Fireworks lit up the sky at past 11 last night as Allysa Marie Villarico of Bacolod City was crowned the 18th Lin-ay sg Negros at the jampacked Panaad stadium in Barangay Mansilingan, Bacolod City.
Villarico, 20, and a third year Mass Communication student at the University of Negros Occidental Recoletos was named Miss Globe, People's choice award, Miss EDC and Miss Marycay.
Villarico, who is also one of the hosts of Kapamilya mas Winner Ka of ABS-CBN Bacolod, received P60,000 and full scholarship at a school of her choice.
Jemaimah Taladico, 21, of Victorias City, who did not get any special or corporate awards, was adjudged first runner-up and received P40,000 in cash and a 75 percent scholarship for a year.
Talisay City's Sherizze Sean Acot, 16, was second runner-up and received P20,000 in cash and a 50 percent scholarship. Her festival costume designer won and she was also named Miss Delmonte Fit N' Right.
During the final interview, the final five candidates, who included Manapla's Patricia Ann Reconquista and Hinoba-an's Kristy Claire Ebreo, were asked to choose whether they would do something or would be someone.
Villarico said she chose to do something so she could leave a mark and make a difference, rather than be someone who did nothing.
The newly-crowned Lin-ay sg Negros dedicated her victory to God, her family, friends and the people of Bacolod, who, she said, had given her support throughout the pageant.
Taladico, also a Mass Communication student at the University of St. La Salle Bacolod, said she wants to do something so she can translate her words into actions and help people rather than be someone and do nothing.
Another Mass Communication student of UNO-R, Acot, stressed that she wants to be someone who has done something and that she may not be someone who is known to the world but she is a person who has done good things to others.
Bacolod Mayor Evelio Leonardia said that he had confident in Villarico, who used to be the playmate of his daughter Kara, and was confident, driven and enthusiastic.
Leonardia added that this shows that Bacoleños also excel in other fields.
Other candidates who made it to the top ten were the Lin-ay sg San Carlos Damaris Vi Landao, Chinky Cantere of Murcia, Cel Marie Lachica of Silay, Catherine Joy Marin of Bago and Marjoelyn Rebadomia of Sagay.
Shortly after the announcement of the top ten, Himamaylan's Precious Grace Heradura fell off the stage and got injured.
Judging the 4-hour pageant were former Lin-ay sg Negros winners Vicky Marie Rushton, Blanch Marie Brawn-Agbayani, Miss World Philippines 1 st -runner up Helen Necolette Henson, Male Best Model of the World Raphael Kiefer, and Department of Tourism consultant Leo Nilo Agustin.
Before the crowning, past Lin-ay sg Negros winners also congratulated the organizers for the successful pageant in the last 18 years.
Binibining Pilipinas-World 2006 Ann Mariz Igpit and television personality Victor Aliwalas hosted the pageant, while RNB singer Jay-R and actor TJ Trinidad entertained the audience.
Vice Governor Genaro Alvarez welcomed the officials and other guests who attended the pageant.*APN