Meet our 2019 Sinulog Festival Queen Candidates

We are excited to introduce to you our first batch of candidates for 2019.


#1 Harliquine Malinao

Mabuhay! My name is Harliquine Malinao and I’m currently working in retail while waiting to pursue my dreams of becoming an early childhood teacher. I enjoy trying new things and always ready for a spontaneous adventure! A perfect day would be spending time at the beach with family and friends, where the sun rays are kissing my skin. I’ve always appreciated the importance of human relationships and joining Sinulog Festival Queen would be a way for me to be a graceful role model and to bring positive influence. It would be an honour to represent the lovely West Auckland!


#2 Jessa Mae Garinganao

Mabuhay and Kia Ora! My name is Jessa Mae Garinganao 24 years of age. I’ve been residing in Auckland for 3 years now and working in a Pharmacy as an OTC Medication Manager. I was born in a small town called Sipalay but since no one knows where it is I just settled with saying I came from Bacolod “The City of Smiles” which is our neighboring city. I love singing but singing doesnt seem to like me lol. My friends would describe me as easy going, bubbly and talkative which is what I agree with most of the time.

When I was reviewing for my licensure exam for pharmacy I had the opportunity to stay in the lovely city of Cebu and Ive been devoted to visit, praise and pray to the Sto. Niño. I have witness great miracles by passing my board exam despite having doubts to myself. I owe him a lot and I am thinking that maybe it is now my time to show how much I appreciated the love and and guidance he has given unto me not just to my board exam but also in conquering all the obstacles Ive been through in my life. I was about to join Sinulog Festival Queen 2018 but my father was diagnosed with cancer so I have to go home and backed out from the competition. I prayed and prayed for my father to be well but sadly he died a couple months later. This time its real and I know im gonna be joining Sinulog Festival Queen 2019 and if youre asking why I joined this pageant well my answer is simple, I want to make 2 of my Fathers in heaven proud. My Dad and the Heavenly father.

Win or lose I know I’ll be happy at the end of the day for I have served and danced the Sto Niño to my hearts content and to best of my ability. As I join this competion I hope to represent our culture, the love for our parents and our undying faith.

Viva Señor Sto. Niño! Viva Pit Señor!


#3 Melanie Maelzer

My name is Melanie Maelzer, born and raised in NZ. My mother is filipino and my father is of european german descent. I had been living in Melbourne, Australia the last 5 years, working in the fashion retail space for one of Australia’s favourite department stores – Myer, as a Content Marketing Specialist.

Recently moved back to NZ.

One of my fondest memories growing up was participating in the Sinulog festival to dance, it was a great thing to look forward to every year and connect to my mother’s culture.


#4 Christelle Quilang

Kia ora! Kumusta! I am Christelle Quilang, 19 years old, born in Cagayan de Oro City, Philippines and I have lived in New Zealand for 10 years. I study Psychology and Philosophy at the University of Auckland, through which I am also an athlete of its Cheerleading Association and an ambassador of Effective Altruism Auckland. I spend the rest of my time with family and friends and taking care of my 2 year old niece. I am an NZ blood donor and I have previously worked part time for 3 years and volunteered at a rest home. My highest aspirations in life are being the best caregiver and godparent to my niece and becoming a medical doctor.

I am grateful and excited for this opportunity to express my faith and to reconnect with my Filipino culture through this Sinulog Festival.

Senior Santo Niño has a special connection to my family.

Eleven years ago, my mother, my sister and I were in Cebu for our pre-departure orientation seminar. After which we visited Santo Niño Basilica to ask for protection for our journey to New Zealand and to give thanks for finally reuniting with my father and for this life-changing opportunity.

In 2013, my family was meant to tour my two grandmothers around Cebu, however the passenger ship they were on had an engine trouble and was drifting at sea. Santo Niño Basilica provided us with a venue to pray for their safety and to ease our worries. Our prayers were answered, they were rescued and sent back home safely.

Indeed, our faith is an anchor that makes us secure and hopeful in times of trials and storms in life.

Viva Señor Santo Niño!



