WITH alluring ladies donning multifarious gowns with intricate designs and fine details – created by renowned Ilonggo fashion designers, and even a few by couturiers from the provinces of Capiz and Negros Occidental – 33 beauty queens sparkled in this year’s Santacruzan Ciudad de Iloilo.

Reyna Dela Paz Elmarie Dewara, Miss Silka Iloilo 2018

Showcasing creations of a handful of established local designers, the chosen Sagalas stunned the crowd with their elusive and unique dresses representing the different Queens or Reynas of May.

Reyna Banderada Trisha Sianson, Miss Silka Iloilo 2017 – 1st Runner-up
Kate Sunga as Reyna Del Rosario clad in Audrey Rose Albason’s masterpiece.

Santacruzan is celebrated annually all over the Philippines in honor of the search for the Holy Cross and also as a thanksgiving to the Blessed Virgin Mary. What makes Santacruzan Ciudad de Iloilo different from all the events held in other cities and towns is the fact that the gowns worn by the muses, who are reigning queens from different beauty pageants inside and outside of Iloilo, were delicately made by the local designers.

Thea Garcia sparkled as Reyna De Las Profetas in Alfie Desamparado’s gown.

This time, on its fourth year, designers from all over Panay Island came over to participate in the event and present their authentic creations.

Miss Paraw Regatta 2016 Vanessa Mae Tse Wing wears a red gown by Daryl Amar in her Reyna De Las Estrellas look.


Three crowned beauty queens represented the major Reynas of this year’s Santacruzan. Miss Teen Iloilo Patricia Beerda served as Reyna De Las Flores carrying a bouquet of flowers and clad in JunG Candelario’s gold gown, beaded with embossed vector design and detailed flowers. Meanwhile, Miss Iloilo Dinagyang 2017 Jekkah May Prudente stood as Reyna Emperatriz in her pure white and elegant gown made by Ram Silva while carrying a cross. Demi Jainga, Miss Dinagyang 2018 represented Reyna Elena in her folded-inspired peach gown crafted by Alex Soncio while carrying a cross and having a little child known as Constantino beside her.

Miss Iloilo Dinagyang 2017 Jekkah May Prudente shines as Reyna Emperatriz in Ram Silva’s creation.

When the three beauty queens were asked about what they thought about their gowns and their sentiments on being chosen to characterize the core Reynas, they shared similar comments.

Miss Iloilo Dinagyang 2018 Demi Jainga is this year’s Reyna Elena wearing the design of Alex Soncio. Along with her is Kiro Mikhael D. Fantonalgo as Constantino.

The three queens told Panay News that they’re very proud to wear the creations of the different designers. They also said that the gowns they had matched their personalities perfectly.

Reyna De La Candelaria Joana Kalksmidt, Miss Halaran 2018

Specifically, Jainga said, “It’s a simple dress but it reminds me as a person, Tito Alex (Soncio) knows me well.”

Miss Teen Iloilo 2017 Patricia Beerda wears the creation of JunG Candelario as she is Reyna De Las Flores

Among the designers of the gowns for this year’s Santacruzan were Alfie Desamparado, Ariel Doronilla, Ruffy Itaas, Carlo Simoy, Edwin Benitez, Oliver Zulueta, Nino Damasco, Edward Sales, Peter Gagula, Mark Jerez, John Lee Betita, Mark Arnel, Daryl Amar, Cyril Villanueva, Jeff Ticao, Totong Gellangarin, Elon Delgado, Gerard Espulgar, Ysther Grejaldo, Daryl Amar, Lexter Badana, Ayan Jorda, John Montinola, Audrey Rose Albason, and Efren Geroso.

Reyna De los Apostoles Almina Marie Lazaro Gange, Mutya ng Guimaras 2018 – 1st Runner-up


The Reynas flaunted their elegant gowns with grace and poise amidst the inclement weather.  Bearing the thick pleats and high-heeled shoes that complement their dresses, they romped in front of Iloilo City Hall confidently and seamlessly. This year’s event marks another milestone for all the beauty queens, designers, and organizers.

Reyna De Los Patriarcas Hazel Mae Arroyo Querubin, Perlas sang Tampisaw 2018
With bandana imprinted with the face of Jesus, Karen Kaye Delmo flaunted John Lee Betita’s design as Reyna Veronica.

Indeed, Santacruzan Ciudad de Iloilo 2018 is a feat of true aesthetics not only exemplifying the real essence of Santacruzan but also showcasing the real art that only Ilonggos can make. (Photos by Ian Paul Cordero)(April Grace Padilla & Margaret Anjelie Llorico, Interns/PN).


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