Beauty pageant caps closing of Maguindanao Sagayan revelry PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 16 February 2014 16:58

An 18-year-old contestant from the historic town of Sultan Kudarat bagged the “Palamata sa Maguindanao” in a beauty pageant that preceded Friday’s closing of the 14-day Sagayan Festival in the province.
The palamata contest is equivalent to the provincial, city, or municipal “mutya” beauty contests in areas outside of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.
Brenalyn Cuevas, who hails from Sultan Kudarat town in the first district of the province, was voted as this year’s main palamata beauty queen.
Sultan Kudarat is an old historic town named after a legendary 16th Moro chieftain, Sultan Kudarat, who fought the Spaniards for about 50 years.
The municipality is also host to Camp Darapanan, the main bastion of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, where members of the group’s central committee holds office.
Next to Cuevas in the 2014 palamata line up is first runner up Sarah Mae Hadji Daud, 18, Maleiha Panalunsong, 21, and Rizabeth Agutaya, as second and third placers, respectively.
Maguindanao Gov. Esmael “Toto” Mangudadatu led local officials in presenting the four palamatas to guests and participants to the closing program of the Sagayan Festival in Buluan town.
The Sagayan Festival, pioneered by Mangudadatu three years ago, is now a yearly event, already institutionalized via a resolution promulgated last December 2013 by the provincial board, chaired by Vice Gov. Lester Sinsuat.
The yearly event showcases the cultures and traditions of ethnic Maguindanaon, Iranon, and non-Moro highland communities in the province, which has 36 towns, where the MILF has dozens of government-recognized enclaves.
Mangudadatu said this year’s Sagayan Festival was partly a form of “kanduli,” which means thanksgiving in the Maguindanaon dialect, in celebration of the recent breakthroughs in the GPH-MILF talks.
The governor also facilitated the dispersal of 40,000 rubber tree seedlings, as part of the Sagayan Festival’s closing ceremony, to the local government units of Maguindanao’s hinterland South Upi and North Upi towns, and LGUs in the Iranon areas of the province.