MANILA, Philippines – After 3 years, Cory Quirino returns to the pageant scene – this time as the president of the Mutya ng Pilipinas pageant.
The TV host and wellness advocate was formally introduced on Wednesday, March 27 after news came out she will be taking over the franchise. (READ: Cory Quirino is new president of Mutya ng Pilipinas pageant)
During the press conference, Quirino, who was once the national director of Miss World Philippines, explained that she was finally convinced to accept the position because of one mission she wasn't able to fulfill.
"My initial dream was very organic. It's really to look for that hometown girl. And I didn't realize that it was also the dream of Fred (Yuson, chairman of Mutya ng Pilipinas). It was also his biggest frustration."
Quirino said that she and the board want to strengthen the pageant's mission and widened the advocacy to give chance to other ladies in the barangays to become a beauty queen. Mutya's advocacy includes tourism.
"Let's look for that hometown girl. Let's give her the chance to be discovered and become not just a beauty queen, but also a TV star, movie star, newscaster. And with all our connections in the business world, she will have a promising career, wherever she would like to shine," Quirino said in a mix of English and Filipino.
Quirino said that while they will focus the search in the hometowns and barangays in the Philippines, the overseas candidates will also have a chance to compete.
"She still belongs to a hometown. Her roots belong to a hometown here. So just because she's physically separated from her motherland, it doesn't mean that she's not part of a hometown. her roots are still here."
"But you know me, my heart, my dream, my wish was really to give a chance to that young lady in a barangay who's saying to herself 'paano naman ako? (what about me?) How will I be discovered? Yun din ang aking layunin, ang aming layunin dito sa Mutya (That's my purpose, our purpose in Mutya)," she said.
To help Quirino with her search, she signed a memorandum of understanding with the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) through undersecretary for Barangay Affairs Martin Diño and the Liga ng mga Barangay (LnB), headed by Eden Pineda.
The search will be held across more than 42,000 barangays, through the help of the DILG and LnB.
Quirino said that aside from looking for the "hometown girl," they will also help out ladies who they believe will shine in the right time. They'll also be looking for bigger titles to add in the pageant.
Quirino wants the candidates of Mutya to be empowered women – who can take charge of their lives, their community, and the country. "We are developing model women, the modern Filipina more than anything else," she said.
The official search for Mutya ng Pilipinas will kick off in April. Pageant night is scheduled in August. – Rappler.com