IBAJAY, Aklan -- A university professor and researcher of the Aklan State University (ASU)-Ibajay Campus believes that the morale of Aetas was boosted after South Africa's Zozibini Tunizi was announced as Miss Universe 2019.
Miss South Africa was crowned on Monday, December 9 (Philippine time), during the Miss Universe 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia.
Dr. Sharon Concepcion, chair teacher of the Education Department of ASU, said she underwent intensive research on the life of the Aetas in the provinces of Aklan and Zambales.
"The Aetas, some of which watch on television sets in their homes, saw how Tunizi was crowned as Miss Universe," Concepcion said.
She added that the Aetas saw Tunizi as their look-alike in terms of skin color and curly hair, and this has boosted their self-confidence.
Aeta communities can be found in the towns of Malay, Ibajay, Numancia and Altavas, as well as in Boracay Island.
"Because of this, I will not be surprised if they become competitive in different competitions such as the local beauty pageant, sports or athletics," Concepcion said.
In the past, a group of Aetas competed in the dragon boat paddling race in Boracay.
Aetas in the province are also largely famous for their annual holding of the ati-atihan festival in different towns. They also displayed their talents in different events such as singing and dancing. (SunStar Philippines)