Mutya ng Pilipinas 2012
Who will wear the 2012 crowns?
By Earl D.C. Bracamonte
This year, four candidates from Metro Manila (Valenzuela, Caloocan, Makati and Quezon City) representing the National Capital Region (NCR) together with 17 delegates from provinces/regions across the archipelago (Davao, Misamis Occidental, Negros Occidental , Batangas, Isabela, Laguna , Bulacan , Pampanga , Cebu City , Zambales and Central Luzon) and nine aspirants from the Overseas Filipino communities of North California, Florida, Toronto, East Coast, Midwest & West Coast (USA), Northern & Eastern Canada and Japan all vie for the Mutya ng Pilipinas 2012 titles of Miss Asia-Pacific, Miss Tourism International, Miss Inter-Continental and Tourism Queen of the Year.
“We are searching for four lucky ladies who’ll represent our campaign platform of promoting beauty and tourism. It’s a tradition filled with vibrance since it began in 1968. This is the second year that we are holding the pageant as the new holders to the franchise. The former right owners wanted to transfer the franchise to another hotelier; being hoteliers themselves running Sulo Hotel. And it was also because the Sheridan Group of Companies and Mutya ng Pilipinas have the same advocacy on tourism. This kind of undertaking is so new to me, and somehow difficult, because I’m used to handling fiscal stuff,” intoned Jacqueline Tan, the very young and dynamic new president of Mutya ng Pilipinas Inc.
The 30 contestants were presented to members of the media last July 18 at the Midas Hotel & Casino. Isabela entrant Mutya Johanna Datul was proclaimed Press Favorite, after being voted by members of the print media while Southern California’s bet Kaylee Calaguas was named Mutya ng Sheridan as well as Mutya ng Lito Sy Photography (Miss Photogenic). Prior to joining the Mutya search, Kaylee won the Miss Teenager USA 2010, a country-wide national pageant for Asians in America. “As the candidates’ official residence, we were all witness to each of the delegate’s dream unfolding before their very eyes. Like you, they’ve also felt the Midas touch,” enthused Cielo Ortega, director for sales & marketing of Midas Hotel & Casino.
The girls were then flown to Mactan, Cebu City for the Photo Contest and Swimwear Competition that took place at the Imperial Palace Waterpark & Spa. Cebu City’s delegate Rizzini Alexis Gomez won the Best in Swimsuit honors aside from being named Mutya ng Imperial Palace. The registered nurse from the Queen City of the South is the daughter of former PBA cager Ruel Gomez and New York-based nurse Lalaine Camilian.
“Aside from the nine overseas hopefuls who were handpicked to represent their respective communities, we went around the archipelago to find this year’s batch. You can say we exerted much effort to look for them. We’ve been on this since January until a fortnight before the Press Presentation. We choose this batch according to beauty of face & figure, their intellect, and each one underwent character investigation. The winners will compete in the Miss Asia-Pacific Quest, the Miss Inter-Continental in September in Europe, the Miss Tourism International in Malaysia and the Queen of the Year in China,” revealed pageant organizer Renee Salud.
After the Talent Presentation, the girls will strut their stuff while donning evening gowns at the historic hideaway Las Casas de Acuzar in Bataan. “The Mutya pageant is much, much different from a school-based search or a local pageant in that our schedules are jam-packed with lots of fun-filled activities as against any local thing that has a clear-cut list of very specific activities,” opined Davao representative Regine Fondevilla, during an intimate luncheon with press members at the Cafeccino in Eastwood City. She won Miss Ateneo de Davao during her senior year in high school and then as Miss Davao a few years after. Regine graduated Summa cum laude from the Ateneo de Davao University with a degree in Business Management.
“This is our second year of tabulating the Mutya ng Pilipinas contest results. It is Informatics College’s way of introducing technology and efficiency in scoring that’s above board. The quick results do away with speculations on it being fixed as against the olden days of manual tabulating where manipulations were possible,” declared Cafeccino proprietor and Informatics College president Leo Riingen.
“We at Informatics College believe in this advocacy that’s a morale booster to young women. We gave the girls a working knowledge of Photoshop because they can use this application later on in their other beauty-related pursuits. The crash course was given so as to make them interested in Information Technology,” he added.
Now on its 44th year, the Mutya ng Pilipinas beauty pageant not only aims to discover world-class beauty queens, but also in promoting Philippine tourism as well. “I want Mutya ng Pilipinas to become the No. 1 pageant again. Our winners are women of beauty inside and out. And for her to be called such, she must have a working knowledge on Philippine tourism,” Jacqui Tan said in closing.
The coronation night is slated on August 12, 7 pm at the UP Theater in Diliman, Quezon City. The pageant finals will be beamed live to a nationwide audience through GMA-7’s Kapuso network.