023, during the Miss Iloilo coronation night at the Iloilo Convention Center in Mandurriao district.
Cabatuan’s Raniele Shaine Saulog bested 17 other candidates representing districts and provinces in Iloilo to win the Miss Iloilo 2023 title.
During the final question and answer portion of the competition, Saulog was asked by Facebook user Chris John Buenafe: “Today the population is exponentially growing. One wrong mindset about Filipinos is that they see overpopulation as something to be proud of. How will you convince the people of Iloilo that the increasing population is not good?”
Saulog answered: “The economic growth of our nation is now imbalanced. The ratio of family to houses is not equal. The amount of love and care and affection that a family could give is not enough. And if you still can’t understand that, where is your love for our country? Where is your love for our community? And I truly believe that a community that cares for each other is a community that stands together strong and powerful.”
The 19-year-old architecture student from Iloilo Science and Technology University (ISAT-U) took home a P100,000 cash prize and P5,000 for bagging the Best in Themed Costume special award.
Chloei Darl Gabales of Jaro district was named 1st runner-up and Tracy Lois Bedua of Barotac Nuevo was 2nd runner-up.
Ma. Cristina Isabel Tallador of Pavia and Jeraldine Quimson of Mandurriao district bagged the 3rd and 4th runner-up slots, respectively.
After the pageant, judges deliberated who among the Top 3 winners will represent Iloilo City in national pageants Miss Universe-Philippines, Miss World-Philippines, and Binibining Pilipinas.
A sashing ceremony on Thursday, January 19, 2023 at SM City Iloilo hailed Gabales as Miss Iloilo-Universe.
Miss Iloilo gave the Miss Iloilo-World title to Saulog. Bedua will represent Iloilo City in the 59th edition of Binibining Pilipinas later this year.
For the special awards, the following are the winners:
- Best in Swimsuit – Chloei Darl Gabales
- Best in Evening Gown – Chloei Darl Gabales
- Miss Selfiegenic – Ma. Delza Anduque
- Best in Tourism Video – Ma. Delza Anduque
- Best in Swimwear Underwater – Chloie Darl Gabales
- Best in The Throne Online Interview – Jeraldine Quimson
- Best in Casual Wear Designers Fashion Show – Ma. Delza Anduque
- Best in Talent – K Dilme Amanda Perera
- Best in Themed Costume – Raniele Shaine Saulog
Other special awards given were:
- Miss Fiesta 2023 (P5,000 cash prize) – Chloie Darl Gabales
- Miss Pepsi (P5,000 cash prize) – K Dilme Amanda Perera
- Miss Megaworld (P50,000 worth of Megaworld hotel staycation) – Chloie Darl Gabales
- Miss Xtendo OPS – Christine Joy D. Bretaña
- Miss Gandang Palaban (P5,000 cash prize) – Chloie Darl Gabales
- Miss MG Motor Iloilo (P5,000 cash prize) – Christine Joy D. Bretaña
- Miss Iloilo Society Commercial (P5,000 cash prize) – Jeraldine Quimson
- Miss GranXing Imperial and Imperial Appliance Plaza – Chloie Darl Gabales
- Miss Samsung (latest mobile phone) – Ma. Cristina Isabel N. Tallador
- Miss Let’s Face It – Maria Angela D. Andrade
- Miss La Carmela de Boracay (P5,000 cash prize and gift certificates) – Jeraldine B. Quimson
- Miss Richmond (P5,000 cash prize) – Jeraldine B. Quimson
- Miss Robinsons Malls (P5,000 cash prize) – Ma. Delza B. Anduque
- Miss JS Layson (P5,000 cash prize) – Ma. Cristina Isabel N. Tallador
- Miss AweSM Iloilo 2023 – Chloie Darl Gabales
The Miss Iloilo pageant is part of the city’s famous Dinagyang festival that peaks on the third weekend of January.