GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/13 Apr) – Thousands of residents took to the streets here in celebration as the city gave a rousing hero’s welcome Wednesday afternoon for newly-crowned 2011 Bb. Pilpinas-Universe Shamcey Supsup.
Supsup, who arrived aboard a private jet at the city airport here around 3:15 p.m., flew home for the first time after winning the much-coveted title during the Bb. Pilipinas coronation night in Araneta Coliseum last Sunday.
“I’m so happy to be home again. I really looked forward to this so I can personally thank everyone here who supported me all these years,” the 24-year-old beauty queen said.
City officials led by South Cotabato Rep. Pedro Acharon Jr. and Mayor Darlene Antonino-Custodio personally welcomed Supsup, who appeared elegant in her brown gown.
Supsup, who grew up in a farming community in Barangay Katangawan here, later wowed with her beauty and charm the huge crowd that gathered along the city’s downtown streets for her brief motorcade.
The local government garbed the same float used in the previous homecoming celebrations of boxing champion Manny Pacquiao for the grand motorcade, which featured the beauty queen in her Bb. Pilipinas-Universe crown and both parents by her side.
They were joined by Rep. Acharon, Mayor Custodio and Mindanao Development Authority (MInDA) chair Sec. Luwalhati Antonino.
Glenvil Gonzales, city tourism officer, said Supsup’s highly-anticipated homecoming came after the Binibining Pilipinas Charities, Inc. granted the request of Mayor Custodio and Sec. Antonino for the beauty queen to pay a visit to her hometown.
Custodio immediately directed city government personnel to prepare a grand welcome for Supsup.
“This is a great day for all of us here. We were able to show to her how happy and proud we are because of her achievements,” the mayor said during the brief welcome program and press conference at the city hall here.
Rep. Acharon also hailed Supsup as a hero and model for local residents, especially the city’s young people.
“She’s a rare gem. It only shows that we’re really a city of champions,” he said.
Supsup later visited her family and relatives in Barangay Katangawan, which literally glittered for her homecoming.
She will join the welcome party for President Benigno Aquino III, who is slated to visit the city Thursday for the 23rd National Convention of the Prosecutors League of the Philippines.
The young beauty queen was born in Iligan City but grew up in this city. She finished her elementary education at the Notre Dame of Lagao here as a salutatorian before moving to the Makati City High School.
Supsup graduated magna cum laude with a degree in Architecture at the University of the Philippines in Diliman and topped the licensure examination for architects in July 2010.
Supsup will represent the Philippines in the 2011 Miss Universe 2011 beauty pageant on September 12 in São Paulo, Brazil. (Allen V. Estabillo / MindaNews)