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Pelayo is 50th Mutya ng Dabaw

DAVAO CITY- Maria Isabel Pelayo became the 50th Mutya ng Dabaw after she bested 29 other semifinalists during the pageant’s grand coronation night held on March 17 at the USEP (University of Southeastern Philippines) Gymnasium.

The 23-year-old lass from Barangay Indangan became the first Mutya winner after 2019. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic the pageant went into hiatus after 3 years.

During the ambush interview shortly after winning the crown, “Mura lang kog nagdamgo (It felt like a dream), I wasn’t able to grasp what was happening it’s just, oh my God it is happening,” Pelayo said.

Now that reality has settled in, Pelayo said she is all set on to carry the responsibilities of being the Mutya ng Dabaw.

“First and foremost is to do well in this reign, this is short but I want to achieve a lot,” Pelayo said.

Pelayo who is a front desk officer of Acacia Hotel said her work experience in the hotel brings awareness to helping promote Davao City.

“I’m already aware of how the hospitality industry works and that’s really an important thing when it comes to tourism because you have to understand how the guests would want to be treated, that is how we should think of that there is something to see here, that there is beauty and this is really where life is here,” Pelayo said.

During the coronation Joanna Marie Franken was chosen as Diwa ng Dabaw, Jamyla Diane Ampis as Sinag ng Dabaw, Dulce Amor Lumictin won as Pag-asa ng Dabaw, and Piligrina Jendy Bentayao was selected as the Patnubay ng Dabaw.

First held in 1969 the Mutya ng Dabaw is more than a beauty contest and as defined by then Davao City Mayor Elias Lopez who started the pageant; “it is the search for the symbol of our hopes and aspirations as Dabawenyos, represented by the beauty and character of our ideal woman.”

Held annually as part of the Araw ng Dabaw celebrations, the Mutya ng Dabaw pageant  was interrupted several times, In 1991 the pageant was halted during the oil crisis caused by the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait and then the hiatus from 2020 to 2022. (PIA/RG Alama)

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Rudolph Ian Alama

Regional Editor

Region 11

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