Miss Supranational 2013
Philippines is 1st Asian to wear coveted crown
By Earl D. C. Bracamonte
Miss Supranational Philippines 2013 Mutya Johanna Datul flew back to Manila earlier this week after a victorious romp in the post-Soviet republic of Belarus. The 21-year-old, 5’8” stunner from Sta. Maria, Isabela was crowned the fifth Miss Supranational at the close of glitzy rites in Minsk City’s Sports Palace. She’ll go down pageant history as the first Asian to bag the prestigious title. Besting 82 other hopefuls, Mutya was also named Miss Personality.
“Until now, I can’t believe I won – that I’m the first Filipina to bring home the crown. I apologize for my delayed arrival. It was my first time to travel overseas so I missed a lot of connecting flights coming home,” shared the misty-eyed Isabelan at the late night homecoming party inside the Gloria Maris Banquet Hall in Gateway Mall. The press event was originally scheduled at 5:30 pm.
“It’s all about hard work, perseverance, and belief in yourself that you can do it. Winning was constantly in my thoughts so I guess it manifested itself on the outside. And I never got tired of praying; it was the key to my victory. I’m really grateful to my BPCI family, especially to Madame Stella Marquez de Araneta, to Miss Conchitina Sevilla-Bernardo and Miss Betsy Westendorp.”
The members of Mutya’s court are Mexico (Jacqueline Morales), Turkey (Leyla Kose), Indonesia (Cokorda Istri Krisnanda Widani) and US Virgin Islands (Esonica Veira), in descending order. Other semi-finalists who were accorded recognition were Gabon (Hillary Ondo, Miss Supranational Africa), host country Belarus (Veronica Chachyna, Miss Supranational Europe), Brazil (Raquel Benetti, Miss Continental America), and Australia (Esma Voloder, Miss Supranational Asia & Oceania).
“I did my very best. I actually had a foreboding I’d return to Manila wearing the crown. It was a flash, a fleeting image I saw when I deplaned in Minsk. I will be back in Belarus next month to join past winners and go to Panama for some outreach projects. I guess I’d better get ready for a winter climate,” intoned the recipient of a US$25K prize money. She said she’ll use a portion for the medication of her mother, another part for the schooling of her siblings, and the rest she’ll be saving for her future.
Rounding up the Top 20 were Misses Myanmar (Khin Wint Wah), Puerto Rico (Desiree del Rio), Venezuela (Annie Fuenmayor), Angelika Ogryzek), Thailand (Thanyaporn Srisen), Luxembourg (Heloise Paulmier), India (Vijaya Sharma), Russia (Yana Dubnik), Latvia (Diana Kubasova), Ukraine (Kateryna Sandulova), and Canada (half-Filipino Suzette Hernandez). The other candidate in the batch with Filipino lineage was Miss Norway, Marie Molo. “I got close with the other half-Pinays in the pageant!
“This is my ultimate dream and I want it more than the other girls. I want to become an ambassadress and be an inspiration to different peoples,” was the short spiel she told the judges during the closed-door interview sessions. She related that most of the other girls had lengthy discourses and sounded like newscasters.
As a first-timer abroad, Mutya explored a number of landmarks with her co-candidates during her three-week stint in Minsk. Among the places that she visited were the National Library of Belarus, the Krynica Factory, the Nesvizh and Mirsky Castles, the Bialowieza Forest, the Brest Fortress, and the St. Sophia Cathedral.
“Masaya kaming lahat! Nagpapasalamat po kami sa BPCI at sa lahat ng sumusuporta sa anak ko,” said Mutya’s father, Wilfredo Datul Sr., who was present with the rest of the family.
Mutya was crowned by outgoing queen Katsiaryna Buraya of Belarus. The past Supranational winners were Monika Lewczuk (Poland, 2011), Karina Pinilla Corro (Panama, 2010) and pioneer Oksanna Moria (Ukraine, 2009). Mutya’s victory is an impressive feat as it opens the gates of opportunity easier for the other Bb. Pilipinas queens when they compete in their respective international pageants. Cindy Miranda for the International Queen of Tourism in Beijing, China, Ariella Arrida for the Miss Universe in Moscow, Russia; and Bea Rose Santiago for the Miss International in Tokyo, Japan.
For more detailed information, simply log-on to the pageant Web site, www.misssupranational.com.