MANILA, Philippines — Miss World 2013 Megan Young and the reigning Reina Hispanoamericana Teresita Marquez will lead a bevy of beauty queens and ramp models who will relive the pomp and pageantry of Philippine Carnival Queens at a grand opera concert and fashion spectacle at the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) on April 6 (starting at 8 p.m.) to benefit the displaced and traumatized children of Marawi City.
Marawing Salamat: The Best of Opera & Fashion for Marawi will be held at the CCP’s Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo, featuring the exquisite creations of the country’s top couturiers — both renowned veterans and rising stars — that are inspired by the glorious era of the Carnival Queens (circa 1908 to 1939).
The fashion spectacle will be staged back-to-back with the opera showcasing the world’s best-loved arias to be interpreted by an all-Filipino cast from the prestigious Lyric Opera of the Philippines, with music by the 70-piece UST Symphony Orchestra under conductor Herminigildo Ranera and guest conductor Maestro William Barkhymer. Carlitos Siguion-Reyna will direct the show.
Megan and Teresita will be joined by 2017 Miss Multinational Sophia Senoron, 2017 Miss World Philippines Laura Lehmann, 2017 Miss Eco Philippines Cynthia Thomalia, 2006 Miss Tourism Queen International Justine Gabionza, 2013 Miss Universe third runner-up Ariella Arida, 2002 Miss Global Queen JP Abinuman-Cox, 2012 Miss Supranational third runner-up Elaine Kay Moll, 2017 Miss World Philippines First Princess Glaiza Perez, 2017 Mutya ng Pilipinas second runner-up Sofia Romero, 2016 Miss Aviation Philippines Kristine Malicsi, Manila’s top model Michelle Marquez-Dee and 2018 Best Model of the World-Philippines Pauline Abigael Ebora. Raymond Villanueva and Nathan de Leon are the fashion directors.
Lorli Villanueva, who conceptualized the ambitious project from her home base in Manhattan, New York City, told The STAR that Marawing Salamat has partnered directly with Duyog Marawi, a social action center formed by Bishop Edwin dela Peña, who heads the Prelature of St. Mary in Marawi, and the Redemptorist Missionaries to help the war-ravaged communities, including rehabilitation and reconstruction.
“Marawing Salamat will focus on assisting the traumatized Maranao children who need psychiatrists, psychologists and wellness programs to help bring them back to normalcy,” said Lorli, a professor who served as deputy chairman of Graduate Education and Special Education at New York City’s Touro College until her retirement.
Lorli is co-producing Marawing Salamat with Zardo Austria, Lito Perez and Sherwin Sozon.
“Members of the Fashion Designers of the Philippines got so excited when we spoke to them about this endeavor,” Lorli recalled. “They said they have not been involved with a major cause in a while and they wanted to do it this time, for the young Maranao survivors. At least 30 designers are participating and these are no ordinary designers; these are all big names, and most of them are already recognized internationally.”
Lorli also lauded CCP president Nick Lizaso for the free one-night use of the country’s most prestigious hall. She also hailed the all-out support of E. Zobel Foundation, Inc. and the Lyric Opera Philippines headed by Maestra Irma Ponce Enrile-Potenciano.
(For tickets, call Ticketworld at 891-9999 or CCP Box Office at 832-3704. Visit FB pages LyrOpera or MarawingSalamat for more information.)