DAGUPAN CITY – Ms. Ivern Doroteo of Tarlac was crowned as 2017 Bangus Festival ‘Mistisang’ Bangus Queen on April 23 besting 14 other candidates with his charm, beauty and intelligence.
The search for Mistisang Bangus was conceptualized by the 2017 Bangus Festival Executive Committee with Epee Rafanan and Dr. Wendy Bernardo of the City Health Office to create awareness on HIV-AIDS and protect the populace from the killer disease.
On the day of the pageant, free HIV test was made available for everyone at the event area. The free HIV test can also be availed of at the City Health Office, according to Bernardo who is also the city’s Gender and Development and HIV AIDS focal person.
When asked on how to advise the community as ambassadress for HIV prevention, Doroteo readily answered, “Don’t be ashamed to get checked no matter who you are or how old you are, age doesn’t matter but AIDS does matter. It’s not the end.”
Crowned first runner-up was Reigne Barbie Monteverde and second runner-up was Tamira Yvonne Willies.
Monteverde, in his answer said, “Let us work hand in hand. This is not yet the end of the world. After all you will not be judged on who you are or what you are but on what others have become because of you.”
Willies, on the other hand, said, “Be the searching wave of change. Hold the torch of hope and let us be enlightened and face the epidemic with a smiling face.”
Inspired by the noble cause of the pageant, Mayor Belen T. Fernandez is bent on conducting the same beauty pageant twice a year or even monthly to zero out HIV cases in the city.
“We would like our city to have a zero case on HIV-AIDS and protect our community against this dreaded disease,” said Fernandez. (Joseph C. Bacani/CIO/April 24, 2017)