BY BOY RYAN B. ZABAL
Arnelyn Abello Tandez of STI College of Kalibo won the Best in Swimsuit award in the preliminary event of Mutya it Kalibo Ati-Atihan held at Boracay Island on December 7.
The 17-year old finalist from Lezo, Aklan bested 11 other aspirants for the special award in Boracay Garden Resort.
Tandez, a second-year college student, is taking up a Travel Management course in STI College of Kalibo.
Keno Cahilig Batoy, 24, of Motag, Malay, Aklan also grabbed the Best in Swimwear award among the 12 Lakan it Kalibo Ati-Atihan finalists.
Batoy is studying at Aklan State University-College of Industrial Technology in Kalibo, Aklan.
The judges of the preliminary event were fashion designer Kim Gan, Boracay Lagoon Resort officer-in-charge Krystal Joy Pinky Bacud, Assistant to the Vice President of Boracay Regency Beach Resort and Spa Errol Ledesma, Assistant to the Vice President of Boracay Garden Resort Alphonso Louis Chusuey and creative director Ronald King.
Chusuey and Kalibo LGU Executive Assistant Efren Trinidad, who represented Kalibo mayor William Lachica, conferred the Best in Swimsuit and Best in Swimwear special awards to the winners.
Albert Menez, who chairs the Kalibo Sto. Nino Ati-Atihan Foundation, Inc. (Kasafi), also thanked the Boracay Garden Resort and Dr. Henry O. Chusuey, who hosted the event for the past three years.
Other Mutya candidates who competed for the special award are Ychula Trisha Pineda, Krizzaha Roa Omana, Angelica Rose Pabelico, Beneth Quinto, Criscelle Aron, Ma. Timmy Orillos, Lea Jean Lacorte, Norma Sonio, Jeannie Dane Andrade, Christian Abigail Seraspi and Elmalyn Ytang.
The Lakan aspirants are Ramsel Reds Maravilla, Ariel Lester de Juan, Jan Rey Barnal, John Winston Isidro, Temyshley Ismael, Kalvin Klein Albano, Jaime Valeriano III, Keith Sejira, Feirich Tapican, John Wilnil Bautista and Scott Steven Masigon.
The grand finale of the upcoming beauty pageant is on January 14, 2014 at ABL Sports and Cultural Center with GMA Kapuso stars Mikael Daez and Max Collins as co-hosts.