Reyna ng Davao 2024 champions advocacy, inclusivity

Reyna ng Davao 2024, Rianne Calsa from Barangay Panacan.
Reyna ng Davao 2024, Rianne Calsa from Barangay Panacan.Davao CTOO (left), Claire Agcambot/SunStar Photo (right)

PAGEANTS today go beyond traditional notions of beauty and intelligence; they serve as powerful platforms for advocacy and raising awareness. In this era, the pageant world has embraced inclusivity across diverse forms of beauty, ages, sizes, and genders.

Recently crowned as Reyna ng Davao 2024, Rianne Calsa from Barangay Panacan, a fourth-year Political Science student at Ateneo de Davao University, faced the challenge of balancing her studies with her advocacy for LGBTQ+ rights throughout the competition.

Despite juggling OJT commitments with rehearsals and appearances, Rianne remained dedicated to her cause, emphasizing that advocacy transcends competition outcomes. 

Her focus during the coronation was not just on winning, but on amplifying the voices of the LGBTQ+ community and fostering inclusivity.

With the crown, Rianne aims to continue her work by improving healthcare access for LGBTQ+ individuals and advocating for legislative change, starting with the SOGIE Equality Bill in Davao City. Her vision as Reyna ng Davao centers on creating safe spaces and promoting social inclusivity.

“My first step will be to urge the Sangguniang Panglungsod to grant an ordinance aligned with the SOGIE Equality Bill. I hope that by implementing it in Davao, neighboring cities will follow suit, and eventually, it will reach Congress to draft a comprehensive bill for SOGIE equality,” she said.

During the final round of Reyna ng Davao 2024, Rianne faced a decisive question on how she would create a safe and inclusive space for the LGBTQ+ community as Reyna ng Davao. Her response was a pledge to honor the legacy of LGBTQ+ trailblazers, emphasizing the collective goal of promoting social inclusivity and advancing equality.

"This is what I would love to do as Reyna ng Davao: to influence everyone to revitalize themselves and to re-echo the voice that we need to take up space. We are living in a democratic country, and it is our right to voice out our individual concerns. If given the chance to be the Reyna ng Davao, I would love to take the first leap,” Rianne said. 

Gwen Darwin from Barangay Cabantian, named Reyna ng Davao 2024 first runner-up.
Gwen Darwin from Barangay Cabantian, named Reyna ng Davao 2024 first runner-up.Claire Agcambot/SunStar Photo
Claire Agcambot/SunStar Photo
Dikko Morano from Barangay A. Angliongto Sr., named Reyna ng Davao 2024 second runner-up.

Joining Rianne in the winner's circle were Gwen Darwin from Barangay Cabantian, named first runner-up, and Dikko Morano from Barangay A. Angliongto Sr., who secured the second runner-up position at Reyna ng Davao 2024.

Jennifer Romero, officer-in-charge of the City Tourism Operations Office (CTOO), said that organizing Reyna ng Davao 2024 mirrors the approach used for Mutya ng Dabaw. The goal is to crown empowered winners who can effectively represent the city as tourism ambassadors.

Beyond physical appearance, candidates are selected based on their capacity to promote tourism initiatives and champion significant causes. 

The screening process emphasizes each contestant's advocacy, recognizing that their victory will empower them to further these important endeavors.

“In Davao City, despite our diversity, we embrace differences and showcase that we are a city where various opinions from different walks of life are welcomed but united. We hope that their voices will always be heard and they will be maximized because the LGBTQ+ community, known for its talented individuals, can also contribute their skills and talents to Davao City, which is invaluable. We celebrate individuality,” she added.

The Reyna ng Davao platform offers a significant opportunity for the government to empower LGBTQ+ members and their allies to celebrate their identity and highlight their contributions to the community.

Davao City is actively evolving and embracing modern ideals, demonstrating a genuine commitment to inclusivity across diverse beauty standards, body types, ages, and genders. This commitment reflects a strong stance on equality,  ensuring all individuals receive the recognition, respect, and love they deserve.

Community members, supporters, and allies are optimistic about future legislative advancements that will not only benefit them but also ensure equal opportunities, rights, and acknowledgment for everyone in society.  

SunStar Davao’s Duaw Davao Festival special coverage is in partnership with the Davao City Tourism Operations Office (CTOO) and sponsored by Santos Land Development Corporation, Converge, and Alsons Development. AJA


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