first published at The Manila Times, Oct 30, 2005 | by Uy, Ed

THIS might just be my most “beautiful” column yet-and you drooling just about now proves my point.

Girl power rules the new online role-playing ROSE Online as proven by the 10 pretty young things that paraded up and down the stage at the game’s official launch on Saturday at the Glorietta Dolphin Park. The girls were the chosen finalists for the aptly titled, “War of the Roses” search for the ROSE Online “It Girl” competition, sponsored by Level Up! Inc.

And the finalists are (drum roll please!): Joanne Pauline Cheng Ang, Pauline Andrea Marie Roa Abesamis, Mae Valdez, Kimberly Ann Bernadine Chua, Priscilla Siena Chua, Viktoria Ines Matibag, Alodia Almira Arraiza Gosiengfiao, Abigaile Rose Mary B. Rangasajo and Angela Rikka Camua Fajardo.

Coming from diverse backgrounds and interests, the finalists tried to outdo each other in proving that they have the qualities of spunk, sense and style that characterize the ideal ROSE Online girl. While some breezed by with platitudinous answers to the question as to why they should be chosen as the ROSE It Girl, quite a number also gave exceptional responses. But the ones that got the best response from the gamers were naturally the girls who showed passion for online gaming.

Since online gaming hit it big in the country, thanks to Ragnarok Online (also published by Level Up!), a lot of girls have joined the gaming bandwagon. In fact, many of the finalists said that the reason why they started playing ROSE Online was because their friends were into online game and playing was one way to communicate with one another. “It’s certainly cheaper than going to clubs,” says one girl gamer.

Still, no game has caught the female gamer’s imagination than ROSE Online. Its smooth 3-D graphics makes it possible for gamers to customize their characters using a wide variety of in-game clothes and accessories. Combined with its Yahoo Messenger-like features and easy-to-learn game play, ROSE Online instantly became a hit with girls.

Pao Pena, ROSE Online brand manager, says that their boy-girl player ratio is healthy but predicts that the number of girl players could still go up within the year. “As ROSE Online gains ground and as more online games are introduced by Level Up! and other game publishers, the ranks of girl gamers could still increase.

Another reason why girls like it is because of the friendly environment. Because online games are populated by real people playing online characters, things can and sometimes do get ugly in the virtual world. ROSE Online, apparently, is one of the better online neighborhoods. Pena says they really make an effort to keep it that way. “ROSE Online, while still operating on the hack-and-slash type of game play, does not really trade in violence so even the players are tamer and you certainly won’t see players mouthing off profanities as in other games.”

And judging from the looks of the finalists, they certainly won’t stand for other players sassing them-both in real life and online. But the girls report that, since playing ROSE Online, none have actually tried. All of them, in fact, have gained only friends.

Get to know more about your new crushes ng bayan:

Joanne Pauline “Pau” Cheng Ang, 16, of Immaculate Conception Academy, Greenhills

Achievements: Poem Writing Contest Elementary Division, 2002-2004; candidate of Miss Teen Philippines, 2004; Philippine delegate for the Rotary Short Term Student Exchange Program, Tokyo, Japan, 2006

I am a ROSE It-Girl because I have confidence in myself. I know how to handle situations even under pressure. I am friendly, God-fearing, peace-loving and an obedient daughter to my mom. I love being with friends and sharing fun times together. I also love reading books, which enhance my love for writing short stories and poems. I know I can be a good example and leader to our youth.

Pauline Andrea Marie “Pam” Roa Abesamis, 19, of Global City Innovative College

Achievements: Awardee, Palad and Kythe Outreach Foundations; animator, Dominican and Aquinas Marian Rally; attendee, UP Debate; staffer of Dominican Annual

Both the written and spoken words are my weapons against those who try to hurt me and others. Through words, I am able to defend what is right and fight what is wrong and evil. A ROSE It-Girl should be able to express herself succinctly, clearly and with flair. I am that kind of girl and I have what it takes to be ROSE Online’s It-Girl.

Mae “Mae” Valdez, 17, of Angelicum College

Achievements: Member, Drum and Lyre Band, member, Kawan ng Diyos and active church involvement; consistent honor student

I am the ROSE It-Girl because I’m on a quest for knowledge. I want justice to prevail. I’m in search for truth. If given the chance, I would help other people. I am honest. I am friendly. I am beautiful inside and out. I am understanding. I’m peace-loving. I am the ROSE It-Girl because what’s important to me is the beauty that lies within, not the one that is only seen by the eye.

