MANILA, Philippines—The recent death of her great-grandmother served to motivate newly crowned Mutya ng Pilipinas-Asia Pacific International Koreen Medina to clinch the coveted beauty title.
The 18-year-old mass communication student from Quezon City bested 30 other aspirants in the 45th Mutya ng Pilipinas pageant held Friday night at the NBC Tent in Taguig City, bagging the crown and a prize package worth P1 million.
Medina told the Inquirer she dedicated her title to her great-grandmother Cecilia Cartagena who passed away while she was in Palawan for pageant activities.
During the final round of questions, Medina talked about growing up without her parents and being raised by her grandparents. “They are very supportive of me and I love them very much,” she later told the Inquirer.
Medina drew raves in the question-and-answer portion when she said a Filipino woman was defined by her character more than her beauty or intelligence because “it shows how you were raised by the people around you.”
Prior to the coronation ceremony, Medina was proclaimed Mutya ng Zen Institute, Mutya ng Lancaster Hotel, Mutya ng Sheridan Beach Resort and Spa, Mutya ng Crimson, and Best in Talent.
As an ambassador of “beauty tourism,” Medina hopes to promote the different provinces, particularly those she visited with her fellow candidates.
Medina will represent the Philippines in the Miss Intercontinental pageant in Egypt later this year.
Medina shared top honors with Cebu City’s Angeli Dione Gomez, who won the Mutya ng Pilipinas-Tourism title.
Maureen Ann Montagne from Arizona and Kristian Aubrey Nolasco from Caloocan City were named first runnerup and second runnerup, respectively.
Asdis Liza Karlsdottir from Iceland won the Mutya ng Pilipinas-Overseas Communities title. She was also proclaimed “People’s Choice” for getting the biggest number of votes on Facebook, with over 19,000 “likes.”
Zandra Flores, who advanced to the semifinals, was Mutya Press Favorite and Mutya Photogenic from Pangasinan. Marichat Evaristo from Bacolor was Best in Long Gown and Best in National Costume. Ivy Camille Villanueva from Central Luzon was voted by her fellow candidates Mutya Friendship.