Mutya ng Ibalong: Are Daraguenas the fairest of them all?

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LEGAZPI CITY- It’s all happening with noticeable regularity and all too familiar results. Another lass from Daraga out of the 101 towns and 7 cities in the Bicol region, emerged as this year’s Mutya ng Ibalong as candidate no. 18- Patrixia Sherly De Lumban Santos stamped her beauty, talent and class over a field of 20 candidates to win the coveted crown. It must be remembered that in April and September this year, Miss Melody Adelheid Gerbasch, another Daraguena, won the prestigious Mutya ng Magayon and Miss Bicolandia pageants. Daraga, which is composed of 54 barangays, has retained its reputation of being the most progressive town not only in the province of Albay but in the whole of the Bicol Region. For decades it has enjoyed the air of progress, being a long time first class municipality in the province.

Patrixia pocketed the top prize of P100,000 aside from winning the Miss Photogenic and Miss Talent awards during the Coronation Night held last October 29, 2008 at the air-conditioned Albay Astrodome in Legazpi City. Candidate no. 15- Dianne Samar Necio from Polangui, Albay was the first runner-up and won P75,000 aside from being named as “Model of the Year”. Meanwhile candidate no. 8- Catherine Dominique Lagrimas of Nabua, Camarines Sur was the 2nd runner-up and came home P50,000 richer. Patrixia garnered an average score of 94.24%, Dianne got 93.34% and Catherine averaged 89.90%. Patrixia who admitted she’s an Anime fanatic is also the reigning Miss BU and won as Miss Cagsawa in the Mutya ng Daraga Pageant held last September. On the other hand, Dianne was a runner-up in the Miss Bicolandia 2007 aside from being a majorette of USANT which won the overall championship in this year’s Penafrancia Military Parade.

Candidate no. 19- Jane Riel Banares was the Best in Long Gown while candidate no. 5- April Armamento Santillan was voted as Miss Friendship and won as Best in Swimwear. Aside from the 5 aforementioned candidates, those who made it to the finals were candidate no. 7- Lizi Louise Resoles, candidate no. 13- Sarah Syed, candidate no. 16- Kelly Obligacion, candidate no.17- Ma. Rochelle Perez and candidate no. 20- Ma. Rochell Ruth Rebeta.

The pageant was different and unique in more ways than one. In a departure from the usual format, the 10 candidates who did not make it to the finals were the ones who asked the finalists the questions in the dreaded Q&A portion. Also, the mothers and guardians of the candidates became more than just background supporters as they were thrust in the limelight and were asked questions themselves by the three emcees that are stars in their own rights. Paolo Bediones is a well-known talent of Network giant GMA and hosts the popular Survivor Philippines series. Tintin Caballero was the Mutya ng Pilipinas 2002 while Jean Harn was the Miss Earth Philippines 2007.

The Pageant was truly a night to remember filled with great music. Jonathan Badon, known as the Philippine Prince of Operatic Pop sung Josh Groban’s “You raise me up” accompanied by virtuoso violin playing that seems to emanate from heaven and followed this up with Pavarotti songs sung in Italian that only artists of his caliber can deliver. Even the candidates were dancing and swaying to the beat of the music and the sizable crowd was ecstatic. The lighting was sufficient and appreciated by the photographers who were able to take magnificent images in available light. The gigantic LCD background was new and creative and beautifully complements the action onstage. We credit this to the genius and great partnership of Renee M. Salud, the Project Director and Mutya ng Ibalong Chairperson Geraldine B. Rosal who were not afraid to innovate and do what is necessary to make the Mutya ng Ibalong Pageant memorable and worthy of being considered as one of the leading pageants in the whole of Bicolandia.

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