Diaspora News

A 16-year-old lass from San Diego bags Queen of Asian Pacific 2016 crown

Queen of Asia Pacific 2016 Jena Mafnas Serrano (middle) Photo © Abner Galino

JENA Mafnas Serrano, a 16-year-old stunner from San Diego, California is the 2016 Queen of Asia Pacific (QAP).

Serrano bested 12 other candidates and was crowned on Sunday night (October 16) at the Saban Theater in Beverly Hills.

All 13 candidates were presented on stage wearing evening gowns during a sequence of various performance numbers. The pageant was weaved into a bigger show called “Art 4 Peace,” which was primarily an awards night for multi-cultural talents on various fields of art.

Song and dance performances (by group and by individuals) ranged from ethnic or traditional to contemporary.

The top five finalists were later picked out and their respective crowns were subsequently announced.

Serrano’s “royal court” consisted of Rochelle Lozano, crowned as Princess of Asia; Angeline Nguyen from Orange County, crowned as Princess of the Pacific; Ana Ngo from Vietnam, crowned as Princess of South Seas and Samantha Guzman, crowned as Princess of Polynesia.

In a statement to media, QAP executive producer Lissa Pacheco Chow said she was “overwhelmed with emotions because of the large turn-out; and as well as because of the enthusiasm, grace and poise displayed by our candidates.”

QAP president Lino Caringal Jr., for his part, said he was happy for the opportunity given to the Filipino American community to have “successfully penetrated Beverly Hills with a magnificent and wonderful coronation.”

Creative Director Fenny Pangan thanked the sponsors and the entire community for their support to the undertaking. 

Although things did not turn out according to our plans, many circumstances were beyond our control and yet our candidates showed grace and poise under pressure. In the end, that’s what matters,” Pangan added.

Abner Galino
The author is a poet and a writer. He was a cultural worker before he became a reporter for Tinig ng Masa and Malaya Midday Edition during the Marcos regime. He later became a reporter of People's Tonight shortly after 1986 EDSA Revolution. He went on to become its Chief of Reporters, City Editor and News Editor. He retired after 15 years in the Journal Group of Publications. He now writes for Weekend Balita and the US Asian Post (USAP), weekly Filipino-American newspapers based in Los Angeles, California.

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