HAD YOU missed out the PIWC CORONATION last June 7 at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare, VIA TIMES hereby presents them to you on the cover of this July issue. These lovely eight ladies earned their respective crowns, humbling themselves by asking moral and monetary support from their families and friends in order to meet the PIWC fund requirements earmarked towards helping charitable causes in the Philippines. Their hard –earned donation is the measure of the success (or failure) of the PIWC. From the looks of the overall monetary results, these Beauty Queens deserve a huge round of Applause of Appreciation! In the interest of space, briefly, let me introduce them to you:
YOLY OLAYRES ZOLETA: “MRS. PHILIPPINES PIWC 2014” is the typical “dainty, demure Filipina” – winsome, quiet, unassuming, and always sporting a sweet smile. Asked how she feels being one of this year’s Philippine Independence Week Committee (PIWC) Beauty Queens, Yoly, responded: “I feel humbled and honored to be a part of the PWIC as “Mrs. Philippines PIWC2014.” The big honor is helping the charitable mission behind the Crown. It is a fundraiser for great causes to help our needy Kababayans (compatriots) back home.” Inspired by her charitable mission, Yoly worked hard and invited 200 guests (20 dinner tables) and maybe more. She had solicited the most number of pages of advertisements in the PIWC 2014 souvenir program book. A highly-motivated, businesswoman, Yoly is a Licensed Insurance Broker and owner of the Chicago Elite Home Care, Inc. where she devotes most of her time. She is happily married to Ben zoleta, President of the Chicago Filipino American Lions Club. The Zoletas have two sons, Mark and Bryan. Yoly, as “Mrs. Philippines PIWC 2014,” was featured on the Philippine Independence Day segment over Chicago’s ABCTV Ch 7 last June 8, an annual volunteer Community Special Project of this writer.
MYRNA ANDAL CORDERO: “MRS. PHILIPPINE INDEPENDENCE PIWC 2014” is a Florence Nightingale and member of the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses. In the Philippines, she was a clinical instructor and board reviewer for nursing and midwifery, and later worked as a staff nurse at the Makati Medical Center where she met some showbiz celebrities who encouraged her to be in showbiz. Her passion for healthcare superseded the temptation to bite such glamorous career in the limelight. In Chicago, she was chosen as “Mrs. Batangas, City of Chicago”. She larer became an adviser of the Batangas Club of the Midwest. Myrna is happily married to Gregorio Cordero. They have two young professional sons – Richard Brian Cordero and Robert Charles Cordero, graduates from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and Michigan State University, respectively.
LEYAMOR GONZALES: “MISS PHILIPPINES PIWC 2014” enjoys a typical happy, caring and disciplined young, Christian life, a pride to her parents, Amor and Stanley Gonzales. She finished high school from Christian Liberty Academy where she was involved in extracurricular activities, like cheerleading, plays and the Arts. Leyamor graduated from Harper College with an Associate in Arts degree and is currently enrolled at Northeastern Illinois University, major in Elementary Education. She dreams of traveling around the world, and to be an elementary school teacher, and hopefully, teaching in the Philippines, too.
ERIKA ALONZO VILLALON: “MISS PHILIPPINE INDEPENDENCE PIWC 2014” this young Lady bears the classic beauty of her Grandma Dalisay Villalon. She is the eldest daughter of Enrique Villalon III and Cheryl Alonzo. Just graduated from high school, Erika wants to be a nurse. She has a passion working with children. She works part-time tutoring kids after school and volunteers three days a week at Glenbrook Preschool for Children. Her interest to learn more about the Philippines inspires her to participate in the PIWC Essay annual writing Contest. Erika feels honored to be a part of the PIWC. She is extending her thanks to everyone who helped her Grandma Dely asking for their support so she qualified for this Beauty Title.
ELLA LOUISE FLORES SONGCO: “LITTLE MISS PHILIPPINES PIWC 2014”: Nine-year-old Ella is the daughter of Karen and Ronald Songco. She loves to read and draw. As an active member of the Girl Scout, her generosity and unselfish attributes are shown by her participation in the Chicago Philippine Lions Club Candy Day, standing by Jewel grocery store selling candies. She is close to her Grandmom Brenda and with her “Lolo” Mike Stevens; she enjoys going on trips with them. Ella loves sports and the Chicago Bulls.
CRISTINA PUMARADA CARDANA: “MRS. ILLINOIS PIWC 2014” is a Manila Girl, who graduated from La Consolacion College with a Bachelor’s Degree in Tourism. Tina’s winning ways are her friendly and pleasant personality. She loves to dance; she’s a member of the V-Dance Fever Club which raises funds for the underprivileged children in the Philippines. Being “Mrs. Illinois 2014” is a great honor to Tina and her husband, Alex Cardana, and to their two lovely daughters – Coleen Ann and Alessandra.
GAUDI HOPE C. LOPEZ: “MRS. CHICAGO PIWC 2014” is known to her friends as a loving and caring person. She was crowned “Mrs. Leyte 2013.” Gaudi graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) from the University of Visayas, in Cebu City. She is married and is the mother of Pamela Rose and Prince Christian. She loves working as a nurse and other allied medical fields.
NERIZA D. MIRANDA: “MISS CHICAGO PIWC 2014” is a spunky 18-year- old young lady, daughter of Ronald and Nenet Miranda, and granddaughter of Neneth Miranda. Neriza graduated with honors from Hampshire High School. She will be attending Columbia College in Chicago this Fall to pursue Graphics Design. Neeriza is a recipient of a Columbia College Chicago Achievement Award. She loves to laugh, go to concerts and eat potato french fries! What simple but heartwarming accolade can we give to all the hardworking PIWC OFFICERS and COMMITTEE CHAIRS who labored hard and long for several months in preparation for this annual commemoration of our Philippine Independence Day but CONGRATULATIONS! MABUHAY KAYONG LAHAT! To ANITA BELISARIO ROSA, the executive chair, and her executive officers as follows: Lelanie Magana; Dely Villalon, Paul Angeles, Auring Galimba, Joy Manuel, Vishnu Mahant, Faye Mendiola, immediate past chair Dr. Manny Escalona, Jr., and the Advisory Council members: Brenda Stevens, Dr. Ed Hernaez, Joy Manuel, Lydia A. Tayco, Lucy Macabenta and Faye Mendiola However, LOURDES LIVAS, Chair of the Beauty Queen Committee, along with her co-chair, LETICIA FREIHAUT, both deserve more than just a ROUND OF APPLAUSE for their hard work following up and coordinating with all Beauty Queens who were working hard to fulfill their respective requirements. Lourdes was spinning her wheels nonstop coordinating the queens not only in terms of fulfilling their requirements but more so for the Coronation during the PIWC Gala Dinner Ball last June 7 at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare. To Lourdes and Leticia: Job well done. Tell your respective husbands you both deserve a Love Boat Cruise.
To all the Beauty Queens: Congratulations. Specially for those who honestly worked hard — your Crown is a Symbol of the shared-Kindness of people who helped you raise the funds for the PIWC 2014 Humanitarian projects. We salute you! (Elsie Sy-Niebar).
Group picture of 2014 PIWC Beauty Queens with their respective escorts together with Beauty Queen Chairperson Lourdes Livas (extreme left) and Beauty Queens Dance Choreographer Margie Boerema (extreme right). Photo Credit: Rosie Reed