Christine Roque was crowned this year’s Royal Court Queen to lead the 23 other candidates—including Royal Princess Coryn A. Achas, First Princess Cornessa M. Dela Cruz, and Princess Jamilla P. Alegre—in today’s 71st Liberation Day Parade.
The 2016 Royal Court and the other candidates will be one of the more than 10 floats that will join this year’s Liberation Day parade along with the Saipan Awa-odori team and the Koenji Awa-odori Association, Vietnam War veterans, a U.S. Navy marching band from Guam, and other associations and members.
The coronation was held last Friday at the Liberation Day Carnival grounds at the Garapan Fishing Base. Roque was the first from the Filipino community to be crowned Liberation Day Queen joining other first-time winners from different ethnicities—Minnie Ta (Chinese and Filipino) and Yvonne Passi (Samoa).
Not even a close to 10-minute rain dampened the festive mood. After that interval, where all candidates scurried their way on the stage while Skywalker Communications Group staff and volunteers scampered to keep the speakers from getting wet, the program reached the coronation.
A representative from accounting firm Burger & Comer P.C. handed over the envelope to Saipan Mayor David M. Apatang. Mistress of ceremony Rose Ajoste made the announcement starting with the princesses until the final three candidates.
Roque and Achas were the last two candidates with the former earning the Royal Queen title based on the tally made by Burger & Comer, the official tabulator of the Liberation Day Royal Court.
Dela Cruz placed third (First Princess), while Alegre, who failed to attend the event as she was working last Friday night, was fourth.
Nikela Teregeyo Masayos won the inaugural People’s Choice award after gaining 3,901 votes, 3,107 shares, and 704 likes on the Liberation Day Facebook page. Organizers are also waiting for Burger & Comer to release the final tally of the funds raised by all 24 candidates.
Zolenska Yaroitemal, in her farewell speech, said she just expected to become one of the Princesses of last year’s Royal Court. She then thanked everyone who became part of her one-year reign.
“I thanked my Northern Island and Yapese communities, family, parents, and all who made my reign worthwhile. I bonded with my Royal Court but more importantly we helped in various community projects,” said Yaroitemal.
“Especially during Typhoon Soudelor, the Royal Court helped our island community in wherever and whatever means and capacity that we can. Together, as an island community, we managed to rise again.”
Ernie Molina oversaw the training of the candidates since the first day and choreographed the coronation night.
Northern Island Mayor Jerome Aldan, his counterpart on Tinian Mayor Joey Patrick San Nicolas, acting Rota Mayor George O. Hocog—the chairman of the 15th Rota Municipal Council—Saipan Municipal Council member Alice Igitol, Skywalker Communications Group managing director Dr. Hu Bo, Liberation Day non-profit group head Louis Rogers, Liberation Day committee chair Chris Leon Guerrero, Royal Court overall head Rose Hocog, Marianas Visitors Authority managing director Chris Concepcion, and Japanese Consul Toshio Matsumura and his wife Kiyoko were present in the coronation night.