Mutya ng Pilipinas 2013 winners

Resplendent in red
By Nico Erle Ciriaco

21-year-old looker Koreen Medina bested 30 other aspirants and emerging as the 45th Filipina to win the Mutya ng Pilipinas crown. The St. Paul University (QC) coed is one of two candidates who qualified to represent the National Capital Region and Metro Manila. “I love to sing,” gushed the Quezon City rep, when asked what she wants to do after winning. She then regaled media-men with stanzas from Destiny’s Child’s “Stand Up For Love.”
An early favorite, Koreen also bagged the ? award. Aside from the beautifully crafted trophy, she took home a prize package of P1million in cash and products; and the honor to represent the country in the forthcoming Miss Inter-Continental search in Cairo, Egypt.
Cebu City’s bet Angeli Dione Gomez won as Mutya ng Pilipinas Tourism Int’l. The 20-year-old lass from the Queen City of the South also won the same title won by another Cebuana, Rizzini Alexis Gomez, who ultimately won the Miss Tourism International last December 2012. Dione is optimistic she can duplicate Rizzini’s victory, being a Gomez herself! She’ll fly to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia towards the end of the year to compete.
The members of Mutya royal court are 1st runner-up Kristian Aubrey Nolasco (Caloocan City), the other NCR delegate; and 2nd runner-up Maureen Anne Montagne (from the overseas Filipino community in Arizona, USA). Asdis Liza Karldottir, the delegate from Iceland, was proclaimed Mutya ng Overseas Filipino Communities.  
The competition opened with dancers from PowerDance and the Mabalacat City Center for the Arts donning Elvis Presley inspired-costumes, signifying the era when the Mutya pageant was born in the late 60s, as the contestants introduced themselves in bright-colored and stylized creations from 31 Filipino fashion designers. Koreen’s metallic 60s inspired mini-dress won for designer June Lee the Best in Fashion Design award earlier in the evening.
The pre-taped segment of the swimsuit competition held at the Sheridan Spa Resort in Puerto Princesa, Palawan served as the backdrop in the swimwear parade. In identical black-and-white bikinis by Renee Salud, the girls gamely posed and strutted against the beauty and splendor of Palawan’s environmental treasure – the Underground River. Laguna’s muse Vina Openiano was declared Best in Swimsuit while Cabuyao City’s entrant Hazel Corral was adjudged Best in Evening Gown.
The Mutya ng Pilipinas organization promotes ‘beauty tourism’ within the greater Asia Pacific with the direct participation of the overseas Filipino communities; this being a distinct component of the national pageant for years now. The organization is motivated and inspired by its guiding thrust to assist in promoting tourism, social responsibility, fashion, and beauty pageantry.
The members of the panel of judges included Sen. Chiz Escudero, singer-actress Heart Evangelista, fashion designer Christian Espiritu, and Ting-ting Cojuangco as chairperson.
Koreen was crowned by reigning Mutya ng Pilipinas Int’l Camille Guevarra and Sen. Grace Poe Llamanzares at the culmination of the pageant’s rites. Hosted by Chris Tiu, with three past Mutya queens as anchorwomen: Kirby Basken, Kristine Zaballero and Patricia Fernandez, the 4-hour-long extravaganza was beamed from the NBC Tent at the Bonifacio Global City, on Sunday, July 28th, to a nationwide audience via GMA’s Rainbow network.


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