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Mrs. Kalayaan winners with their crowns. From left, Mrs. Kalayaan-Visayas Lisle Marrero; Mrs. Kalayaan-Luzon Marilyn Cabagui-Martin; Rose Mejia Richman, “2015 Mrs. Kalayaan”; Mrs. Kalayaan-Filipino American Angie Haboc; Mrs. Kalayaan-Philippines Eliza Baccay Manzano; and Mrs. Kalayaan-Mindanao Maryann Gerbolingo Milyo.  (Photo by Rolan Gutierrez)


Some 250 friends and supporters of the Philippine Independence Day Council, Inc., also known as PIDCI, attended the coronation and gala in honor of six beautiful women of the Mrs. Kalayaan Pageant held on April 25, 2015 at the Grand Ballroom of Astoria World Manor in this city.

The pageant for married or formerly married Filipinas or Filipino-American women embody the ideals of a role model for women today and the young women of tomorrow, advocating the promotion of Filipino values and culture among the members of the Filipino-American communities here in the East Coast.

Led by Consul General Mario L de Leon, Jr. and his wife Eleanor, PIDCI President Fe Martinez and 2015 Parade Grand Marshal Atty. Reuben Seguritan, and Dr. Cora Seguritan, the attendees witnessed enthusiastically the entire afternoon celebration which lasted five hours.

Rose Mejia Richman was crowned “2015 Mrs. Kalayaan” by Seguritan and Mrs. Eleanor de Leon.

Richman hails from Cagayan de Oro City and is a proud “lumad” — a true representative of one of the indigenous peoples of Mindanao.

A certified nurse assistant since 1997 (she is also a businesswoman involved in real estate), the humble beauty stated that she is proud of her heritage and will support the PIDCI in their efforts to promote the country during her reign.

She would like to focus on her advocacy in helping others in any way possible.

She would like to use her title to help raise awareness of the plight of the indigenous peoples of Mindanao.

She will receive a round-trip ticket to the Philippines and participate in the 10th Annual Ambassadors, Consuls General and Tourism Directors Tour to the Philippines (July 6-10, 2015), courtesy of Philippine Airlines.

Mrs. Kalayaan Filipino American Angie Haboc, a registered nurse and former Miss Casiguran in Sorsogon, received her crown from Drs. Emilio and Felicisima Quines.

She also won the special awards Mrs. Photogenic and Best In Evening Gown.

Mrs. Kalayaan Philippines Eliza Baccay Manzano received her crown from Dr. Prospero Lim and Olivia David.

Mrs. Kalayaan Luzon Marilyn Cabagui-Martin, selected by her peers as Mrs. Congeniality, was crowned by Joji Jalandoni and Joann Carman.

Mrs. Kalayaan Visayas Lisle Marrero was crowned by Chelle Lhuillier and Arnel Piamonte.

Mrs. Kalayaan Mindanao Maryann Gerbolingo Milyo was crowned by Virginia Potolin and Vince Gesmundo.


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“Ms. Filipino-American 2015” Rianne Avendula-Philips.


Also in attendance were the “Diwa Ng Kalayaan 2015” Katherine Campbell; “Ms. Filipino-American 2015” Rianne Avendula-Philips, who delivered a lovely melodic rendition of the U.S. National Anthem; and “Bituin Ng Mindanao 2015” Andrea Hermoso, who all represented the second generation that evening.

Mrs. Josephine Neri-Jampayas, one of the sponsors of the evening, sang the Philippine National Anthem, while Bro. Ismael Jampayas offered a stirring invocation.

Mister World 2012/2013 Francisco Javier Escobar Parra was among the judges that evening.

He was joined by fellow Wilhelmina model Chris Moore, choreographer Virgie Alvarez and the Filipino Reporter’s Manny Caballero.

Kudos to the Mrs. Kalayaan Committee co-chairs — board members Nonoy Rafael and Margie Wisotsky (1st Mrs. Kalayaan winner of 2012) and choreographer Marissa de Guzman, for yet another successful event.

Antero Martinez and the lovely Dr. Mariliz Guerrero Policarpio, a former Miss New Jersey-America runner-up and Mrs. Philippines-America 2010 winner, hosted the pageant.

All the beauty queens of the Mrs. Kalayaan Pageant, together with Diwa ng Kalayaan 2015 winners, will share the honor of being the central figures during the annual historic parade produced by the PIDCI, riding their respective floats to celebrate the 117th Philippine Independence Day along Madison Avenue in Manhattan on June 7, 2015.

They will also actively attend all the PIDCI functions throughout their reign 2015-2016 highlighted with the coming weeks’ events to promote the awareness of this year’s theme “The Filipino: An Active Partner of Environmental and Climate Change Governance.”

The Philippine Independence Day Council Inc. is inviting the public to their upcoming events — the GRAND MARSHAL GALA on May 9 (Saturday), 7:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m., honoring the 2015 Philippine Independence Day Parade Grand Marshal, Reuben S. Seguritan, Esq., who was also the PIDCI founding president in 2002.

Venue is the Leonard’s Palazzo, 555 Northern Boulevard, Great Neck, NY 11021.

Contact the chairpersons: Dr. Pros Lim 347.248.5106 or Angie Molina 718.687.0976.

The culmination of the Independence Celebration — GRAND INDEPENDENCE BALL on June 13 (Saturday), 7 p.m. to 12 a.m., at the Grand Ballroom of Teaneck Marriott at Glenpointe Hotel, 100 Frank W. Burr Boulevard, Teaneck, NJ 07666. Contact chairperson: Ollie David 732.499.7995.


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Mrs. Kalayaan-Filipino American Angie Haboc with the Filipino Reporter’s Manny Caballero.