Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Miss Supranational Mutya Datul’s journey to victory

MANILA, Philippines - Miss Supranational 2013 Mutya Johanna Datul is seen during a press conference in Quezon City, northeast of Manila, on 09 September 2013, upon her arrival from Minsk, Belarus. (Voltaire Domingo/NPPA IMAGES)

mutya Johanna Datul, the first Filipina and the first Asian to bag the Miss Supranational crown, has not lost her humility.

The first word she uttered when she met the press who waited for her at the Gloria Maris Banquet Hall in Gateway Mall was “sorry.”

Members of media were told that Mutya’s victory presscon was scheduled at 5:30 p.m. But the Bb. Pilipinas’ PR officer later said it was moved to sometime after 8 p.m. because “Mutya’s flight will be delayed.”

“Sorry naghintay kayo ng matagal,” Mutya said. Hindi ninyo  alam ang pingdaanaan ko. I  missed my flight. Hindi ito first time na na-experience ko. First time ko mag-travel abroad.”

Disarming honesty
Her honesty was disarming. Mutya was not ashamed to admit  she was at a loss when she reached Hong Kong on her way to Moscow (the pageant was held in Belarus, a country in Eastern Europe, near Russia).

“Sobrang challenging ang pagpunta ko ng Moscow. Nag-stop ako sa Hong Kong. Hindi ko alam ang gagawin. Hindi ko alam kung sino ang kakausapin ko, Feeling ko hindi na ako makakapunta ng Belarus.”

So she did what her Bb. Pilipinas mentors taught her. She asked around.

“Mabuti  na lang na hindi mawawala ang mga taong tutulong sa ‘yo. Hindi ako nahiyang magtanong.  Ang advice sa kin is “It’s better to ask an ask kesa mawala ka.”

Result: Mutya didn’t get lost.  But she missed her flight to Moscow.
Unfazed, she focused on bringing home the crown and nothing else. 
Ultimate dream
Mutya didn’t bat an eyelash when she told the panel of interviewers a day before the pageant,  “I want to become Miss Supranational. This is my ultimate dream. I want to become an ambassadress. I want to become a good example and be an inspiration to many. I promise to do my best, to pour my heart into it so I can do all my responsibilities as Miss Supranational.”

Compared to her four fellow finalists, Mutya’s answer was brief and to-the-point.

“Yung apat, para silang newscasters. They explained too much. Inantok ako sa sinabi nila. “And she felt the judges in the closed-door interview empathized with her.  

Mutya made them sit up and notice with her energetic greeting “Mabuhay!”  She endeared herself to them by introducing herself in  well-rehearsed Russian.

During the swimsuit portion, Mutya again made sure the judges won’t forget her. She narrated how she turned her head before making an exit “para malaman ng tao na ako dapat.”

Everybody became her friends, especially fellow Pinays, Miss Norway Marie Molo Peter and Miss Canada Suzette Aquino (they’re half-Filipinos).

Mutya recalls speaking to them in Tagalog and treating them as close  friends, not competitors.

No wonder so many people shouted “Philippines, Philippines,” when Mutya was proclaimed winner.

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