A Message from 2016 Sinulog NZ Queen

Maayong adlaw kaninyong tanan, I am Rholiedhel Nemenzo Espenido, I am your Sinulog Queen 2016 New Zealand. I was born in Saudi, raised in Cebu and now living in New Zealand for 9 years. I am no stranger to the struggles and challenges of migration. Through my devotion to Señor Santo Niño, I was able to adjust and enjoy the intermingling of both Kiwi and Filipino cultures.

I was reluctant at first to join the Sinulog Festival Queen because I was conscious with my weight. Having a height of 5 feet and a weight of 68 kg., any medical practitioner would declare me as an overweight. However, I also saw the opportunity as a way of thanksgiving to Santo Niño for giving me strength. I also saw it as an opportunity to encourage young people to be proud of our Filipino culture. I am grateful for the experience. Being the Sinulog Queen 2016, I became more confident, formed more relationships and gained more friends. I have learnt that beauty does not only focus on the physical aesthetics and intellect but it weighs more heavily on each person’s heart or character. Physical aesthetics changes in vogue and intellect can be vast yet it still depends on how it is practised.

I would like to thank My friends, family and my love ones who have supported me in any way. I would also like to thank the organisers of Sinulog who continuously worked hard in promoting the devotion to our Holy Infant. Thank you Kuya Alex Ty for being patient in training us queens each year. Thank you Tita Miriam and Tito Oscar for your encouragement and guidance.

My devotion for Señor Santo Niño have strengthened even more because He has blessed me with this opportunity and many other more. I could not count the blessings He has given me. Now my reign is about to end and it is my honour to introduce and turn over my crown to one of these beautiful ladies who are all deserving. Sinulog Queens of 2017 it is your time to shine and reflect our Santo Niño’s glory by being models of faith, hope and love. Offer your dance to Him!

Together let us Praise and Glorify our Lord! Viva Señor Santo Niño! Viva Pit Señor!