Sahara Senta Wagner was crowned Thursday night to become the 2018 Miss Subaraw Festival Queen in Puerto Princesa City.
The senior high student competed against 19 other contestants to be the first queen to wear the crown under the first staging of the Subaraw Biodiversity Festival in line with the commemoration of the “Puerto Princesa Underground River (PPUR) Day” this year.
Wagner, who is a Grade 11 Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) student of the Palawan Hope Christian School (PHCS), was crowned at the Puerto Princesa City Coliseum.
Wagner won the title after impressing the audience and the judges with her response on the question “What else can Puerto Princesa offer to tourists apart from its beautiful natural resources?”
She responded it is the local residents who are one of the city’s major attractions because they are polite, hospitable, and they care for the environment.
“There are so many things that I am proud of living here in Puerto Princesa. There are so many beautiful natural resources and world-class tourist spots. I think that aside from all those things, it is the [local] people who attract the tourists and make them want to come back every time they visit Puerto Princesa for we are known to be hospitable, polite, environmental-friendly, and God-fearing people. And this is why people who visit our place will always experience the kambak-kambak syndrome. Puerto Princesa is not just a place to see, but definitely a place to be,” Wagner said during the night of the pageant.
The German-Filipina beauty, who loves dancing, arts, music, and sketching, believes that every action that people do also reflect the outer appearance of the surroundings.
“The trees are our lungs and the rivers are our bloodstream. Everything is interconnected; so whatever we do to our environment, we ultimately do to ourselves,” she said.
Wagner said her five years of experience in pageantry and modeling prepared her for the challenge of contending to become the maiden queen of the Subaraw Biodiversity Festival.
At this year’s pageant, she said it warms her to know that she will represent the PPUR and the goal of the park management to continue its sustainable protection.
“It is challenging, but I love everything about it. They give me excitement and the thrill to always enhance my skills and self-esteem. Pageants, especially when you win, is very prestigious yet it comes with a great responsibility. They always open doors filled with opportunities for me to voice out my advocacies,” she said.
During the competition, Wagner pointed out that she was challenged by the fact that she could have portrayed a playful personality during the swimsuit competition, but she did not for whatever reason.
“I could have played with my hair to make my appearance on stage more energetic. But that’s okay, I know I am still very young, and with consistent practice I know I can get better,” she said.
Her twin sister, Sabrina Rose, said it was an absolute joy to see her sister win, knowing all the candidates are qualified to become the biodiversity festival’s first queen.
“I feel very, very proud and I supported her a lot throughout the pageant. We both share the dream of becoming beauty queens and fashion supermodels one day. Therefore, seeing not only my twin’s modeling success, but both of our prosperous achievements in the industry make me feel very proud,” Sabrina Rose, who is the reigning Miss Silka 2018, said.
Wagner bagged a total of five special awards, four of which are major: Best in Festival Costume, Best in Talent, Ms. Photogenic and Best in Long Gown.
The first runner-up winner is Jessarie Dumaguing of Barangay San Jose and the second runner-up is Maria Veronica Sinajon from the Project H4-Amos Tara Community.
Twenty-three-year-old Dumaguing, who was also among the crowd favorites, was last year’s winner of the Binibining MIMAROPA Festival Queen.
She said the Miss Subaraw Festival Queen search will help prepare her in joining national beauty pageants, particularly the Binibining Pilipinas.
“Winning first runner-up gave me self-realizations — that I have flaws the must be given special attention to make me well-prepared for the Binibining Pilipinas,” Dumaguing said.
Other minor prizes were also given, courtesy of several sponsors such as Philippine Airlines, Sitel Palawan, South Sea Pearl Museum, Chez Rose Beach Bar & Restaurant, SM City Puerto Princesa, Palawan Bankers Association and the Designer Circle Philippines that provided the contestants’ elegant long gowns.
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