Mutia ti La Union returns after pandemic hiatus
CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, La Union — The last time the Mutia ti La Union pageant was held was in March 2020, when several countries were scrambling with restrictions to curb the spread of COVID-19, and with several infections recorded among Filipinos. But now, three years after crowning its last queen, the competition returns, albeit much later than several other provincial contests.
“Well, we are slowly rising from the effects of the pandemic. We can see that with the collective effort, everyone has been vaccinated. So, evidently, it’s much safer for everyone to gather for events,” La Union Gov. Raphaelle Veronica Ortega-David told the Inquirer at the sidelines of the pageant’s pre-coronation activity held at the Agora Event Center of Thunderbird Resorts Poro Point in the City of San Fernando on Feb. 26.
The candidates representing all the 20 towns and cities in the province performed in the preliminary talent competition that took place during the event, and paraded in “casual chic” outfits using the indigenous “Abel Iloko” fabric.
The 25-year-old public official said the provincial government also decided to bring back the festivities for the people’s well-being. “Everyone’s mental health has been affected during the pandemic. That is why we want to bring this back, because this will bring joy to the people,” she explained.
This year, the provincial government laid out a month-long celebration to mark its 173rd founding anniversary. “We’re coming back with a bang, because it’s not just only during March 2, La Union Day itself, that we’ll have festivities. We also planned it to be a month-long activity po. We kicked it off yesterday with our agritourism trade fair showcasing all 20 LGUs, and the highlight will be the Mutia ti La Union 2023,” David shared.
If in the previous competition the pageant highlighted the province’s vision to be “The Heart of Agritourism in Northern Luzon by 2025,” this year’s contest will focus on environmental preservation and sustainability. “Now more than ever, I believe, as part of the youth, that if we’re not going to take care of the environment now, we’ll all be in trouble in the future,” said the Gen-Z public official.
That is why she is hoping that the people will eventually learn through the pageant that the provincial government is serious in its advocacy. “More than showcasing the beauty, brains, and talent of our candidates, hopefully they may also showcase their advocacies, and their purpose, so our provincemates will be inspired, for our communities to do more for the province, more for the planet,” David said.
The results of the preliminary competition held on Feb. 26 will be known at the coronation program. The talent competition was judged based on the following criteria: overall performance (50 percent), creativity/originality (20 percent), stage appearance/personality (20 percent), and entertainment value/audience response (10 percent).
The candidates were also judged for the “Mutia Fashion Runway” title during the Abel Iloko fashion show segment. The criteria were stage presence/confidence (25 percent), projection/fierceness (25 percent), bearing of the outfit/appearance (25 percent), and overall look of the outfit/presentation (25 percent). A winning designer of an Abel Iloko fashion look will also be proclaimed during the finals.
The 2023 Mutia ti La Union coronation night will be held at the Poro Point Baywalk in the City of San Fernando on March 2. Kapamilya personality Robi Domingo and 2020 Miss Grand International first runner-up Samantha Bernardo will host the ceremonies. EDV
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