Crowning a new Mutya ng Davao

“.....It’s only here in Davao City that, in one day, that you can experience the beauty of nature from highlands to islands. We got it here…..From mountain park to white sand beaches, what else are you looking for?...........I believe us, the Dabawenyos, are living close to perfection”. Marianne Mae Te (excerpt)

And so she took home the coveted crown.

SunStar Davao's story:

Thursday, March 15, 2012

DAVAO CITY -- A 21-year-old print model who dreams of having her own restaurant and hotel was crowned as Mutya ng Dabaw 2012 Wednesday night.

Marianne Mae Te or Yannie, who was an early crowd favorite, bested four other candidates to bag the crown. She is an AB Hotel and Restaurant Management graduate of the Philippine Women's College.

Te, in her answer to the final question asked by Brigadier General Benito Antonio T. De Leon of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, said living in Davao is close to perfection as it is the only place that offers the beauty and bounty of the highlands and the islands.

DAVAO. Mutya ng Dabaw 2012 Marianne Mae Te (center) and her court. (King Rodriguez)

Two registered nurse, Dorothy Maruel Ibanez of Lanang and Jhoanna Myles Te of Bajada, were crowned Diwa ng Davao (first runner-up) and Sinag ng Dabaw (second runner-up), respectively.

Maria Theresa Tan of Ulas, an AB Communication Arts graduate from the University of Immaculate Conception, is the third runner-up or the Pag-asa ng Dabaw, while Ateneo de Davao University law student Jazzel Therese Gomez was fourth runner-up.

Te is also Miss AirPhil Express. The title gives her the opportunity to travel to one destination in the world.

Sun.Star website, Sun.Star Davao and Smart covered the Mutya ng Dabaw Coronation Night live from the Davao City Recreational Center or the Almendras Gym. A replay of the show is available at Sun.Star's Araw ng Dabaw microsite at

Each of the contestants has advocacies to pursue. Te, who comes from a family of culinary experts, "aims to use her culinary experience in teaching culinary entrepreneurship to unemployed women. One of her plans is to organize a livelihood project wherein she will teach stay-at-home moms to whip up recipes that they can sell."

Ibanez, who tripped on her gown during the long gown show, chose children with special needs as her advocacy, having grown up with a brother who has Down Syndrome.

For Ibanez, "kung ang kabataan ay ang pag-asa ng bayan, ang kabataang may kapansanan ay ang inspirasyon ng bayan."

Te's casual interview with 37th Metro Manila Film Festival Best Actor Dingdong Dantes garnered the loudest applause and cheer. She was asked how to end a dinner with a person she wants to cook for. She said a spectacular dinner with a special person can be ended with a quick kiss in the cheek, and Dantes just gave her one.

Ibanez’s casual interview with the actor also captured the crowd's glee. She likes photography, and when she was asked who will be his perfect subject, she said: "Pwede ikaw?" and the crowd started cheering.

Ibanez said she would also love to take a picture of the People's Park for it is very meaningful to Dabawenyos.

The five winners bested seven semifinalists who joined this year's Mutya ng Dabaw. (MVG/Sunnex)