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Everyone present at the wedding of my hometown friend Genellen Ponce Molato was beautiful, but this fifteen-year-old girl named Ritchel Antaran kept turning heads from the morning I did her makeup through the reception in the evening. She’s such a teenage knockout that even my crushes looked away from my dinner table to hers, though only for the delectation of their eyes, because she’s just in town gracing as one of the bride’s maids, meaning that she’s leaving back to her province of Antique in the island of Panay two days after. But while the boys could only wish that the girl was here to stay, my reason for the same wish was that I could groom her as a beauty queen, because Cebu teems with pageants which would provide her a good training ground and a great stepping-stone for any of the coveted national titles in Manila.

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