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Binibining Tagum:Beauty that can influence positive change

For Binibining Tagum aspirant Maria Victoria Chua, the heavy rains brought by the shearline were an agonizing experience, as their home and the rest of her community in Barangay Busaon was inundated due to the relentless downpour.

“The last flooding that happened, which I can clearly remember, was very alarming. It caused trauma. The floodwater level was very deep in our purok; it was thigh high, but in other puroks within our barangays, it was neck level, and some houses were wiped out,” Chua said.

“Our barangay is a catch basin for the flood waters, so if the other barangays get flooded, definitely Busaon will also be flooded,” Chua said of the reason why her community was affected by the recent flooding.

She stressed that if she wins the title of Binibining Tagum, she will advocate for the upkeep and improvement of the community’s drainage system, citing its importance in mitigating the effects of the flood.

For Chua and the other 22 candidates for this year’s Binibining Tagum, the title means more than just acting as ambassadors of goodwill but also as advocates of the various causes within their community and city.

“After this pageant, they will be working with us in tourism, particularly advocacies on the rise of teenage pregnancies, HIV-AIDS incidence, mental illness such as depression, and also the environment,” said Alma Uy, chairperson of the Tagum City Tourism Arts and Culture Council.

The candidates of Binibining Tagum represent the Tagum City's 23 barangays

Uy, the wife of Tagum City Mayor Rey T. Uy, said that based on data from the City Health Office, teenage pregnancy is on the rise in Tagum City.

Of the 23 barangays in Tagum City, the barangays of Bincungan, Libuganon, and Pandapan registered a 22 percent teen pregnancy rate, followed by the barangays of New Balamban and Pagsabangan with a 20 percent teenage pregnancy rate. These rates are higher than the teenage pregnancy rate of Davao Region at 17.9 percent, which is the highest teenage pregnancy rate among all the regions in the country.

Uy said the candidates can become influencers that can advocate for these issues in their respective communities.

She added that they can also help advocate for the city government’s project “Atiman,” which focuses on the psychological and mental needs of Tagumenyos, citing the rising incidents of suicide in the city.

According to Dr. Vivian Galang, executive committee member of Binibining Tagum, the candidates will be given advocacy through the Youth Development Department of the local government.

“We have them signed the contract prior to this event to assist us and to be present with us in the tourism council at all the festivals of the Tagum City Tourism Council,” Galang said.

These festivals, of which Tagum City has 11 this year, served as platforms for the different advocacies that the candidates are carrying in reaching out to the people.


Christine Mae Cortez of Barangay Madaum describes herself as a survivor of sexual harassment and is advocating for programs to address violence against women and children (VAWC).

“I want to be a role model for how I faced those challenges in my life. These challenges are not the reason for us to give up but as a motivation to live a new life,” Cotrtez said.

Gwen Stefanie Etang of Barangay Canocotan has been visiting several indigenous peoples (IP) communities as part of her advocacy in helping IP children across Mindanao. Her advocacy is education for women and indigenous peoples.

“I’ve been working in different IP communities all around Mindanao. What we do is basically give educational aid as well as resources that their families might need, like school supplies,” Etang said.

Another advocacy project in which the candidates participated is Tagum City’s Care for School Chairs project, where school chairs are created from confiscated illegal lumber and given to various schools across the country in need of chairs for learners.

“They had one day there nagtrabaho sila didto nag-liha, nagpintura dili lang sila pa-beauty-beauty; nagtrabaho pud sila didto in support for the project,” Galang said.

(They had one day there where they worked, sandpapered, and painted the chairs; they were not just there for the glamour, but they also worked there in support of the project.)

Binibining Tagum, formerly Mutya ng Tagum, is anchored on the theme “Daygon ang Diwa sa Dakbayan sa Panaguyon” (Celebrating the Spirit of City of Harmony), which is also the theme of the 26th anniversary of Tagum City.

Christine Mae Cortez, representing Barangay Madaum

“This is our city’s brand. The city of harmony is the brand of Tagum City. It aims to promote the essence of identity and concretize the programs related to the activities of the competition,” Galang said.

The search for Binibining Tagum will culminate on March 2 during the coronation night and is part of the major activities under the 26th anniversary of the cityhood of Tagum. (RGA/PIA Davao)

About the Author

Rudolph Ian Alama

Regional Editor

Region 11

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