Hemilyn Escudero-Tamayo was appointed last Thursday as the newest president of the Mutya ng Pilipinas beauty contest, one of the most enduring and prestigious local pageants in the country.
Tamayo took the post from Jacqueline Tan, who would now be president of the Miss Asia-Pacific International contest. Tan held the “Mutya” post for five years.
The announcement was made during the press presentation of the Mutya ng Pilipinas 2017 beauty pageant held at a hotel in Pasay City.
An emotional Tamayo, who has been with Mutya ng Pilipinas for 12 years now, vowed to take the pageant to the next level. Mutya ng Pilipinas is now on its 49th year.
“I’ve witnessed the struggles of Mutya ng Pilipinas. Many may not know it but there was a time that the pageant was really nearing its end. But with the help of the past administration, we made it! Salamat po sa lahat ng sumusuporta sa Mutya ng Pilipinas,” said Tamayo in her acceptance speech.
Roberto de Venecia, former president of Mutya ng Pilipinas from 2001 to 2011, lauded Tamayo for her passion for and commitment to the pageant.
“She has the passion for it. But I think she has to be cost-conscious. She has to maintain her relationship with the media and more important, take care of the sponsors no matter how small they are,” de Venecia said.
“She has to make sure that the ‘Mutya’ system is properly adopted because that is our vehicle to win an international crown. She should have a very good operating team,” De Venecia added. “She has to be very selective with their plans and programs.”
Hemilyn is the daughter of former Casiguran, Sorsogon City Mayor Dr. Oscar Escudero. She is married to Philippine Air Force Major Richard Antonio Tamayo, whose family owns the University of Perpetual Help DALTA Medical Center. They have two children.
She took up financial management in Texas, USA and is a product of Charlston School of Protocol and Etiquette and Fashion Image Institute in San Francisco. She is the founder of Total Image Inc., an image consultant agency.
Hemilyn, a relative of Senator Chiz Escudero, is a popular figure in the pageant industry long before she got married.
In 2014, she represented the Philippines at the Mrs. Universe pageant held in Malaysia.
Prior to this, she competed in several pageants abroad, appeared on print and television commercials and has done TV hosting.
The Mutya ng Pilipinas 2017 pageant also kicked off with the special award for “Darling of the Press.”
Ilene Astrid de Vera of Cebu was voted Darling of the Press. First runner-up was Jannie Laudette-Alipo-on of Navotas and Colleen Chan of Iloilo, second runner-up.
Thirty candidates are competing in this year’s pageant which advocates “beauty tourism.” Titles at stake are Mutya ng Pilipinas-Asia Pacific International, Mutya ng Pilipinas-Tourism International 2017 and Mutya ng Pilipinas-Overseas Communities 2017.
The grand coronation night of the pageant is set on Aug. 4 at the Newport Performing Arts Theater Resorts World Manila in Pasay City.
This year’s official candidates are Darlene May Reyes, Chella Grace Falconer, Cristelle Ann Tolentino, Kristine Eiriel Nolasco, Crystal Rosehelly Alday, Pamela Bianca Villacorte, Jaila Eunice Ragindin, Jesas Wada, Arianne Deseree Viardo, Sofia Marie Sibug, Shaina Micaella Bello, Alyssa Joreen Reyes, Charlene Fontanilla, Hannah Khayle Iglesia, Abigail Jane Grigsby, Nicole Kristel Losloso, Ilene Astrid de Vera, Sandrianne Esquilona, Claire Yvonne Aznar, Savannah Mari Gankiewicz, Angela Carla Sandigan, Maxine Xanti Manalus, Louise Lian Enumerable, Stephanie Joy Pendon, Bertmari Ýr Bergmannsdottir, Colleen Chan, Jannie Loudette Alipo-on, Suzanne Perez, Rica Sey and Nicole Marie Deguilmo.