CATBALOGAN CITY – The Steve Harvey moment has caught in this year’s Sinulog Festival, at least on the rightful winner on the best in festival costume category.
The correct winner for the category was from this city, Mary Faith Tan- Voz Libres, who during the awarding ceremony in Cebu City on January 19, was declared only as the first runner-up.
The candidate of Daanbantayan, Cebu, Isabel Luche, was declared as the winner in the category.
But the mistake was corrected by the organizers of the Sinulog Festival after it was declared as the winners were about to get their prizes.
It turned out that the candidate from this city was the rightful winner in the said category and not the candidate of the Daanbantayan whose costume was made of miniature huts, rice paddies similar to the Banaue Rice Terraces.
In a press statement released by the Sinulog Foundation Incorporated, the organization explained what transpired during the Festival Queen Competition that eventually resulted to the wrong announcement of winners in the best in festival costume.
“With respect to the contestants’ costumes, there were two categories involved namely best in Sinulog Festival costume and best in costume design. The tabulation result shows that the Municipality of Daanbantayan, Cebu won the best in costume design category while the city of Catbalogan, Samar won the best in Sinulog Festival costume category,” the statement said.
“However, human error coupled by stringent verification procedures caused a misappreciation of the two separate categories. As a result thereof, the information announced was that Daanbatayan won the Best in Sinulog Festival Costume,” the statement added.
The statement also said that the foundation is also reviewing existing procedures and protocols to ensure that the incident will never happen.
And on Monday (March 12), more than two months after the staging of the contest, the organizers of the Sinulog Festival headed by its program director, Jess Anthony de la Cruz, personally went to this city to give the award to Libres and was witnessed by Mayor Stephany Uy-Tan.
Mayor Stephany Uy-Tan warmly welcomed the gesture of the foundation to correct the mistake and eliminate all doubts regarding the said competition.
The city further assured the support of Catbalogan City through Tribu Katbalaugan in future competitions which they had been participating for four years now.
Officials of the city however said that they will be taking a hiatus in the Sinulog Festival next year in “order to reflect, rediscover and perhaps to rebrand Tribu Katbalaugan — Catbalogan’s official festival contingent.”
To recall, during the staging of the Miss Universe 2015, American television host Steve Harvey wrongfully declared the candidate from Columbia, Ariadna Gutierrez, as that year’s winner only to correct himself minutes later that the real winner was the Philippines’ Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach.