Las Piñas holds Waterlily Festival

(The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines – Students in Las Piñas vied for a total of P100,000 cash prize while winners in the Miss Las Piñas Waterlily 2014 were crowned during the 9th Las Piñas Waterlily Festival 2014 celebration held recently in the city.

Five school teams also competed in the Inter-School Street Dance Competition.

The winners and their prizes were Group 5-LP East National High School, LPENHS Talon 4 Annex and LPENHS Equitable Village, first place with P50,000 cash; LP North National High School, CAA National High School and Group 2-Las Piñas Science High School, second place with P30,000 cash; and Group 4-Las Piñas National High School and LPNS Gatchalian Annex, third place with P20,000 cash and a trophy.

Each team was composed of a maximum of 50, 40 dancers and 10 drumbeaters.

Villar SIPAG foundation provided P175,000 cash subsidy for costumes, props and equipment of participating teams.

The winners will become cultural ambassadors to represent Las Piñas in dance competitions outside the city.

Crowned Miss Las Piñas Waterlily 2014 was Jian Cayla Salazar, 20, of Brgy. Manuyo 1, while Maram Banajah of Brgy. Pamplona 3 was first runner up. Giselle Pascual of Brgy. Almanza 1 was second runner up.

As ambassador of goodwill, Miss Las Piñas Waterlily 2014 will promote the beauty of the city, its livelihood programs and the Las Piñas-Zapote River rehabilitation, which won a United Nations award.

Sixteen ladies from 20 barangays vied for the title at the Villar SIPAG Center last July 22.

Last July 19, all candidates went on a Lakbay Aral at the Las Piñas-Parañaque Critical Habitat and Eco-tourism Area (LPPCHEA) and the Livelihood Projects of Villar SIPAG.

LPPCHEA, a mangrove forest and marine habitat that serves as sanctuary for 84 bird species and migratory birds, was included in the Ramsar List of Wetlands of International Importance, along with world-renowned Tubbataha Reefs National Marine Park in Sulu and the Underground River in Palawan.

In holding the festivity annually, Sen. Cynthia Villar said she wants the festival to be among the most famous ones like the Panagbenga, Sinulog and Kadayawan to draw foreign and local tourists to the city.

Villar said the festival started with an environmental project in 2005 that led to the establishment of the Water Lily Weaving Center in the city. She said the city’s water lily industry has gone a long way to promote the livelihood of residents.

Before turning water lilies into a source of livelihood for Las Piñas residents, they clogged the river, contributing to massive flooding.

Las Piñas Rep. Mark Villar was the guest speaker while the senator delivered the inspirational message.

Aside from the costumes of street dancers and candidates, the day-long festival also showcased products made from water lilies like banig or sleeping mats, baskets, slippers, trays, bags, hampers, cabinets, lampshades, coasters, placemats and bayong.

The Department of Tourism (It’s More Fun in the Philippines), Crystal Clear Water and Glutamax sponsored the festival.

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