The winners of the special awards given on Saturday, February 19, at the press conference of Miss Puerto Princesa 2022 at Hue Hotels and Resorts Puerto Princesa. (From left) Miss Sta. Monica Jonamie Mangcucang who won the Miss Body Beautiful award, Miss Barangay Sta. Lourdes Jonalyn Galleno who won the Darling of the Press award, and Theressa Mae Bertos of Brgy. San Miguel won the Face of the Night award.

Jonalyn Galleno, the Miss Puerto Princesa 2022 candidate from Barangay Sta. Lourdes, earned the “Darling of the Press” award on Saturday night for impressing the members of the local media who attended the press conference to kick off the pageant at the Hue Hotels and Resorts Puerto Princesa.

Jonalyn, whose passion before the pandemic was traveling across the province often to share the gospel with children and working with out-of-school-youths (OSYs) in her barangay to establish livelihood activities, is one of the 20 contestants vying to succeed reigning Miss Puerto Princesa (2021) Jemimah Joy Zabala.

When asked why she should be the next Miss Puerto Princesa, the 20-year-old who pays for her own education by organizing weddings and debuts, said that despite her “broken and poor family” upbringing, her faith in herself is what motivates her to help children and OSYs.

The 20 Miss Puerto Princesa 2022 candidates during their presentation at Hue Hotels and Resorts Puerto Princesa. (Photo from the Miss Puerto Princesa FB page)

“Marami akong ginagawa para maprotektahan ang sarili ko, at the same time, hindi lang ako isang beauty queen, isa rin pa ako sa kasalukuyan na nagtuturo sa aming barangay because my heart is for those people who are OSY. Sabi nga ni Dr. Jose Rizal, ang kabataan ang pag-asa ng bayan, that is why I am standing here in front of you,” Jonalyn said during the press conference’s Q&A.

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She said that she entered Miss Puerto Princesa because she believes it will provide her with the opportunity to inspire young people to do their best for a better future.

Miss Puerto Princesa, Jonalyn added, is more than a beauty pageant; it’s an opportunity to assist the city government reach out to young people like her, especially now that there’s a pandemic.

Theressa Mae Bertos of Brgy. San Miguel won the Face of the Night award, while Miss Sta. Monica Jonamie Mangcucang won the Miss Body Beautiful award.

The candidates were presented as part of the celebrations commemorating Puerto Princesa City’s 150th Foundation Day and the 18th Balayong Festival, which will highlight history, beauty, and resiliency.

According to the Miss Puerto Princesa Organization, which is chaired by Mary Vanessa Guzman Tan, the introduction of the pageant’s 20 contenders was part of the kick-off event for the sesquicentennial celebration.

He said they have been searching for the next candidate who will be worthy of wearing the title and succeeding Jemimah since December 2021.

Reigning Miss Puerto Princesa (2021) Jemimah Joy Zabala (wearing the crown) and city information officer Richard Ligad during the awarding of special titles to three candidates on presentation night. (Photo from the Miss Puerto Princesa FB page)

For this year’s edition of Miss Puerto Princesa, Dreu Manlawe, one of the organizers, said it will continue to embrace the three key roles that have already been established since 2021.

“The pageant will continue to embrace the three key roles established since last year — to be a role model, harbinger of hope, and rallying point in the fight and recovery from the two major crises that our city is currently facing, the COVID-19 pandemic and the devastation in the aftermath of super typhoon Odette,” Manlawe said.

During the media presentation, all 20 contestants walked the runway in Sonny Boy Mindo Wardrobe swimsuits and outfits, as well as Jojo Bragais shoes.

Each candidate demonstrated that she is one-of-a-kind, charismatic, confident, energetic, resilient, and a lady of substance, all attributes that a true queen should have, according to Manlawe.

He said that the majority of them are new to the pageant industry, but others have competed in local (barangay) pageants before.

This year’s set of pageant hopefuls is diverse – there is an online seller, a COVID survivor, a call center customer service representative, a tour guide, a former missionary in the United States, a representative of public market vendors, a candidate who champions education through teaching free to out-of-school youths (OSYs) and runs a livelihood program to help young parents, and a proud person with disabilities (PWD) member.

“For the first time in MPP history, in addition to the most coveted Miss Puerto Princesa 2022 title, a Miss Puerto Princesa North Ambassadress from the North cluster of the city, and a Miss Puerto Princesa Ambassadress for the South will be crowned,” according to Manlawe.

He said fans will still get to know more about the 20 candidates as they engage in a series of official pageant activities and events.

On February 14, the ladies visited the victims of Typhoon Odette in Brgy. Macarascas and Brgy. Binduyan for their gift-giving and feeding programs, where 1,400 individuals, including children, received food packs and meals from MPP organization donors.

In the upcoming weeks, supporters and a panel of judges will be able to witness and measure the ladies’ grace, wit, and charm in a closed-door interview, a talent competition, a preliminary competition, and other public appearances.

The coronation of the most prestigious pageant in Puerto Princesa will be on March 3, 2022, at the Princesa Garden Island Resort and Spa and will be witnessed by the fans via Facebook live on the official pages of Miss Puerto Princesa and City Information Office.

Miss Puerto Princesa 2022 is presented by the City Government of Puerto Princesa through mayor Lucilo R. Bayron together with Miss Puerto Princesa Organization consultant Judith “Raine” Bayron, and chairperson of the 18th Balayong Festival Richard C. Ligad.

It is with FDream Team Production headed by Geofred “Favz” Gabo, and co-presented by Bigkis Puerto Princesa, in cooperation with this year’s official partners: Hue Hotels and Resorts Puerto Princesa, SM City Puerto Princesa, Princesa Garden Island Resort and Spa, Petalmoneca, Smart Communications Inc., Globe Telecom, Paljeks Central Market & Food Courtyard, Pixies Printing Services, Tatak Ni Tatang Printing Services, Motortrade, Kawasaki, RVM Creations, Kuyba Almoneca, Printhub, Southwind Palawan, former city mayor Edward Hagedorn, city councilor Patrick Hagedorn, Infinite Moment Creations Media Production, and Fdreamteam Production.

Its official hashtags are #ConquerTheNEW #MissPuertoPrincesa2022 #NewNormalNewQueen #150thfoundinganniversary #18thBALAYONGFESTIVAL #CityGovernmentofPuertoPtincesa #FdreamteamProductionevents

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is a student-intern researcher of Palawan News and is currently studying Bachelor of Secondary Education at Palawan State University. She reports the regular covid updates and supports the data gathering of current events. She identifies herself as a local poet and a fictional writer, while her other interests also include singing and photography.