Kimberly Ann Bernadine “Thug Queen” S. Chua, 19, of La Consolacion College, Manila
Achievements: 1st place, declamation contest, English and Filipino categories; champion, cheering competition, 4th year high school; president, Performing Arts Club; member of Dance Troupe, La Consolacion College

I deserve to be the ROSE It-Girl because I can be a (role) model to other young girls who play the game. I manage both my time for studies as well as my time for play. I love to shop and style myself a lot and in ROSE I also dress up my character. It’s simply fun! I gained so many friends and that’s the best reason why I’m playing it. I can say I’m a pROSE addict. Many say there are few pretty girls who play the game but it ain’t true. There are a lot of pretty girls who play the game and I’m one of them. I encouraged my girlfriends to play pROSE and they enjoyed it a lot. As of now my character is a Level 89 Dealer. Playing the game is really amazing. I think I deserve to be the ROSE It-Girl because of the interest I have for the game and the style I have.

Most Popular Articles
NOREEN: Apple becomes its worst nightmare
Woman castrated man with her nails
Dirtiest place on the planet
Is this picture the proof that George Mallory conquered Everest
Most Recent Articles
Priscilla Siena “Pritz” Chua, 19, of University of Asia and the Pacific

Achievements: Ms. Prom, ICA

In ROSE Online, I get to express the other side of me-a fun, colorful and reasonable side-that helps me make the people around me happy. A ROSE It-Girl is someone who tries her best to make her friends and family happy through simple deeds-and that’s what makes me a ROSE It-Girl.

Viktoria Ines “Issa” P. Matibag, 13, of Southville International School and Colleges (SISC)

Achievements: Silver medal, Grade 8 and 1st year high school, 2005; 1st place, Manga drawing contest, Psicom Magazine, 2003; 1st place, interschool art contest, National Children’s Month Celebration, Council for the Welfare of Children, October 2003; member, Best Team, YMCA Manila Youth Camp, Teacher’s Camp, Baguio, 2004

ROSE Online for me was love at first sight. I found the CD between the pages of Candy Magazine and I was amazed with the graphics, and so I tried it. I was really awed with the graphics and its over-all design. Though I am still new to ROSE Online (I’ve only played it twice, the patch takes long to download), I can say that it is really fabulous. It’s a mixture of Ragnarok and Oz World! It was just my first time to play but I already met lots of friendly people and I’m sure there are lots more out there.

Alodia Almira “Edjie” Arraiza Gosiengfiao, 17, of Ateneo de Manila University

Achievements: 1st place, on-the-spot poster-making contest, 25th Anniversary of Miriam College High School, 2001-2002; 1st place, Modern Filipina, Ateneo Siklab Fashion Design Week, September 9, 2005; 1st place, Ragnarok Online War of Emperium on-the-spot drawing contest, Glorietta 4, April 3, 2005; Alberta Craftsmanship Award, Cosplay contest (as Isis), Ragnarok World Championships 2004, Folk Arts Theater, July 29, 2004; Champion (one of the MCHS Pep Squad Hardcourt Dancers), Johnson & Johnson teen cheer competition, Araneta Coliseum, November 2002

A ROSE It-Girl is a true-blue-gamer girl. I can proudly say that I am one ever since I was little. Way before the birth of MMORPGs, consoles like Nintendo, Sega and Gameboy were visible fixtures scattered around my room. Such toys dragged me on until today and to fully gratify this passion for computer games, I took up Fine Arts majoring in Info/Graphic Design hoping to create my own videogame someday. Through gaming, I have discovered the art of cosplaying. Here again, I can say that I am multiawarded. Being a cosplayer, you need to have loads of spunk and confidence to be able to portray a character on stage. As a member of the Avon Teen Advisory Council (2004-2005), one must be sensible enough to know the problems facing the teens and voice them out for proper management. As an inveterate multitasker, I have also discovered another arena of interest-playing keyboards in a band, playing with such passion and style. See you online!

Abigaile Rose Mary “Abbey” B. Rangasajo, 17, De La Salle University

Achievements: Dean’s list, 1st year 2nd term, December 2004; Dean’s list, 2nd year 1st term, September 2005

I think I personify the spirit of ROSE Online, which is fun, friendly and clever. I really enjoy talking to fellow ROSE players online and going through the adventures with them. But I also take time to make sure I do well in school and also get to hang out with my friends in real life. I keep telling them to play ROSE so we can party together all the time!

R.I.P. ROSE ONLINE 2005-2007