DAVAO CITY―The 28 candidates for the Mutya ng Davao pageant showed their poise and wit during the first round of elimination conducted at the SM Annex Monday afternoon.
From current events to questions often asked during beauty pageants, the candidates exuded beauty and confidence, and proved they are Dabawenyas who are intelligent and unafraid to express their opinions and make their voices be heard.
At least four candidates, who hold online jobs, said they will use their platform to disprove information that Davao City is a dangerous place. Critics have claimed the city has the highest criminality rate in the country. They committed to promote Davao as a peaceful and safe place to live in.
Some see social media as a powerful tool to deliver truthful information, market Davao as an eco-tourism destination, and even to defend the campaign of President Rodrigo Duterte against illegal drugs.
The candidates speak on a wide range of advocacies ― from environmental preservation and protection, promoting rights of mentally challenged individuals, persons with disabilities, healthcare, and rights of the indigenous peoples.
A few of them are Mutya ng Davao repeaters. This time, however, they returned more physically and emotionally prepared and the determination to take home the crown.
Most of the candidates are beauty title holders in local pageants. They see the search for Mutya ng Dabaw as a springboard for more opportunities, establish connections, or as a venue to make a perfect call to solve social issues like poverty.
The candidates were judged according to the content of their answers (70 percent) and communication and confidence (30 percent).
Dan Salvaña, the event organizer of this year’s Mutya, said the 28 candidates were chosen from the 69 applicants who presented themselves during the pre-screening stage.
On March 7, Salvaña said the 15 semi-finalists will be announced at the pageant event at the Abreeza Mall.
On March 13, the candidates will showcase their talents at the Gaisano Mall. The coronation night is on March 15 at the RMC Gym.
A total of P300,000 in prizes are up for grabs for the candidates. The winning candidate will receive P100,000 cash prize.