First 'Queen Lola' crowned in Los Angeles

By Yong Chavez, ABS-CBN North America Bureau

Posted at Aug 22 2012 12:11 PM | Updated as of Aug 24 2012 06:16 PM

LOS ANGELES – Bernie Ganon, 62, couldn’t hold back her tears when she was crowned the first winner of the Queen Lola Pageant.

“I’m so happy. This is for my daughter, it will add more to her life. This is all for her. Thank God, dininig ang panalangin ko,” Ganon said.

She said she will use her $6,000 cash prize to pay for the medical expenses of her daughter, who is suffering from renal failure.

A community leader and long-time advocate for senior citizens’ health and well-being , Ganon initiated a program to help the family of people with Alzheimer’s at the adult day care center where she works.

The newly crowned queen will also be an ambassador for ABS-CBN Foundation’s Bantay Bata program in the U.S. and Canada.

Former beauty queen Bong Dimayacyac was one of the judges. She said was happy to have been part of such a unique event.

"There’s a lot of gorgeous-looking lolas. In fact, some of my colleagues are already lolas. I thought it’s a really cute idea, it’s really unique. I like it," said Dimayacyac.

The pageant’s tag line, “Never Too Old to Rock” was always on display on stage, but towards the end, the twelve contestants needed chairs to give them a bit of rest.