Eurasians, Fil-Ams dominate Mutya ng Pilipinas pageant
MANILA, Philippines—Eurasian and Filipino-American contestants dominated the 2011 Mutya ng Pilipinas pageant which culminated early Saturday morning at The Arena in San Juan City.
British-Filipino Vickie Marie Rushton from Bacolod was crowned the Mutya ng Pilipinas-International while Filipino-American Felicia Baron won the Mutya ng Pilipinas-Tourism title.
German-Filipino Diana Sunshine Rademann of Puerto Princesa was proclaimed first runner-up, while Filipino-American Tifani Alexandra Grimes finished as second runner-up.
The only one in the winning circle who was not of mixed race was Bea Santiago, who represented the Filipino community in Canada. She was proclaimed Mutya ng Pilipinas-Overseas Communities, a title reserved for overseas-based bets.
Seven overseas Filipino communities sent representatives to this year’s national competition.
Rushton, 19, was an early favorite, bagging the lion’s share of special awards—Mutya ng Sheridan Beach Resort, Mutya ng Zen Institute, Best in Swimsuit, Miss Mags Clothing or Best in Casual Wear, and Mutya ng Golden Bay Seafood Restaurant.
Nineteen-year-old Rademann was also proclaimed Mutya ng Puerto Princesa Underground River and Mutya ng Ever Bilena.
During the question-and-answer round, Rushton, an Interdisciplinary Studies major at the University of Saint La Salle in Bacolod, said she could use her beauty for community service by “doing projects toward helping organizations, having self-commitment and doing social responsibility.”
Rushton and Baron took home a P200,000 cash prize each and gifts from the pageant’s sponsors. Santiago pocketed a P100,000 cash prize and gifts.
Rushton, a veteran of local beauty pageants, told the Inquirer that Mutya was “really difficult compared to the other pageants that I joined.”
She said she did not expect to win. “I felt my answers weren’t that good,” she confessed, adding that she thought Santiago had it in the bag because “I find her pretty, witty and smart.”
Santiago, who was also proclaimed Best in Long Gown, is a professional model. She had been signed up by both Elite and Ford, two of the biggest modeling agencies in the world.
But despite her experience on the runway, Santiago said she was a pageant neophyte. “I’ve been rejecting invitations to join pageants for three years now,” she told the Inquirer.
Her mother convinced her to give Mutya a shot, but she came into the pageant with “no expectations whatsoever. I’m just here to experience everything.”
She thought the crown would go to Maria Bergensen, from the Filipino community in Norway. “She’s amazing. She’s beautiful inside-out,” Santiago said of the Filipino-Norwegian beauty.
Bergensen was one of the 10 semifinalists and was also proclaimed Mutya ng Camera Club of the Philippines.
After the pageant, Santiago plans to visit her parents’ families in Masbate and in Bicol. She is also looking forward to enjoying food at Jollibee which “I haven’t done in five years.”
Santiago moved to Canada with her family six years ago when her maternal grandmother passed away.
The Mutya winners will be sent to various international competitions—Miss Tourism International, Miss Intercontinental, Miss Asia Pacific and Miss Tourism Queen of the Year pageants.
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