Several frontrunners have emerged in the 2017 Mutya ng Pilipinas pageant after four preliminary competitions.
In a battle between homegrown beauties and overseas-based candidates, the local bets are in the lead when it comes to the number of special awards received.
Leading the pack is Mutya ng Navotas Jannie Loudette Alipo-on, a returning candidate.
The broadcast journalist has already received the Best in Resort Wear, Mutya ng Pilipinas-Hannah’s, Mutya ng Hotel 101, and Mutya ng Inglot titles. She also placed second in the poll for “Darling of the Press” and in the separate swimsuit and long gown competitions.
Right on her heels is Mutya ng Hawaii Savannah Mari Gankiewicz, who received the important Best in Swimsuit award. She was also proclaimed Mutya ng Cynos by the pageant’s official haircare sponsor, and placed second in the race for Mutya ng Pilipinas-Hannah’s.
Mutya ng Negros Island Region Louise Lian Enumerable, was proclaimed Miss Photogenic and Mutya ng Rain or Shine.
Garnering one citation each are Camarines Sur’s Cystal Rosehelly Alday (Best in Regional Costume), Tarlac’s Sandrianne Esquilona (Best in Long Gown), Bataan’s Jaila Eunice Ragindin (Mutya ng AR Travel and Tours), Pateros’ Angela Carla Sandigan (Mutya ng Alta D’ Tagaytay) and Singapore’s Darlene May Reyes (Best in Talent).
Mutya ng Pampanga Arianne Deseree Viardo finished third in both the swimsuit contest and talent competition, while Suzanne Perez from the Filipino community in California placed third in the race for Mutya ng Pilipinas-Hannah’s.
Mutya ng Lemery Alyssa Joreen Reyes placed second in the regional costume contest, followed by Mutya ng Southern Luzon Nicole Kristel Losloso.
Mutya ng Iloilo Colleen Chan finished third in the Darling of the Press poll and tied for third with Viardo in the talent contest.
Mutya ng Bulacan Kristine Eiriel Nolasco placed second in the talent contest.
“All this recognition surely adds pressure,” Alipo-on told the Inquirer at the sidelines of one of the preliminary competitions.
“It motivates me to give my best until the coronation night,” she added.
But for her, the most important recognition she received so far was not one of her special titles. Alipo-on said placing second in the long gown race and helping her designer and mentor Jontie Martinez qualify for the “Best Designer” award is special.
“Of course he is my mentor. I’m really happy with this recognition. I’m glad I was able to help give him (Martinez) some recognition, too.” Alipo-on explained.
Gankiewicz, meanwhile, said “I really didn’t expect it, honestly. But it gave me a lot of confidence.”
Esquilona, who received her title during the last of the pageant’s special competitions, said the recognition makes her feel proud of herself, and “inspires me to do well in the remaining days, until the finals.”
De Vera, for her part, considers her two citations as blessings.
Thirty candidates from around the country and from overseas Filipino communities are vying for three national titles–Mutya ng Pilipinas-Asia Pacific International, Mutya ng Pilipinas-Tourism International, and Mutya ng Pilipinas-Top Model of the World.
The 49th Mutya ng Pilipinas pageant will hold its coronation night at the Newport Performing Arts Theater of Resorts World Manila in Pasay City on Aug. 4.
The ceremonies will be telecast on ABS-CBN on Aug. 6 before “Asap.”
The Philippine Daily Inquirer is a media partner of the pageant.
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