Beauty Personified-A A +A
My Palm Notes
Wednesday, August 15, 2012
BEAUTY is in the eye of the beholder.
My beloved late mother would always quote this when we were younger. I continue to prove that each day as I get older.
Few nights ago, I have seen beauty personified once again.
It was actually in a literal beauty pageant – the 2012 Mutya Ng Pilipinas shown over one national television network.
During the Coronation Night of the annual beauty tilt, Pampanga has had three lovely candidates who all emerged as winners. The main title went to Porac lass Camille Guevarra. Runner up was the super model-type Emma Tiglao from Mabalacat City (although she represented Central Luzon in general), and Charmaine Guinto, also from the newly converted town.
The latter may not have made it in the last group of finalists but she is always a winner to us as she made us proud by making it to the cast of final 30 candidates who were taken from a pool of over a hundred hopefuls, both here and abroad.
During that night, we did not only see Pampanga as a mina linda delas mujeres (land of beautiful ladies, that’s where Minalin town got its name for a trivia), we also saw many beauties, particularly about Mabalacat.
For one, we saw the beauty of the northernmost Pampanga town as producers projected it in the most significant manner. From the very opening production number, Mabalacat City was given its due distinction as the newest city in the Philippines.
Through voice-over narrations, dance numbers featuring Caragan and cityhood dances and steps (especially prepared during the campaign period) and visuals (still pictures and videos), Mabalacat City was given highlight in the more than two-hour beauty extravaganza on national television.
Mabalacat City, in short, had precious minutes of national TV exposure in a widely- and perennially-followed beauty tilt. As far as I could remember (blame jetlag there if I missed out some portions), scenes from the new municipal err, city hall (pardon the force of habit) in Barangay Tabun, Nayong Pilipino inside Clark (about 90 percent of the Freeport is within the territorial boundary of the city) and few other sites were shown in some pre-taped segments of the show.
Highlights from the town included featurette of Fiesta Communities of Hausland Development Corporation. Officials of this company took cognizance of Mabalacat’s media mileage, that is why they did not have second thoughts in extending financial support to the beauty tilt.
I even heard that Mr. Willy Tan doubled the original amount committed as Fiesta Communities served as a major sponsor to the long gown competitions. Mayor Boking’s phone call to him did wonders and he was not let down. Hausland officers and staff led by Mike and Patrick Tan were also very accommodating and cooperative in the coordination meetings.
By the way, I don’t think that the Tans of Hausland and the Tans that now own the rights to Mutya Ng Pilipinas are related at all. Pure coincidence there.
The candidates also planted trees at Fiesta Communities Tabun as part of the company’s advocacy for environment protection.
During the show itself, officials of Mabalacat City were recognized by the program hosts, particularly June Magbalot where the camera took a live shot of him watching from the audience. The silent and effective worker that he always is, Magbalot could only be surprised if not ashamed of the recognition as he would have wanted his boss Mayor Marino Morales to have been given that one or two second limelight if he were around in the auditorium.
I would say that’s where another beauty comes in. The beauty of friendship and cooperation where Magbalot’s triple As (amiability, affinity, affection) with beauty experts and patrons was manifested. He is a friend of fashion designer Renee Salud who was behind the success of the pageant.
The fashion icon is a habitué of Miss Mabalacat pageant nights where he had served as one of the judges in the last few years. Now, I am not saying that their friendship did the other candidates out from the top finals spots. Not at all. If that were the case, there should have been a switch of ranking between Guevarra and Tiglao.
Magbalot is a known benefactor of beauty pageants. He has long been the prime mover and organizer of the annual search for Miss and Mister Mabalacat. He, in fact, is the subject of envy by other town and city officials insofar as organizing beauty pageants and even cultural shows like the Caragan Festival.
Another beauty that was seen during that night was the talent of dancers from Mabalacat City.
Young, skillful, creative talents of Mabalacat Performing Arts (MPA) were part of the production numbers especially the opening number where they showed off their gracefulness to the tune of regional songs like Maring Mareng (migising ka at manyangle), a Kapampangan folk song.
This is the second time that MPA dancers appeared on a national beauty pageant. They have had two appearances in previous stagings of Binibining Pilipinas. MPA talents have also been long under the ward of Magbalot. Some of them he sends to school on his personal money.
For the Mutya appearance, Magbalot could only be so thankful to his long-time sidekick Ermie Dizon and Verna Maristela (and the rest of staff) for taking the cudgels, not only for the dances but also for the entire segment that took place from Mabalacat City. They did well, no doubt about it.
THANK YOU. This writer would like to thank the following who served as our hosts. They made our visit and stay more than convenient and memorable. Lourdes and Rudy Victoria, Rhoda and Will Valencia, Joycel Gozun, Cecil and Eduard Buenaventura, Angelito Angeles, Alex Gomez, The Anunciacions (Elwood, Bert, Racquel and hubby, and their Mom), Jean and Sol Uylengco and son Eugene.
Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on August 15, 2012.