Cruz is 2018 LibDay queen

Winner raised $16K for festivities

The Liberation Day Royal Court with 2018 Liberation Day queen Brinae Jessilyn Maritita Cruz, sixth from left, pose for a photo with Saipan Mayor David M. Apatang, fifth from left, and the 2018 Liberation Day committee during the coronation night ceremony last Sunday at the Fiesta Resort & Spa Saipan. (Kimberly A. Bautista)

After months of continuous fundraising, preparations, and community introductions, the 2018 Liberation Day committee finally crowned the Liberation Day queen who sold over $16,000 Liberation Day tickets.

Last Sunday, Brinae Jessilyn Maritita Cruz was crowned the 2018 Liberation Day queen for raising a total of 16,815 in Liberation Day raffle ticket sales.

Following Cruz in the largest amount of tickets sold was Taylor Jean Chong Sablan who was crowned the Royal Court princess. Following Sablan was first princess Connie Blass Mendiola, second princess Lovely Joey Loyola, and third princess Milagro Omar Palacios.

According to Cruz, being crowned queen was really emotional for her. “I just want to thank my mom so much, my family because they helped me so much with all the events,” she said.

Cruz sold over 16,000 Liberation Day raffle tickets by really going out into the community and tasking her family to do the same.

“I sold 16,815 and had a lot of events that happened…I did a lot of hot lunches, a bunch of coin drives, we had a sunset cruise, and I also distributed to my family who sold to their friends,” she said.

When asked what her biggest takeaway was from her journey to coronation, Cruz said it had to be learning to be fearless and learning to become a role model to her peers.

“I learned that you shouldn’t be afraid…and to go for everything that life offers… it means to set a good example and help everyone out,” she said.

When asked what her inspiration to join the royal court was, Cruz said it was her passion to experience something new and to inspire other girls like her.

“I basically decided to join not only because my mom and my family encouraged me to but I also wanted to experience something new and I wanted to expose myself to let other girls know not to be afraid to be who they truly are,” she said.

Monique Boyer Sablan, 2018 Liberation Day Royal Court committee chair, said that the beauty of the royal court is that every girl is crowned whether she came up first or last in ticket sales.

“The one thing I loved about the Liberation Day [Royal Court] is that everyone is crowned. We have the princesses, we have the royal princess, and we have the queen,” she said.

Sablan said that although the Royal Court was smaller this year compared to the last, she is still extremely proud of each girl for the amount of work they put into selling Liberation Day raffle tickets.

“I only had five girls this year but these five girls really did and amazing job and I am just very grateful…I’m so proud of every one of them and they did amazing,” she said.

When asked what it was like working with the 2018 Royal Court girls, Sablan said they reminded her of herself when she was younger and her passion to help the community.

“I loved it [watching these girls empower themselves], they really reminded me of myself when I was younger and I cannot wait to see what these young girls will be ale to do for the community. They did so much at this young age so who knows what else they will be able to do when they get older,” she said.

Kimberly Bautista | Reporter
Kimberly Albiso Bautista has covered a wide range of news beats, including the community, housing, crime, and more. She now covers sports for the Saipan Tribune. Contact her at

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