MANILA, Philippines, November 24 ------ The Mutya ng Pilipinas pageant may have taken a two-year “pandemic pause” but it has made up for its absence with an impressive haul of aspirants for its 52nd edition this year.
The organization presented a formidable batch of 39 candidates from all over the Philippines and several overseas Filipino communities at the Citadines Bay City Manila in Pasay City. Mutya ng Pilipinas President Cory Quirino told reporters that 40 contestants will complete the roster this year. She also shared that she is currently coordinating with handlers and managers to determine which ones will be the final candidates. If not within the day, the final slot will be filled by tomorrow, she assured. The Mutya ng Pilipinas pageant is one of the most enduring national beauty contests in the Philippines, established in 1968 by Leandro “Biboy” Enriquez. It has produced multiple international winners from some of the longest-running global competitions in the world.
Five Mutya titleholders have captured the Miss Asia Pacific International crown in the pageant’s various iterations. Carines Zaragoza became the first winner from the Philippines when she won the 1982 contest, and succeeded by Bong Dimayacyac the following year. Lorna Legaspi gave the Philippines its third victory in 1989. Michelle Aldana did not make the Philippines wait much longer when she bagged the title in 1993. But it took 25 long years before another Filipino woman received the crown, Sharifa Areef Mohammad Omar Akeel who was proclaimed Miss Asia Pacific International during the pageant’s 50th anniversary in 2018.
Five other Mutya queens won in the Malaysia-based Miss Tourism International—Peachy Manzano in 2000, the late Rizzini Alexis Gomez in 2012, Angeli Dione Gomez in 2013, Jannie Loudette Alipo-on in 2017, and Cyrille Payumo in 2019. Mutya queens Gemith Gemparo and Leren Mae Bautista were also proclaimed 1993 Miss Model of the World and 2015 Miss Tourism Queen of the Year International, respectively.
This year, the national pageant will award four titles–2022 Mutya ng Pilipinas, Mutya ng Pilipinas-Tourism International, Mutya ng Pilipinas-World Top Model, and Mutya ng Pilipinas-Overseas Communities. The runners-up will also receive special titles, Mutya ng Pilipinas-Luzon, Mutya ng Pilipinas-Visayas, and Mutya ng Pilipinas-Mindanao like what was practiced in the pageant’s earlier years.
The 2022 Mutya ng Pilipinas pageant will stage its coronation night at the FilOil EcoOil Center in San Juan City on Dec. 4. Klyza Castro and the rest of her 2019 batch of winners will relinquish their crowns.