05 August 2013 - A culminating activity to celebrate the 115th anniversary of Philippine Independence was the “Ginang Kayaan” (Mrs. Independence) Pageant organized by the Filipino-Kiwi Club of New Zealand, Inc. at the Avondale College Performing Arts Centre in Auckland on July 06.
Its President, Ms. Pilar Boyle, highlighted the significance of this year’s pageant focusing on the historical and foreign influences of Philippine arts, culture and heritage as eight Filipino women portrayed their different talents and creativity in the spirit of fun, friendship and fellowship.
The “Ginang Kalayaan” pageant which has been running for the past three years was conceptualized by Mrs. Min Roche, Vice-President of the Filipino-Kiwi Club of New Zealand, Inc. and aims to build the confidence and self-esteem of Filipino women, promote their artistic performances and project the richness and variety of Filipino culture in the spirit of fun, friendship and fellowship.
In her speech, Philippine Ambassador Virginia H. Benavidez stated that this yearly contest for “Ginang Kalayaan” mirrors the beauty pageants back home that is now part of Filipino culture, a gateway to the Filipino’s warmth, beauty and hospitality at its very best, a channel for boosting a woman’s self-worth, confidence and esteem and a fulfilling journey to helping make a difference in people’s lives and contributing to humanitarian causes and charitable projects. “What makes the “Ginang Kalayaan” beauty pageant more interesting is that these are the quests of Filipino married women and mothers who exemplify the true Filipina beauty and talent carrying themselves with innate poise, grace, aura and intelligence encouraged and supported by their family, loved ones and friends. These they do well as they have built their lives in New Zealand and continue to carry out their respective roles and responsibilities as wife, mother, homemaker or career woman”.
Amidst the resounding applause, cheers and delight of their families, friends and supporters and after the panel of judges has decided on the line-up of winners, Ms. Alice Howden was proclaimed Ginang Kalayaan 2013 and also won the Mrs. Popularity, Best in Talent, Best in Casual Wear, Best in National Costume and Best in Evening Wear categories. The First Runner Up was awarded to Ms. Virginia Burke who was also judged Best in Smile and the Second Runner Up and Mrs. Photogenic was Ms. Mary Jane Paderanga. Mrs. Charity and Best Effort in Production Number were given to Ms. Josie Pantig, Mrs. Friendship to Ms. Violeta Eaton, Best Charming to Ms. Joey Cooke, Outstanding Contribution to Ms. Jael Santos and Best in Production Number to Ms. Lucy Tipanero.
In crowning the winners and congratulating the participants of “Ginang Kalayaan” Ambassador Benavidez said that they represent the Filipina as a woman of style and substance, proud of her heritage and grateful for the priceless gift of freedom and the precious legacy of the country’s founding fathers. The music, dancing, singing and cultural performances at the centre stage of Ginang Kalayaan would encourage Filipinos, New Zealanders and foreign tourists to visit the country and exclaim “Indeed, it is More Fun in the Philippines!” END