(NEWARK, NJ) -- Newark Symphony Hall, New Jersey’s largest Black-led arts and entertainment venue, hosted the 15th Annual Ms. Philippines Pageant: Tadhana on Saturday, March 19, marking the venue’s first in-person event of the year.
An intercollegiate event presented by Rutgers Newark’s Filipino Student Association (FSA) and Fordham University’s Filipinos of LC Offering Welcome (FLOW), the pageant showcases empowered Filipino women who are compelled to break the glass ceiling while defying stereotypical female social norms. Since it’s conception, the Ms. Philippines Pageant has been hosted at Newark Symphony Hall in the Sarah Vaughan Concert Hall.
This year’s theme, “Tadhana,” or fate, presented the opportunity for the representative to either carry on the traditions of her ancestors or to create a legacy of her own. The theme Tadhana called upon contestants to recognize that they are the main character.
The Ms. Philippines 2022 winner was Lianah Sta. Ana representing Columbia University’s LIGA Filipina, and the charity she chose was Damayan Migrant Workers.
Featured judges of the event were Valerie San Luis, last year’s Ms. Philippines winner; Maria Lorena Llagas-Marbella, a storyteller and community advocate based in New York; Jerome Viloria, external representative and president of D3 public relations firm SAMAHAN; and Tochi Cantalejo Estrella, medical professional of ProHealth Urgent Care. Each contestant raised money for their respective charities, and the winner was awarded more money for her charity.
The 2022 Ms. Philippines Pageant was Newark Symphony Hall’s first in-person event of the year, kicking off 2022’s lineup of featured performances including the All City High School Vocal Concert and Ryarmo Productions: Domum Dolce Domum.
Born in 1925, Newark Symphony Hall (NSH) has been home to nearly a century of arts and culture in what is one of New Jersey’s oldest and largest arts and entertainment venues. NSH remains as committed as ever to providing an artistically rich experience for art lovers of all ages, while creating career pathways for people of color from around the world and bettering both its community and Greater Newark.