This blog entry will read like a throwback within a throwback. Just like Binibining Pilipinas, Mutya ng Pilipinas has already reached its Golden Anniversary last 2018 – fairly more recent but still full of pride and glory. For a national pageant to successfully make it through five decades is an achievement that stood the test of time. And its long list of titleholders and international winners gave their share to the country’s performance record in other beauty competitions – prime of which were Miss Asia Quest-turned- Miss Asia Pacific Quest-turned-Miss Asia Pacific International, Miss Tourism International and during selected periods – Miss World, Miss Intercontinental, Miss Tourism Queen of the Year International, Miss Tourism Metropolitan International, Queen of Clubs International and Best Model of the World.
Can you still remember the less popular, but equally beautiful theme song of Mutya ng Pilipinas? Click below so you can listen to it while looking back at fifty (50) glorious years of the second-oldest national pageant in the country.
Some of its pageant-victorious pageant alumni include:
Miss Asia Quest 1982 Carines Zaragoza
Miss Asia Quest 1983 Gloria “Bong” Dimayacyac
Miss Asia Pacific Quest 1989 Lorna Legaspi
Miss Asia Pacific Quest 1993 Michelle Aldana
Miss Asia Pacific International 2018 Sharifa Akeel
Miss Tourism International 2000 Esperanza Manzano
Miss Tourism International 2012 Rizzini Gomez
Miss Tourism International 2013 Angeli Dione Gomez
Miss Tourism International 2017 Jannie Alipoon
Miss Tourism International 2019 Cyrille Payumo
Miss Tourism Queen of the Year International 1999 Racquel Uy
Miss Tourism Queen of the Year International 2015 Leren Mae Bautista
Miss Tourism Metropolitan International 2014 Glennifer Perido
Queen of the Year 1996 Sherylle Santarin
Miss Tourism Cosmopolitan International 2010 Barbara Salvador
with notable placements in Miss World and Miss Intercontinental courtesy of Sarah Jane Areza, Sherry Rose Byrne and Koreen Medina.
Below is a video made especially for Mutya Gold which featured stories of some of its past titleholders and how being a Mutya made them forever Queens.
And just to complete the throwback, allow me to share the grand opening number and crowning moments of the 50th Mutya ng Pilipinas held at the Mall of Asia Arena last September, 2018. This was a monumental effort spearheaded by then President Hemilyn Escudero-Tamayo (right photo with Joy Arguil and I) who pulled out all the stops to make the production her farewell legacy for the pageant institution.
The Philippines collected two Miss Asia and two Miss Asia-Pacific titles in its long pageant history
The decade of the 80s marked the most successful performances of the Philippines in Miss Asia Quest and Miss Asia-Pacific Quest (stress on the word ‘Quest’ to distinguish the group from the Korea-based company that added the words ‘World Super Talent’ to the sash
) held annually since 1969 and which had its unofficial curtain call last 2000. It took fourteen (14) long years before a Filipina actually won the first courtesy of Ma. Del Carmen Ines ‘Carines’ Zaragoza when she outclassed the same number of candidates during Miss Asia 1982 held in Malaysia. And as if that victory wasn’t enough to satisfy the thirst of Filipinos for another crown, a back-to-back took place the following year when Gloria ‘Bong’ Aranas Dimayacyac became the 2nd when she was elected Miss Asia 1983 here in Manila.
After that, the title evolved into Miss Asia-Pacific Quest in order to accommodate countries geographically located in the Pacific rim and welcomed the candidates from the US, Canada, Peru, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica and the like. The competition got even tougher. And it wasn’t until 1989 when another Filipina – Lorna Legaspi – succeeded in wresting the title when it was held in Hong Kong.
The 90s saw a continuation of the pan-regional pageant with hosting chores done mostly by the Philippines. Its final glory came in 1993 when Michelle Aldana snagged the honor of becoming the 2nd Filipina to clinch a Miss Asia-Pacific win.
Carines, Bong, Lorna and Michelle in their more recent photos
The road got rocky as the years passed by, especially during the entry of the New Millennium when the holding of the yearly event got scarce to the point of everything becoming just a nostalgic part of the past. My sources are saying that the organizers of Mutya ng Pilipinas 2015 are looking at getting a new international pageant franchise at the moment. I sincerely hope that this will come to fruition because I can’t bear seeing beautiful winners go to waste.
Right, Eva Patalinjug? 😉
P. S. Thanks to my friend Francis Calubaquib for the newspaper clippings of Carines Zaragoza, Bong Dimayacyac and Lorna Legaspi in the topmost photo grid.
Lorna Legaspi remains as my favorite Miss Asia-Pacific winner
Lorna (middle) when she won Miss Asia-Pacific 1989 with runners-up from Tahiti and Israel.
Lorna Legaspi, circa 2013
Back in 1989, Miss Asia-Pacific was hosted by Hong Kong and where our rep, Lorna Legaspi, won the crown and effectively became the first Filipina to hold the more pan-regional title (Carines Zaragoza and Bong Dimayacyac were both “Miss Asia” titleholders
). A year before, she took part in Bb. Pilipinas with less success. But when she was named top placer of Mutya ng Pilipinas, I knew right from the start that she would do well in the international competition. She always had this regal aura and upright posture that never failed to make people look up to her with such praise. So when news got around that she won in Hong Kong, it never really surprised me anymore.
Watch her crowning moment as Miss Asia Pacific 1989. The video is dubbed in Thai but you can still follow the proceedings.
courtesy of tpageant