Mutya ng Davao del Sur

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Sunday, July 20, 2014

LAST June 29, I was invited to the grand coronation night of the 2014 Mutya ng Davao del Sur held at the modern Davao del Sur Sports Cultural and Business Center in Digos.

There I met a familiar face, Mr. Oca Casaysay who used to oversee past Mutya ng Dabaw pageants in Davao City, this time he is bringing his years of experience and expertise in organizing events such as these to Davao del Sur.

According to Provincial Administrator Lorna Bautista Bandigan, who is also the project head, the beauties that represented the 15 municipalities and lone city of Davao del Sur were handpicked by the first ladies of the respective local government units. (Davao del Sur officials are designated as caretaker officials of the newly created province of Davao Occidental, despite its creation it still operates as a single province during the transition stage).


One of the criteria is that these ladies must be about 5'6" tall and above, the height standards for the Mutyas is a way to prepare them for future national pageants which they would be joining with the support of the province.

The handpicked ladies include Pauline Fernandz from the city of Digos, Iona Greta Tagalog from the town of Bansalan, Leo Ann Mae Abadines from Don, Marcelino, Elda Louise Salazar from Hagonoy, Mary Gold Opong from Jose Abad Santos, Nina Bonita Gealon from Kiblawan, Maseph Joy Udas from Magsaysay, Jee Jehane Laput from Malalag, Jervey Perez from Malita, Alexa Pryty Gallarde from Matanao, Juber Ann Rivera from Padada, Theresa Mae Ramos from Sarangani, Renelle Sheffany Madelo from Sta. Maria, Reyvie Rubio from Sta Cruz and Rosemarie Cejuela from Sulop.

These ladies were then put into an intensive one-month beauty and personality modeling workshop under the tutelage of Jonas Gaffud who handles Mercator Models and Aces and Queens, he is a renowned trainer of beauty queens who has handled the likes of Venus Raj and Shamcey Supsup.

Also Dabawenya beauty queens Janelle Tee (Mutya ng Dabaw 2010), and Nadia Shami (Bb. Pilipinas-International 2007) also had a hand in training the beauties during their workshops held at the Royal Mandaya Hotel.

The grand coronation night held in the cool Sunday evening was part of the 9-day celebration of the province's 47th founding anniversary.

According to Davao del Sur Governor Claude Bautista, the Mutya was the grandest if not the best entertainment of the festivities.

Various celebrities graced the event like crooner Hajji Alejandro, actor Ahron Villena, singer Kent Alfonso. Miss Universe 2010 4th runner-up Venus Raj and model/host Jansen Nichols hosted the event.

The panel of jurors consisted of bigwigs in their respective field which include Mis Universe 2011 Third runner-up Shamcey Supsup with her boyfriend Lloyd Lee, Eastern Mindanao Command chief, Lt. Gen. Rainier Cruz, Department of Tourism Asst. Secretary Art Boncato, Jonas Gaffud, Party-list Representative Silvestre Bello III, Department of Public Works and Highways Regional Director Mariano Alquiza, Rural Bank of Digos Assistant Vice-President for Administration Giovanni Gabrientos, Musical director Maria Bernadette Matin, retired Major General Jorge Segovia, Dr. Ricardo Alban, Janelle Tee, Nadia Shami, Bianca Bautista and San Miguel Beer Engineer Villamor Tuazon.

Originally, the Governor was amenable to opening the pageants to outsiders but was urged to be a strictly hometown contest a decision he did not regret.

"When I saw the contestants from Sta. Cruz to Sarangani, now I know the most beautiful women are from Davao del Sur," he exclaimed to an appreciative audience during his opening speech.

Miss Elda Louise Salazar copped Mutya ng Davao del Sur where she received P100,000 cash prize from the Governor and another P100,000 to the town's first lady the Mutya also received a P30,000 gift certificate from San Miguel Corporation and P5,000 fuel card from Phoenix Petroleum.

Iona Greta Tagalog from Bansalan got 1st runner-up honors (Mutya ng Kalikasan) she got P50,000 cash plus GCs and fuel card from San Miguel and Phoenix, Sta Maria beauty Renelle Sheffany Madelo was the 2nd runner up (Mutya ng Turismo), Malita's Jervey Perez was 3rd Runner-up (Mutya ng Sining) and Reyvie Rubio of Sta. Cruz was the 4th runner-up (Mutya ng Kaunlaran).

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on July 21, 2014.


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