CULTURAL POTPOURRI| Reina M. Kobayashi, Mutya ng Davao 2017

THE DAVAO City Recreation Center (formerly known as the Almendras Gym) was well-lit and well-secured for the Grand Coronation Night of the much anticipated Mutya ng Davao 2017 last March 17, 2015. The fast-paced, two-hourpageant program, which started at a little past 7:00 p.m., was emceed by the tall, dashing and handsome Fil-Am hunk, KC Montero, with Miss Earth 2008 Karla Paula Henri and Mutya ng Davao 2010 Resci Rizada as co-emcees.

   The Search for the Mutya ng Davao is considered the opening salvo to usher in our celebration of the Araw ng Davao. The Mutya ng Davao 2017 for this year’s 80th Araw ng Davao celebration had the past beauty queens presented on stage namely Lorna Ma (1976), Felinda Sanchez (1982), Sharon Limbaga (1992), Sharon Scarella (1996), Jambie Austria (1997), Mary Carmel Osmena (2002), Johanne Bernice Guirhen (2006), Resci Rizada (2009). Fila Guia Hidalgo (2013) and Kris Abigail Guanzon (2015).

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MUTYA ng Davao Reina Maravillas Kobayashi’s winning form

The temperature soared just as soon as the costumed, young members of Arnold L. Alvarez’s Sining Tala Dance Co. of St. JohnPaul II College of Davao, Muslim Fan dancers and the lively and talented Dance Sport junior cuties` did their energetic opening number. Everyone mightily performed their spiels before a thrilled audience whose deafening shouts and screams filled the Center as if it was a sabungan on a Sunday.

   “This must be the loudest beauty pageant I’ve attended in the Philippines so far,” quipped KC Montero adding, “Kaming mga calvo ay mga guapo, di ba General Bato?” KC Montero was referring to no less than the “famous Davaoeno and the Director General of the Philippine National Police, Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa, who sat as Chairman of the Board of Judges. The other judges included Archt. Michael Ebro Dakudao (resident judge), Nomer Clamor of San Miguel Brewery, Dr. Leopoldo Vega of SPMC, GM Kennedy Kapulong of Seda Abreeza, Consul Tomoko Dodo of Japan, Regional Director of Tourism for Region XI Roberto Alabado, Captain Ronald Go of the Davao City Chamber of Commerce, and Louella Margo of Phoenix Petroleum.

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REINA Maravillas Kobayashi with (l-r): lawyer Dwight Domingo, Lyca Lopez, Gen. Ronald Dela Rosa and Mutya ng Davao 2016 Molly Teodoro

All the 29 candidates for the Mutya ng Davao 2017 appeared on stage in pseudo-ethnic inspired outfits and Broadway costumes created by Davao’s popular fashion designers to introduce themselves individually. You can hardly hear what the candidates were saying as groups were shouting so loudly for the candidates they were supporting. The pre-pageant judging, where I had to be present as this year’s resident judge (thank you, Arnold L. Alvarez, for entrusting me with the responsibility) in all categories, started last February18 at the Waterfront Insular Hotel with 64 ladies trying their luck for the beauty pageant. 29 were chosen from the group. This 29 chosen ones had their photo shoot last February 25 at the Malagos Garden Resort of the Puentespina family. This was followed by a closed-door interview last March 1 at the City Hall Training Center with another set of judges. The talent night was held last March 10 at the NCCC Mall; followed by the pre-finals night where the Best in Long Gown candidate was named at the Abreeza Ayala Mall of Davao.

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29 candidates for Mutya ng Davao 2017

     It didn’t take long for the KC Montero and his co-emcees to announce the top 15 candidates next who were each asked questions by the judges. Then the candidates were narrowed down to 10 then to the Top 5.

     “The Mutya ng Davao shall represent an empowered, progressive and active Davaoena. She must be strong-willed, outspoken yet charming, confident yet humble, and whose intelligence and skills are dedicated to community building and development. This year, the Mutya ng Davao 2017 will perform more relevant functions than just gracing mere ribbon cutting events,” City Tourism Officer Gene Rose Tecson told me. “Our Mutya ng Davao will officially represent the City in various special events to be held in Davao City or elsewhere. During her reign, she must attend official, social and cultural functions of the City.”

     The Top 5 candidates, who appeared on stage in immaculate white Philippine ternos of varying designs, were judged based on wit & intelligence (60%) and Beauty of face and figure (40%). Only one question was asked for the Top 5 candidates to answer which went like “What would make the winning Mutya ng Davao 2017 give up her crown for? It was a battle of wit and confidence during the nerve-wracking stage interview.

     Candidate number nine, Reina Maravillas Kobayashi, a second year college student taking up Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering at the Ateneo de Davao University, answered confidently and articulately that nothing would make her give up her crown and the various responsibilities that go with winning the Mutya ng Davao title. She also mentioned her advocacy on the proper raising of children. “Parents should be armed with the proper guidance to help raise happy and responsible children that become ideal citizens and lead the country to peace and prosperity. We all know that it is parental neglect that leads a child to go astray,” explained Kobayashi of her advocacy.

     The bright, pretty and articulate Fil-Jap mestiza, Reina M. Kobayashi, was consequently crowned Mutya ng Davao 2017 that evening with the members of her court comprised of Carly Jane L. Chua (Diwa ng Davao), Geanne Claire M. Lu (Sinag ng Davao), Marjorie O. Omido (Pag-asa ng Davao) and Angelique Stephanie P. Pasion (Patnubay ng Davao).

     Here’s wishing the Mutya ng Davao 2017 and her court good luck. Thank you, Arnold L. Alvarez, for inviting me.

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