Meet the 2016 Sinulog Festival Queens

Contestant #1 Zhyryll Krystynn Parado



Firstly, my name is Zhyryll. If you just scratched your head trying to figure out how to say it, you’re not alone. If I got a dollar every time someone said my name wrong, I honestly wouldn’t need a job. However, it is a fun name to have. I’m not going to spoil it and tell you how it’s pronounced. I enjoy seeing people try. If you want to take the challenge, approach me and if you get it right, I’ll buy you an ice cream. I was born in Cebu. My mother’s family migrated to Auckland and we eventually had to follow in 2008. Although I was raised there, I didn’t actually know how to speak the language until I moved here where I was taught by my mother’s side of the family, and I don’t plan on losing it. I’m proud to be Cebuano. I treasure my childhood memories, like playing dakup-dakup with the neighbourhood kids, listening to aswang stories in school, and eating tempura on the side of the road, to name a few. I never thought I’d miss these simple things when I boarded the plane with a huge smile on my face. At times when I look out and see the empty neighbourhood, I end up missing the busy streets I’ve left behind. I’d even go as far as saying I miss waking up to the noise in the middle of the night. It’s so nostalgic. I haven’t visited the Philippines since. I’m happy that Sinulog is being celebrated here in New Zealand. Whenever I attend, it takes me back home. My little sister was born here in New Zealand and my brother was only four years old when we moved, as such is the case with many others, which makes me appreciate Sinulog even more because it is an opportunity for them to not only learn about their heritage, but to also experience what it means to be a Filipino. Sinulog is a way for us to showcase our culture and tradition, as well as give praise to Señor Santo Niño for our many blessings in life. It is an honour to represent this amazing event as a Queen candidate.

Contestant #2 Vea Claire Diola Estoconing

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Vea Claire Diola Estoconing, 18 years of age, here to be one of your Sinulog Queens for 2016. Born and raised in Cebu City Philippines and migrated here back in 2006. Recently graduated from Marcellin College. I am planning to take Bachelors of Tourism this year and dream that one day I will have my own restaurant. I have a bubbly personality and I love to dance. I am an advocate of cultural awareness especially because Filipinos have a very rich and beautiful culture. I am truly proud to be a Filipino.
Contestant #3 Rholiedhel “Dimple” Espenido
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Maayong adlaw ka ninyong tanan! Hina.ut unta na anaa kamo sa maayong pagbati. I was born in Saudi, raised in Cebu and now living in New Zealand. I am currently working in Skids Bayfield. For 18 years, I am fortunate to have experienced and joined The Sto. Niño novenas where the Catholic evangelization started in Cebu, Philippines. I have never truly appreciated our religious and cultural practices until my family and I migrated to New Zealand 6 years ago. The change, the uncertainties and the isolation from what I was used to was daunting. I thought that I would not be able to adjust in the kiwi culture. However, through active participation and constant reminders of the faith, hope and love modelled by our Sr .Sto. Niño, I was able to cope and enjoy the intermingling of both Kiwi and Filipino culture. The experience also built up my belief to thank “Him” not only during trying times but also in blissfull moments. Joining the Sinulog Festival Queen is one of the ways in giving thanks to our Sr. Sto. Niño for giving me strength. It is also my way of encouraging young people to recognize the importance of knowing one’s roots and getting involved in our unique religious and cultural activities. I thank and praise Sr. Sto. Niño for all the blessings that have come into my life. So I encourage you all to praise and glorify our Lord through our devotion and dancing offered to the Holy Infant. Viva Sr. Sto Niño! Pit Señor!
Here are your Sinulog 2016 Festival Queens
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