Mutya ng Pilipinas 2012 Winners
44th Year highlights
By Earl D.C. Bracamonte
18-year-old Camille Guevarra was crowned the Mutya ng Pilipinas Asia-Pacific International 2012 in glitzy rites at the UP Theater in Diliman, Quezon City. Measuring a whistle-bait 34-24-34 figure, the 5'9” looker from Porac, Pampanga bested 28 other hopefuls vying for the coveted title. The sophomore IT coed from Clark College of Science & Technology also romped off with the Best in Talent, Best in Evening Gown, Model Discovery and Mutya ng Las Casa de Acuzar awards.
“I was stunned when my number was called. Although I won a few corporate awards, all these have no bearing on the final score so I was as hopeful as the other nine finalists. Everything hasn’t sunk in yet. I’m shocked but very happy,” was all the svelte Pampanguena could say before barraged by other media-men and TV crew for comments.
Cebu City’s Rizzini Alexis Gomez, the lone qualifier from the Visayas/Mindanao area to be part of the Top Ten finalists, won as Mutya ng Pilipinas Tourism 2012. Gomez also bagged the Best in Swimsuit and Mutya ng Midas Hotel & Casino awards. Marbee Tiburcio from Northern California was proclaimed Mutya ng Pilipinas – Overseas Communities 2012. Central Luzon’s Emma Tiglao and Quezon City’s Larah Grace Lacap were proclaimed runners-up in descending order. Tiglao was also named Mutya ng Zoomanity while Lacap was named Mutya ng Segway.
The other finalists who received corporate awards were Isabela’s Mutya Johanna Datul (Miss Ever Bilena, Mutya ng Dewfoam, Miss Smile of the Night), Batangas’ Jillian Kristin Deveza (People’s Choice Award), Carin Adrianne Ramos (Mutya ng Informatics) and Dale Ivory Lee (Mutya ng Mags Boutique). The two other girls who made it to the final round were Laguna’s Diane Joyce Ramirez and Reynalyn Flores Yamanouchi representing the Filipino community of Japan. The other contestant who cinched an award was Donna Marie Libre (Miss Friendship) of Florida, USA. The ten finalists all wore beautifully created ternos by ace designer Renee Salud.
As a pageant geared towards promoting trade and tourism, Mutya ng Pilipinas Inc. (MPI) also serves as benefactor to named civic and charitable institutions. As a non-stock, non-profit organization, MPI is likewise donor to several other outreach programs. This year's search is expanded to include the talents of our very own fashion designers as they created the evening gowns of the thirty entrants.
Mutya ng Pilipinas, the beauty pageant, has also achieved what other local beauty pageants have done by holding regional screening selections all over the archipelago. The focus on local contests gives provincial lasses an even chance to compete on the national pageant and perhaps, receive an accolade if she emerges victorious at the international search. Now, more than ever, young Filipinas from the different regions across the country, as well as those living in overseas communities, who have nurtured the dream of becoming a title holder are given the rare opportunity to realize their personal aspirations as they compete alongside beauty title entrants from the National Capital Region.
According to MPI president Jacqueline Tan, “The pageant picks the most deserving Filipinas who exude charisma, intelligence, confidence as well as inner and external beauty. The winners get to travel and meet interesting people and go places. Suddenly, doors are opened for winners as opportunities abound and offer themselves. They also become positive role models for aspiring girls from all over the country and those living abroad.”
This year, nine contestants represented the Filipino communities abroad. They come from the USA (Northern California, Midwest, East and West Coast), Canada (Vancouver and Toronto) and Japan.
The pre-pageant activities have been culminated three days prior to the coronation night; including the press presentation ceremonies that was also held at the lobby of the Midas Hotel & Casino in Pasay City, the official residence of the candidates. All the girls paraded before press photographers and media attendees in identical raven-colored bikinis designed by Renee Salud. The evening gown showcase splashed out the colors of the rainbow and in the order they are seen in the spectrum: shades of crimson (candidates 1-5), vermillion (6-10), canary ((11-15), verdant hues (16-20), azure (21-25) and aubergine (26-30). The top five designs were called out during the pre-pageant night. And the creation of Jhune Angeles for winner Camille Guevarra was chosen as the best. His off-the-shoulder amethyst gown with a billowing gossamer train won over the designs of co-nominees Philip Tampus, Jun Lee, Dino Lloren and Vince Sityar.
“This is the 44th edition of the pageant with components from Filipino communities abroad. With their ingenious creations, our Filipino designers have beautifully showcased Philippine fashion not just in Asia but the rest of the world,” declared the beauteous MPI president at the close of the crowning ceremonies. “Mutya ng Pilipinas represents everything that is beautiful. We pick out winners who’ll be ambassadors of Philippine tourism while being representatives of Filipino womanhood and pulchritude,” she added.
With each passing year, the Mutya ng Pilipinas parade of beauties has become grander and more glamorous. This year's pageant was no exception as it presented highlights equally exciting and titillating in the course of its history since the pageant began in 1968.
The winners (and their royal court of two runners-up, should any of the winners be unavailable to compete for any unforeseen circumstance) will each compete in international beauty pageants that will be held in different continents all over the globe. Camille will compete in the Miss Inter-Continental pageant in Europe while Rizzini will vie in the Miss Tourism International in Malaysia. Both international searches will be held on different dates this coming December.
To date, the Philippines has produced four Mutya ng Pilipinas title-holders who have been crowned Miss Asia-Pacific: Ma. Carmen Ines Zaragoza (1982), Gloria “Bong” Dimayacyac (1983), Lorna Legaspi (1989) and Michelle Aldana (1993).
This year’s panel of judges was composed of broadcast journalist Rodrigo Defeo Manicad Jr., fashion designer Cary Santiago, Miss Universe ’84 runner-up Desiree Verdadero-Abesamis, cager Arvind Santos, Imperial Palace Water Park Resort & Spa asst. GM Edward Cho, Mrs. World 2001 runner-up Maricel Morales, orthopedic surgeon Dr. Severino Tambonliong, Segway Phils. president Wilson Lei, developer Wilfredo Tan, engineer Cesar Sanqui, and consul to Angola Hon. Helen Ong.
Mutya ng Pilipinas winners are chosen based on the following criteria: beauty of face and figure, personality, poise, intelligence and talent. Hosted by Maggie Wilson-Consunji, Markki Stroem and Kristine Caballero, the coronation night was beamed to a nationwide audience through a delayed telecast at 10:45 pm of the same evening via GMA 7’s Kapuso network.