ANOTHER history has been written.
The clamor of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community for social inclusion was somehow realized with the staging of the Reyna Davaoeña 2019, the first ever pageant for transgender women, in line with celebration of 82nd Araw ng Davao.
On March 8, the Davao City Recreational Center (DCRC) was filled with loud cheers and applause as the 30 stunning candidates of Reyna Dabawenya emerged from the stage for their production number. Supporters, mostly coming from the Rainbow community shouted their bets and proudly raised the banner of the LGBT.
From 30, they were trimmed down to 15. Each of the candidates, who exudes confidence and poised, shared their advocacies during their advocacy speech which mostly evolved on raising awareness on anti-discrimination against the LGBT, pushing for Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and Expression “SOGIE” Equality bill, education, and HIV awareness, among others.
Awards were handed out in the middle of the pageant. Miss Photogenic was awarded Reyna Marilog Princess G. Bermas; Best in Talent went to Reyna Panacan Ariana Nicole F. Aguitong; Miss Congeniality was Reyna Talomo Sarah G. Ronquillo; Best in Creative Wear was Reyna S.I.R Sandawa Angel D. Gomera; and Reyna Calinan Rojean M. Buhian bagged the Best in Mindanoan Inspired and Best in Evening Gown.
Candidates were cut down from Top 15, to Top 5, and then the Top 3 were selected. Judges underwent a hard decision because the Reynas were equally deserving to win but at the end of the coronation night, Reyna Calinan Rojean M. Buhian was hailed as the first ever Reyna Davaoeña 2019 while Reyna Catalunan Grande Jeysyn Ramos emerged as first runner up and Reyna Toril Anne M. Fernandez as second runner up.
During the final question and answer portion, Reyna Calinan was asked, “As a transwoman, what for you is the single biggest issue the LGBTQ community faces and how do you think it should be addressed?”
“I think, the biggest issue is discrimination. That is very true, but not discrimination towards the single or the straight community but discrimination to the LGBTQ community itself. We always say, ‘Stop discrimination', stop critizing' but we, as part of the LGBT, we also criticize our brothers and sisters in our community. I think it should be addressed and of course we need to remember that each one of us has own diversity and diversity is really beautiful. I proudly say to all of you that transgender women are the real unicorns - our ability to strive, to drive, to claim our space of worth is a lesson and enlightenment,” Buhian said.
The 20-year-old beauty titlist is a first year Secondary Education Major in English student at Rizal Memorial College. Her advocacy is on anti-bullying.
Buhian took home a cash prize of P200,000 while the first runner-up bagged P150,000. The second runner-up on the other hand got P100,000 cash prize and consolation prizes were also be given to non-winners.
Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio showed her support to the LGBT by gracing the coronation. The Mayor has been active in promoting the rights of the LGBT as part of the society. During her state of the city address in September 12, 2017, she promised to recognize them in every activity that the city will organize.
“The City Government of Davao promotes inclusiveness and shall see to it that our LGBT community is always represented in our events and in the implementation of programs. We shall also continually address their concerns and direct our efforts to giving them equal opportunities and eliminating discrimination,” the mayor said in her speech.