#5 Lelaine Dela Cruz

My name is Lelaine Dela Cruz, I am 16 years old, and I originate from the Philippines; currently staying in South Auckland, New Zealand. I am a student in Alfriston College, striving to study at Auckland University to pursue my passion for law and justice. My hobbies include writing poetry, dancing, singing, basically anything that involves creativity! I consider myself as an open minded, resilient, an optimist and empathetic woman; seeking to always be better than the person I was yesterday. The reason being of my participation in this competition is to cultivate awareness and recognition to the Philippine culture and Senyor Sto Nino through creativity, love and compassion. It really is a prestigious opportunity to take part in this event, and an accomplished foundation to influence faith, and display my faith to santo nino as a devoted Catholic. As a candidate for Sinulog Queen Festival 2019, I seek to embody happiness, and to exceed my limitations. Viva Pit Senyor!


#6 Ruella Ruzzell Jetaine Domingo Jambaro

Kia Ora!
I am Ruella Ruzzell Jetaine Domingo Jambaro, for short RJ, 24 years of age. The youngest among tres marias daughters of Mr and Mrs. Ruel Jambaro Jr. Born and raised in the Philippines particularly from the sunshine city of Laoag and molded in the home of the Great leaders, Batac City, Province of Ilocos Norte. Honored to be raised by a God fearing family. Loves to dance, sing and serve. A Graduate of Bachelor of Science in Business Administration Major in Tourism Management in the Philippines and Diploma in Business here in NZ.
Service runs in our blood. Having a grand father who was a lawyer, parents who are both in the Government services and siblings who serves other people as human engineers and life savers. Wrapped with these services that our family have is the best thing that we can offer and that is our service to God and to mankind as the instrument of goodness, generousity and love. Our family have been very helpful in serving God, the church, other people back home. Being a part of the Provincial Government of Ilocos Norte under Tourism Department was a great opportunity for me for I was given the chance to dance with the replica of Apo Sto Niño when Father Jonas Mejares brought it to Ilocos Norte. I was so blessed and it made me feel releaved from all the toils and travails of life that challenged me. After the replica of Apo Sto. Niño visit, a life changing event came when I was offered a job at Philippine Airlines but it didn’t last for long for when I was about to start my journey, my grand mother was diagnosed with sepsis and it made me feel bad and loose hope. When she passed away peacefully, I went back to Sto. Niño to ask his blessing and as if there was a feeling of electrifying goose bumps that made me stand and move on with my life. For I firmly believed that this is what my grandma would like me to do. To succeed, live life to the fullest. As promised, after my schooling in the Philippines and I bravely work-study again here in NZ at an early age of 20.
I lived a life of my own for almost 5 years here in North shore,NZ. I am currently working as Assistant Manager and acting as Manager at Farro Fresh is one great opportunity for me where I was able to meet different cultures from their different walks of life and meet my extended families, St. John Paul II Catholic Community Albany family who has been the source of my strength in my faith and considered my second family as well. When I entered the portals of New Zealand, packed with me are the virtues that my family taught me that made me stronger. Stronger by faith and stronger by serving other people. For being alone during those times wasn’t easy for a young person like me but when I found myself in the church of St John Paul II Catholic Community Albany and with the guidance of our beloved Sto Niño. I was renewed, steadfast and strong.
With no regrets of coming here in NZ and with the blessing of our Creator and powerful prayers. I am so blessed to be given the chance to join my first international pageant, the 2019 Sinulog Queen Festival, for I may not be from the land of Cebu but I know that by faith we are all even in the eyes of the church. This prestigious event will surely bless everybody who enjoins this festivity to uplift the faith and renewed faith in Him. I hope and pray that this event will hand in hand help others that we may not be born in the same place but by faith we are all brothers and sisters in Christ. Let peace and harmony live in our hearts and in hearts of many. Thank you for giving me this chance not just to serve the people but to praise and serve God. Again, This is Ruella Ruzzell Jetaine Domingo Jambaro. A faithful servant of God. Viva Pit Senyor! Viva Viva Viva!!


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