Meet our newest Philippine Tourism Ambassadors!

Three day had passed after the grand coronation night of the first ever Lakan at Lakambini ng Kalayaan in Doha, Qatar. But social media is still abuzz with photos and congratulatory messages for the winners. Positive complements are also pouring in for the “level-up” staging of the Philippine Independence Day Celebration last June 25-27, 2017 which according to the organizers had a record attendance of 18,845 (total footprints for 3 days).

Check out related post: Three Days of “Freedom” Celebration and AFJQ Facebook page for more photos and video coverage.

Let’s take a look at some of the winning “lines” and unforgettable moments at the pageant.


During the semi-final round, the Top 5 Male and Female candidates went through the intense PICTOGRAM round where each one gave an interpretation for their chosen photo. That was the deciding round for the selection of the Final 3, where Mr. Karle Haven Reyes and Ms. Martina Estrada (both from Balitang Q) eventually emerged as the contest winners.

Mr. Karle Haven Reyes’ interpretation of the photo – KIDS PLAYING ON THE FLOOD.

Karle Haven Reyes, on his final speech said that “… it is my humblest honor to dedicate my whole self to promote unity, …camaraderie and brotherhood among… all the Filipino organizations across Qatar. I always believe that it is our social responsibility to take care of each other because we are Filipinos…”


Ms. Martina Estrada’s interpretation of the photo – PHILIPPINE TARSIER


Martina Estrada also delivered a very profound final speech. She said, “… Iaangat ko lalo ang bandila ng Pilipinas, lalo na tayo ay nasa ibang bansa. Sa pamamagitan ng  gabay ng ating Panginoon, iaangat ko ito sa kagandahan ng ating kaugalian, kagandahan ng ating katangian, at kagandahan ng ating mamamayan… At katulad ng Balitang Q, ako ay magiging kabalikat ninyo sa pagbabago.”

Here are the other candidates of this year’s edition of Lakan and Lakambini ng Kalayaan:

Candidate No. 1 and 11: Mr. Ernie Amador and Ms. Novielyn Sortigosa (THE MAHARLIKANS)

Candidate No. 3 and 13: Mr. Elmer Diaz and Ms. Celine Orna (DOHA SHUTTER BUGZ)

Candidate No. 4 and 14: Mr. Jerico Mangunay and Ms. Jasryl Baldeo (MOVING COLOURS QATAR) – they both won Best In Talent while Ms. Baldeo won for herself the Perfect Smile Award and finished as one of the Top 3 finalist.

Candidate No. 5 and 15: Mr. Norman Rey Ratunil and Ms. Brenda Liza Cagatin (BOL-ANON IN QATAR) – Mr. Ranutil won Best in Festival Attire and finished as one of the Top 5 finalists while Ms. Cagatin finished as one of the Top 3 finalist.

Candidate No. 6 and 16: Mr. Renz Balagtas and Ms. Annsley Collado (BEATS AND BYTES) – Mr. Balagtas finished as one of the Top 3 finalist.

Candidate No. 7 and 17: Mr. Raffy Gimeno and Ms. Paula Dizon (H.E.R.O. QATAR) – Mr. Gimeno won several awards including People’s Choice Award, Perfect Smile, Best in Formal Barong and finished as one of the Top 5 finalists. Ms. Dizon on the other hand, also brought home several awards including People’s Choice Award, Best in Festival Attire and Best in Creative Filipiniana. She also finished as one of the Top 5 finalist.

Candidate No. 9 and 19: Mr. Kelvin Sarmiento and Ms. Joan Dagsan (TANGHALANG OVERSEAS PINOY)

Candidate No. 10 and 20: Mr. Albert Castro and Ms. Jasmine Mendenilla (WEGO QATAR) – Mr. Castro finished as one of the Top 3 finalist.

The first ever Lakan and Lakambini ng Kalayaan winners also earned for themselves the prestige of being the Philippine Tourism Ambassadors here in Qatar.

It was indeed a celebration of Filipino talent and creativity. Congratulations to the organizers of this event!


DISCLAIMER: All photos are courtesy of the volunteer photographers of AFJQ (special mention to Mr. Delcon Castaneda). 


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