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A celebration of culture, nationalism and Filipino’s pride

Writer:  Haidee Martin-Provido

Beauty tourism and adventure…fashion trends and ingenuity…social advocacy and responsibility…socio-civic related support…fusion of distinctive culture and heritage…and Filipina empowerment—no other national event can magnify all of these global visions into the spectacle that is the World renowned Mutya ng Pilipinas pageant. In its 47th year, it once again spelled its aesthetic magic in various tourist spots in the Philippines for the world to see what our amazing country has to offer.

Mutya ng Pilipinas, Inc. (MPI) is the only National pageant organization that for decades has placed a clear emphasis on the ‘direct’ participation of the Overseas Filipino Communities. Thus, giving them importance & making them partners in promoting Philippine tourism. It encourages our ‘kababayans’ to visit their homeland and to rediscover their roots and appreciate the remarkable ‘wonders’ of the Philippines. The National Pageant Event serves as a vehicle to promote everything that is beautiful in the Filipina, the culture and the country as a whole. Its mission is to expand tourism and to widen the awareness about the best of the Philippines with a nationalistic approach.

MPI has further emphasized this initiative by distinguishing the major title winner among the delegates from the Filipino communities. It has started this in the 1970′s and further enhanced this tradition in 2001 to the present where more participation and cooperation was pursued. For the first time, there will be a delegate participating from Doha, Qatar. Delegates come from all over the world from overseas Filipino communities in Asia, Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, Scandinavia, and the United States such as Arizona and California. These overseas candidates vie for one of the most coveted and distinguished beauty titles: Mutya ng Pilipinas-Overseas Communities.

BEAUTY TOURISM AND ADVENTURE

Stunning bets from Overseas contingents are excited to see the Philippines for the first time. One of them is Kerlyn Horn, 20, representing the overseas communities of Northern California. “I’m very excited to go back home and visit Palawan, Boracay and Cebu! I admire my Filipino culture. My mom taught me to be a strong and independent woman,” the friendly and outgoing fashion model said.

Each year, the beauty queens embark on a memorable island adventure at the majestic paradise of Puerto Princesa City in Palawan.  Mutya may be the only national pageant organization that has a continuous presence in a premier resort facility in Southwest Philippines. The world-renowned, exclusive, and picturesque Sheridan Beach Resort & Spa (SBRS) has been declared the official resort home of MPI. The world class resort is located in the Midwest coast of Palawan, 80 kilometers of northwest Puerto Princesa City.

The serene coastline of  Sabang in Puerto Princesa City is the perfect backdrop of the most anticipated pre-pageant spectacle, the Swimsuit competition.

The Pageant serves as a platform to contribute its share in highlighting the latest “New 7th Wonder of the World,” the Underground River and Subterranean National Park. Featuring a mountain landscape with an 8.2 kilometer navigable underground river, this exotic mysterious place is known as the longest and most beautiful subterranean river in the world.   Each year, a new batch of delegates witness the immense feeling and wonders of the attractive features of  the “city in a forest” including the Jungle Trail, mangrove and tropical jungle, the wildlife sanctuary and the pristine white sand beaches. For the first time, a clash of talents from outstanding candidates will also be held on the number one island in the world.

Sheridan Beach Resort also owns two other associated resorts in Iloilo and Boracay which can be utilized at anytime to bring class into its adventure filled special events.

Mutya ng Pilipinas organization is a good stepping stone for every Filipina who wants to promote everything that is beautiful in the Philippines; from our amazing tourist destinations, Filipino culture, innovative fashion style, food and most especially the people”  shared by Leren Mae Bautista, Mutya ng Laguna. Consequently, the City of Sta. Rosa, Laguna, known as the “Investment Capital of South Luzon” is one of the pageant’s major  partners.

FASHION TRENDS AND INGENUITY

Regional fashion style and clothing sense of young and upcoming Filipino designers are on full display during the Regional Costume and Long Gown competitions. The modern-day creative fashion geniuses conform their execution of dressing up the live mannequin into a stunning beauty queen. “I’m all set to face the challenge,” Janela Joy Cuaton, Mutya ng Doha, Qatar said. The 18-year old ramp model is the first ever overseas delegate from a Peninsular Arab country. “Beauty is about being comfortable, a promise of happiness and all about giving,” quipped by the “Mutya ng Pilipinas 2015 – Darling of the Press” winner.

Splashes of creativity, innovative costumes and unique talents will fill the night as each designer presents the grandiose cultural allure.  Each candidate’s gown will represent her region.

Aside from showcasing these talents, ingenuity of local materials from various regions are introduced such as abaca, jusi, piña and silk from Mindanao region. Accordingly, the Filipina signature style of clothing during the gown competition echoes the indigenous Filipino qualities with stylish and trending influences. Through the creative modernism of Filipino fashion designers everything comes to life.

Each year, MPI places the spotlight on a particular region to showcase it’s wonders and charm. This year, the astonishing landmark of Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte will be the backdrop of the highly anticipated Long Gown Competition. The newest and most exciting vacation spot in Northern Luzon, Hannah’s Beach Resort & Convention Center will stage this trendy, fashion event. The candidates will discover the magical surroundings that it offers like the crystal clear blue waters, white sand beaches, and watersports adventure—all Pagudpud style.

