LibDay Royal Court bets introduced


The 2018 Liberation Day Royal Court candidates receive their sashes during the pinning ceremony yesterday at the Saipan Mayor’s Office. (Kimberly A. Bautista)

The 2018 Liberation Day Royal Court candidates were officially introduced to the public in a sash pinning ceremony yesterday at the Saipan Mayor’s Office.

This year’s Liberation Day candidates are Brinae Jessilyn Maratita Cruz, Lovely Joey B. Loyola, Connie B. Mendiola, Milagro Omar Palacio, and Taylor Chong Sablan.

The pageant is a fundraising event for the Liberation Day festivities. The candidates will be required to sell tickets. The one who raises the most amount is crowned the Liberation Day queen.

Cruz, 14, resides in San Antonio. She is currently in the 8th grade and attends Francisco Mendiola Sablan Middle School. She joined the Liberation Day pageant to gain experience and meet new people. She also hopes to encourage other young women to join the pageant in the years to come.

“Life has just begun for me and I want to take every opportunity to expose myself before my chances are over, making every second count during my teen years,” she said.

Loyola is 15 years old and lives in the village of Chalan Kiya. She is currently a freshman at Marianas High School. Loyala chose to join the pageant so she could break out of her shell and be more social.

Mendiola is 14 years old and lives in the village of Dandan. She attends Saipan Southern High School and she is currently in the 9th grade. According to Mendiola, her reasons for participating is to get involved with the community, gain experience as a public figure, and boost her self-confidence.

Palacio is 14 years old and lives in Susupe. She currently attends Marianas High School where she is a freshman. Palacio’s motivation to join was her friends and family. “People were talking about it. My friends and family urged me to join this year’s royal court,” she said.

Sablan is the eldest of the group. She is 17 years old and currently lives in the village of I-Denni. Sablan attends school at Kagman High School and is in the 11th grade. Sablan seeks to become closer to the CNMI community. “This pageant will open more doors for me to get involved, give back, and meet new people,” she said.

The official Liberation Day coronation night is still to be announced.

Kimberly B. Esmores | 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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