The Mutya ng Pilipinas pageant contest, was established in 1968, with Mary Jane de Joya as the very first Mutya ng Pilipinas, who competed at the very first Miss Asia Pageant held in Araneta Colesium.
The Filipino word ‘mutya’, which translates as ‘pearl’ or ‘jewel’, is certainly an appropriate term for the contestants that compete in the annual beauty pageant. But like every other prestigious competition, there are qualifications that have to be met for a woman to become the Mutya ng Pilipinas. I got these qualifications straight from the Mutya ng Pilipinas official website, where the application form is available.
Qualifications of Candidates
1. The contestant must be a natural born female.
2. The contestant must be at least a high school graduate.
3. The contestant must be aged between 18 and 25.
4. The contestant must be at least 5’5” tall.
5. The contestant must have a beautiful face and figure.
6. The contestant must have an outstanding personality.
7. The contestant must be smart and witty.
8. The contestant must have never been married.
9. The contestant must have never given birth.
10. The contestant must have at least one grandparent in the direct paternal or maternal line possessing Filipino citizenship.
Mutya ng Pilipinas: beauty tourism
What is a pageant without an advocacy? Mutya ng Pilipinas aims to promote “Beauty Tourism.” Basically, the goal is to show the beauty of the Philippines and make the country one of the most admired tourist destinations in the world. In line with this, the grand coronation ceremonies of recent years have been held in magnificent tourist destinations like Davao (where the highest mountain in the country, Mount Apo, is located), Subic (Zoobic Safari, anyone?), Aurora (thanks to its long coastline exposed to the Pacific Ocean, this is a surfer’s seventh heaven), and Puerto Princesa City (boasting the longest navigable underground river in the world). Mutya definitely matches its beautiful contestants with beautiful venues.
Let’s not forget about the people who make this beauty pageant competition possible. The current president of the Mutya ng Pilipinas organization is Miss Jacqueline Tan, the first female president of the organization. Additionally, she is the managing director of Sheridan Resorts and Hotels, which is the official resort home of Mutya. Together with an Executive Committee, Miss Tan manages the organization. Executive Committee Chairman Roberto de Venecia is the only remaining original member of the Board of Directors. The other original members have retired.
Mutya ng Pilipinas abroad
Filipina women living abroad can also get in on the action. As long as they meet the requirements and can prove their Filipino ancestry by submitting a certified real copy of the birth certificate of either Filipino grandparents or parents, they are all welcome to join the competition. In fact, Mutya ng Pilipinas has ten affiliates.
1. Mutya ng Pilipinas – Australia
2. Mutya ng Pilipinas – Canada
3. Mutya ng Pilipinas – East Coast, U.S.A.
4. Mutya ng Pilipinas – Hawaii
5. Mutya ng Pilipinas – Midwest, U.S.A.
6. Mutya ng Pilipinas – Northern California, U.S.A.
7. Mutya ng Pilipinas – Scandinavia
8. Mutya ng Pilipinas – Southern California, U.S.A.
9. Mutya ng Pilipinas – United Kingdom
10. Mutya ng Pilipinas – West Europe
Mutya ng Pilipnas changes on its name
To be honest, I haven’t encountered any other pageant that has undergone more name changes and title name changes than Mutya ng Pilipinas. Naming the past winners would be tedious and confusing due to the differently named titles that have been given. But this is not the Mutya’s fault. It only changed its name so many times because Miss Asia Quest, the pageant where winners were sent to compete, also changed its name often. So, to keep things up-to-date, I will only mention the titles that were used last year and might possibly be used again this year. Mutya ng Pilipinas International, Mutya ng Pilipinas Tourism, and Mutya ng Pilipinas Overseas Communities are the main titles. But the 1st and 2nd runners-up are also acknowledged.
Let us all look forward to Mutya ng Pilipinas this year.