SOCIAL ADVOCACY AND RESPONSIBILITY

Beyond beauty and tourism, Mutya candidates signify social responsibility. It brings out the social responsibility into highly profound civic projects and worthy programs for underprivileged children. “I want to get closer to my mother’s home country to broaden my bond with the people and assimilate myself with their culture. I also want to have more opportunities to work with children,” affirmed by Mutya ng Norway, Christine Marielle Stubergh.

Born and raised from the “land down under”, Mutya ng Melbourne, Shannon Rebecca Bridgman, is the epitome of beauty for a cause, “I already saved three lives by donating blood.”  She dreams of pursuing a career in criminology and volunteer in humanitarian work as well. She would like to raise awareness about human trafficking, humanitarian causes and to be an inspiration to many people. “We should be thankful for our hardships as it makes us stronger. We should be grateful for the freedom that we have now,” she stated.

MPI ardently supports charitable programs that further exude the spirit of today’s women. These young, spirited ladies become instruments to worthwhile causes. They lend a hand in promoting awareness for different relevant advocacies. This important social contribution of the pageant also seeks to raise consciousness and courage to uplift the deprived.

FUSION OF CULTURE AND HERITAGE

Over the past several years, Mutya ng Pilipinas has placed aspiring beauty queens in the Philippines against overseas delegates from different parts of the world. Mutya is the first ever national beauty pageant that brings in representatives from the Overseas Filipino Communities. The inclusion of mixed race is to build up more challenge, appeal, and equal chances to all aspiring Filipina beauty queens worldwide. At the same time, the fusion of each delegate’s origin and varied cultures instantaneously equalizes a celebration of customs, traditions, and patriotism.

“I believe that the Filipinos at heart have something that no other culture [have]. Their hospitality never fails to treat you like family, which I think is the greatest asset of the Philippines,”  shared by  Mutya ng Australia,  Nina Robertson. The national aerobics champ and hockey enthusiast would like to submerge herself in Filipino culture and be able to polish her Tagalog. “It  will prepare me to promote the people, the beautiful places, and the delicious food,” she added. Meanwhile, Mutya ng Arizona, Jessie Delprete, promotes the Philippines by doing Filipino folk dances in social events. “I want to learn more about Filipino tradition,” she shared.

The immense influx of the most gorgeous and aspiring belles from the foreign land were motivated by MPI’s thrust to promote tourism all over the archipelago and globally. This year’s impressive line-up of aspiring beauty tourism crusaders are all excited to go back to their roots, imbibe the unique culture, and explore the majestic tourism spots in the Philippines.

FILIPINA BEAUTY EMPOWERMENT

Annually, striking Filipinas all over the world converge for one glorious night of beauty and grace in the prestigious National Pageant. The contingent from Southern California, Aislinn Anne Sebastian said, “I want to make a name for myself in the Philippines and to be able to help boost tourism and the community in many different ways.”

Jean Nicole de Jesus, 23,  Mutya ng Canada,  was crowned as Miss Philippines of the World in Canada and as part of her winning is to represent Canada in this year’s Mutya pageant. Aside from aspiring for the crown, she is a successful Financial Adviser in a prestigious credit union in Alberta, Canada.

Representing Central Luzon, Jessica Rose McEwen, a Communication student was born and raised barefooted in Whangarei, New Zealand before moving to the Philippines in 2006. “I have the pure heart of a Filipino who is determined to take the height of the country and of Philippine culture and beauty to a whole other level. I believe that my determination, confidence and my willingness to strive will take me to greater heights and hopefully win me the title.”

From the United Kingdom, Kiaragiel Gregorio was born in Cabanatuan City and moved to England in 2007. “My ambition would be to finish my education and hopefully embark in the legal profession. Once I have achieved this, I would like to use this knowledge to help those less fortunate because education is a fundamental key to fighting poverty and that everyone should have an equal chance for getting education regardless of their race, gender, or religious beliefs.”

Selected representatives from various cities, provinces, and Overseas Filipino Communities were sent to Manila for this highly anticipated competition which showcases the best of Filipina beauty and intelligence. Mutya ng Pilipinas 2015 winners will represent the country in International pageants. They will vie for the most-coveted titles of  Mutya ng Pilipinas – Asia Pacific International, Mutya ng Pilipinas – Tourism  and Mutya ng Pilipinas – Overseas Communities. Major titlists are sent as the Philippines’ representative to elite international competitions such as Miss Asia Pacific International, Miss Tourism Queen of the Year International, and Miss Tourism International which will be hosted by Vietnam later this year.

Hence, it is said that the beauty queens who were sent as representatives to the international competitions proudly magnify the real essence of beauty worldwide. Going beyond the captivating look, it goes deeper into the epitome of beauty inside and out.

SOCIO-CIVIC RELATED SUPPORT

The various cooperations entered into by MPI are intended to strengthen its relationship with its partners & cooperators overseas, its sponsors, & its obligations to the public. Notable cooperation has been entered into with long term partner-sponsors.

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