MANILA, Philippines—The Philippines again asserted its dominance in the Miss Tourism International pageant in Malaysia when Mutya ng Pilipinas Maria Angelica Pantaliano captured the Miss Tourism Metropolitan International crown in the global tilt’s 2022 edition staged in Sarawak on Nov. 25.
With her latest feat, Pantaliano now belongs to the long list of Filipino queens who received accolades in the Malaysia-based international competition, including five Mutya queens who brought home the main title—Peachy Manzano in 2000, the late Rizzini Alexis Gomez in 2012, Angeli Dione Gomez in 2013, Jannie Loudette Alipo-on in 2017 and Cyrille Payumo in 2019.
The Philippines remains to be the most successful country in the Miss Tourism International pageant, not only with its five top winners but also several other titleholders. Actress and host Aya Fernandez was proclaimed Dreamgirl of the Year International in 2018, while news anchor Barbie Salvador-Muhlach was crowned Miss Tourism Cosmopolitan International in 2010.
In the 2022 competition, Thailand’s Suphatra Kliangprom snagged the Miss Tourism International title. Venezuela’s Laura Zabaleta was crowned Miss Tourism Queen International, while Singapore’s Crystal Huang Ruojia was proclaimed Miss Tourism Global.
Alysa Cook from the United States was Miss Tourism Cosmopolitan International, Abigail Curd from New Zealand was Dreamgirl of the Year International and Phoebe Ong Yi Huui from Malaysia was Miss Southeast Asia Tourism Ambassadress.
Pantaliano also received the “Miss Photogenic” award earlier in the ceremonies.
Her Miss Tourism International pageant journey came as a surprise. A semifinalist in the last Mutya ng Pilipinas pageant, held in 2019, Pantaliano was appointed by the national pageant organization to represent the Philippines in Malaysia.
The Mutya ng Pilipinas pageant had just announced in August its call for applicants for its “comeback edition” this year after a two-year pandemic pause. But a Miss Tourism International representative had to be chosen right away. The national pageant organization had a shortlist of prospective candidates, and it decided to choose Pantaliano to carry the country’s colors on the international arena.
This year’s national competition will choose the country’s representative to next year’s edition of the Miss Tourism International pageant, along with several other titleholders—Mutya ng Pilipinas 2022, Mutya ng Pilipinas-World Top Model, and Mutya ng Pilipinas-Overseas Communities.
This year’s runners-up will also have their own titles—Mutya ng Pilipinas Luzon, Mutya ng Pilipinas Visayas and Mutya ng Pilipinas Mindanao.
The 2022 Mutya ng Pilipinas coronation night will be staged at the FilOil EcoOil Center in San Juan City on Dec. 4. /ra