After months of criticism from anti-pageant groups in the college, Miss UP Cebu 2011 was finally crowned last February 5.
It was a tough competition for Political Science freshman Nikko Beatrice Natuplag who won by a margin of .02 from first runner up Rejzl Awit, a Mass Communication student. Second runner up went to Keeshia Salazar, a sophomore Political Science student.
The essay-like final question, “Do you believe that having beauty pageants degrade our morals and intellects as UP students? Comment,” squeezed out the pageantry answers in them. If the final Q&A was the only determinant of the criteria, all three girls would have taken the title and the crowd could attest to that.
Nikko, a member of the college debate team, also won Miss Shakeys, Best in Evening Gown, and an award from Mendez Medical Group. Crowning Nikko was Miss UP Cebu 2010 Mia Faridoon.
Both the liberal and conservative groups of UP have yet to embrace the culture of pageants, as shown years ago when Bb. UP emerged- it was a pageant for the gays in mockery of female beauty pageants.
But Miss UP, now on its fourth year, is not your ordinary school pageant. Each candidate had to put their advocacies into paper and defend it in front of the panelists a week before the pageant. The Coronation night only had 70 percent bearing of the final score.
But the Miss UP crowd is not as hostile as probably pictured. Defenders of the pageant filled the Sinulog Hall of Rizal Library and Museum. The supporters from the different college departments deafened one another with every scream each student exerted. It was the first time that all eight courses were represented and the Facebook page of the event became the hub for arguments and cheers for the candidates.
Organizers of the event were Hello Ladies and Spectrum student groups of the college.
*Photo credits go to UPbatibot.com