Water lily blooms with beauty and color in Las Piñas
The modest water lily took center stage anew at the 12th Las Piñas Water lily Festival that bloomed with pomp pageantry and colorful street dances held at the Villar SIPAG Grounds.
Hajer Ashraf of Barangay Talon Dos bested 15 other candidates from Las Piñas’ different barangays to wear the Miss Las Piñas Water Lily 2017 crown and bring home the P25,000 cash prize.
Jeanne Talania of Baranga Manuyo Dos was first runner up and won a crown as well and P15,000 cash prize. Crowned second runner-up was Charmaine Louise Peralta of Barangay Zapote who went home with a cash prize of P10,000.
A celebration of beauty and nature, the Miss Las Piñas Water Lily beauty pageant is the first of its kind where the biggest criteria for judging (40 percent) was the uniqueness and creativity of the contestants’ mestiza ternos made of 100 percent water lily. It should also reflect the natural color of this lovely aquatic plant. Other criteria for judging are physical beauty (30 percent) and intelligence and wit (30 percent).
Meanwhile, several schools in Las Piñas battled it out in the colorful and water lily-inspired street dancing competition that was eventually won by representatives of Group 1 (Golden Acres National HS, TS Cruz National HS and Las Piñas National HS), Grand Champion, taking home a trophy plus P50,000 cash prize.
Other winners were Group 3 (Las Piñas East National HS, Las Piñas East National HS Talon 4 – Annex and Las Piñas East National HS Equitable Village), first runner-up, receiving a trophy plus P30,000 cash and Group 4 (Las Piñas North National HS, Las Piñas Science High School and Rizal Experimental Station & Pilot School of Cottage Industries (RESPCI)), second runner-up and brought home a trophy and P20,000 cash prize.
Apart from the grand champion and the two runners-up, other schools that competed in the street dance competition were the Las Pinas National High School - LPNHS - Gatchalian Annex and CAA National High School - CAA National High School Annex.
Participating groups, with maximum of 50 members each, were required to submit their unique concept synopsis with water lily as its main component in the costume and props.
Beautifully woven in these twin competitions was the water lily product exhibit and weaving demonstration, participated in by the Water Lily Arts & Crafts Center, Sta. Rosa Livelihood Organization, Inc., Laguna Water Hyacinth Organization, Cardona Livelihood Products, Kabuhayan sa Water Lily, Joneg Foundation, Pililla Waterlily Weavers, Maynilad Waterlily Weavers and one of the youth awardees in this year’s festival, Project Lily PH.
The Water lily Festival is a brainchild of Sen. Cynthia A. Villar and was launched in 2005 to showcase the city’s love for the environment as a giver of life and livelihood.
“Through the years, we are pleased that our homegrown Waterlily Festival continues to attract visitors and tourists to the city because of the unique attribute of our festival, and because it pays homage to our Mother Nature and to our culture,” Villar said.
It would be recalled that during her term as representative of Las Piñas, Villar started the Sagip Ilog Program rehabilitating the Las Piñas-Zapote River, which for many years was swamped with water lilies causing flooding in many areas. Villar transformed the water lily problem into a beautiful solution by turning these lovely blooms baskets, trays, mats, hampers, slippers, chests, lampshades, and other products, thus creating livelihood opportunities for the residents and helping reduce flooding incidents.