The new Miss Philippines of Michigan is Elizabeth Lemmer. She was proclaimed winner of the prestigious title at the conclusion of a beauty pageant held last Aug. 13 at the St. John’s Banquet and Conference Center in Southfield.
Liz, as she’s fondly called, won two categories of the competition — Best in Swimsuit and Best in Talent. She was crowned by Meaghan Penning, Miss Philippines 2014.
For winning the title, she received the first-place trophy, crown, $1,000 cash and gifts from Macy’s.
Liz is a 23-year-old student majoring in psychology a Schoolcraft College. She plans to pursue her master’s degree at the University of Michigan. She was on the cheer teams of Detroit Lions and Detroit Pistons.
Liz says participating in the pageant is a chance for her to celebrate and share the Filipino culture. As the newly crowned Miss Philippines, she will represent the Filipino community at various events and functions and will serve as youth ambassadress at other ethnic communities.
Jessa Navarre won runner-up honors. She was declared Miss Philanthropic, a special commendation, for garnering the most ads and guest attendance at the event. She also won the Best Costume Award and was crowned by Carryle Zaldariaga, Miss Philippines 2012.
Jessa is an 18-year-old high school graduate from Dearborn. Her talent in sports landed her a slot in the U.S. Girls Softball Team that competed last July in a tournament in the Dominican Republic.
Candidate Mara Scribner, also 18 years old, was adjudged Best in Gown. She is currently in her junior year at Michigan State University, pursuing a neuroscience course. She hopes to attend medical school in the future. She works full time at MSU’s department of pediatrics as an assistant to several physicians. She loves to travel and wants to see various cultures of other countries.
The fourth candidate, Annabel Mugan, also 18 years old, won the Miss Photogenic title. She wants to get her cosmetology license after her studies at the Academy of Style in St. Clair County. She competed in Skills USA, a national program that prepares participants for careers in technical and skilled services.
It was a tough call for the judges who were absolutely impressed by the candidates’ intelligence, talent, poise and personality.
Pageant committee chairperson Rose Caogas who had been trained to conduct pageants for several years has once again exhibited her ability to organize a splendid production with the help of Menchu Concepcion, a longtime pageant coordinator, and Flor Penner, who won the Mrs. Philippines title in 1997.
The other members of the pageant committee were this writer, who was in charge of publicity and the judges’ committee; Meaghan Penning and Carryle Zaldariaga, both Miss Philippines title holders who mentored the candidates; Bert Reginaldo and Tony Kho, who composed the board of canvassers.
Lawrence Mangindin debuted as emcee of a FILAMCCO event. Betsy Henry, Myrna Mariano and Cesar Sumanting handled guest registrations.
The board of judges was composed of Fouad Ashkar, manager of DTE Ethnic Marketing; Cindy del Rosario Emmanuel, a Miss Teen Princess finalist in Manila and Mrs. Philippines of Michigan-first runner up; Dominic Pangborn, a renowned artist, designer and multi¬-dimensional career professional; Surae Johnson, personal shopper and stylist for Macy’s in Oakland Mall; and Patti Hogarty, computer and graphic arts and contemporary and impressionistic painter.
FILAMCCO president Ryan Rosario was exuberant and grateful for the good turnout of guests at the event. He lauded the energetic, unselfish participation of everyone involved in the staging of the pageant, which was a fundraiser for worthy causes.