Peyton R. Gomez is 2017 Liberation Queen

PEYTON R. Gomez, a senior at Marianas High School, was crowned 2017 Liberation Queen on Saturday in Hibiscus Hall at the Fiesta Resort & Spa.

Gomez, 16, daughter of Wayne and Yvonne R. Pangelinan, raised $19,500.

“I feel very happy, and I feel nervous — I am just so grateful,” she said as she thanked everyone who bought tickets and her parents as well, especially her mother, for their support.

“I am ready and would love to help the community which has given so much to me. I am ready to give back to the community, and it will start with the youth — with us,” said Gomez, who will be representing the Saipan mayor’s office in community service and programs.

This year, each candidate was represented by an indigenous bird. Gomez chose the white-throated ground dove or paluman apaka, whose color was depicted by the cape she wore for her first official walk.

2016 Liberation Queen Christine Roque was assisted by Saipan Mayor David M. Apatang, Imperial Pacific International Holdings vice president for corporate services and communications Tao Xing and Liberation Committee official Valentina Haberman in placing the crown and sash on Gomez.

2017 Liberation Queen Peyton Gomez and the Royal Court Princesses. Photo by Junhan B. Todiño

This year’s Royal Princess is Mikeangela Charfauro while the First Princess is Carlicia Ruben. The Princesses are Riannalyn Manabat, Kaila de Guzman, Maxine Lopez and Mikaella Dahil.

In her farewell message, 2016 Liberation Queen Christine Roque said the title she gained last year gave her many wonderful opportunities.

“This opportunity has opened many doors for me and allowed me to realize the value of serving my community and paying tribute to NMI history,” she said.

“I have grown to value and love the island I am from. I have taken this journey, and I will continue to do my very best to encourage others to serve the community.”

Mayor Apatang thanked the parents of the candidates, the Liberation Day Committee headed by Matt Deleon Guerrero and the Royal Court Committee headed by Laila Y. Boyer.

“This is not an easy thing to do,” the mayor said. “It needs a lot of work and dedication.”

He said the candidates learned many things which will help them in their future endeavors.

Traditionally, the Liberation Queen participates in Guam’s Liberation Day parade which is held on July 21. But Apatang said this year, it will depend on the Liberation Committee budget. He added, however, that the Liberation Queen definitely will go with the Saipan cultural exchange students to Japan this year.

The Liberation Committee was able to raise $55,000 in this year’s Liberation Queen pageant. Each candidate will get a 20 percent share of their total ticket sales.

Among the other special guests during coronation night on Saturday were Rose Soledad and Janice Tenorio of IT&E, Mel Sakisat and Megan Aglipay of the TSL Foundation, Saipan and Northern Islands Municipal Vice Chairman Diego Kaipat, Japan Consul Kinji Shinoda and non-profit Liberation Committee president Louis Rodgers.

The program started at 6:30 p.m. with the posting of colors by the Saipan Southern High School JROTC.

Sophia Geisinger led the singing of the national and CNMI anthems and was accompanied by Leo Pangelinan and JJ Concepcion. Laila Y. Boyer was the emcee.

Gomez and her Royal Court will make their first public appearance during the July 4, Liberation Day parade on Tuesday.

The parade will start at 4 p.m. on Beach Road at National Office Supply and will proceed to the festivity grounds at the Garapan Fishing Base.

Source: Marianas Variety :

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