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The First UNC Grand Mutya 2023

The Grand Pageant for a Grand Purpose with Grand Participation.

The Purpose

As we celebrate the great, grand, and glorious Diamond Jubilee of UNC, our 75th Foundation Anniversary, the search went on for the UNC Grand Mutya 2023, the first in 75 years. This is the Grand Pageant for a Grand Purpose with Grand Participation. The pageant is the first and one of a kind in UNC’s 75-year history - unique on its own and rare in itself, hence generating glamour with much buzz and hype for all the right reasons. UNC Grand Mutya 2023 is poised to build the UNCean brand of beauty and passion for a purpose that brings to life our motto: Not of School, But of Life.

UNC Grand Mutya 2023 is a competition for a cause, a race to help students through the Everybody Shares Project of UNC’s Scholarships and Grants Office, headed by its tireless Director, Ms. Maria Theresa Fajardo. With the student scholars being the recipient and beneficiaries of the pageant proceeds through ticket sales, we are even more expanding opportunities for all because, at UNC, everybody makes it. Gladly, the UNC community all rose to the challenge, answered the invitation, and heeded the call for this noble cause.

The Pageant

As we embrace UNC’s 75th Foundation Anniversary, UNC alumni and parents represented each UNC department in the first UNC Grand Mutya 2023. They displayed the UNCean spirit, showcased beauty and wit, exhibited style and substance, and demonstrated social advocacy which was integral to taking home the crown. The UNC community cheered for their department bets and rallied behind their candidates.

On February 14, 2023, at the iconic UNC Sports Palace, the UNC community witnessed the historic coronation of the first-ever UNC Grand Mutya 2023. We shall remember this to be one of the most beautiful moments celebrating the admirable Filipina, Bicolana, and UNCeana. This pageant proved that beauty could ignite solidarity and inspire communities through scholastic and social advocacies.

The Personalities: The Seven Gems

Our congratulations and admiration for our Seven Gems who bravely and beautifully exemplified the true UNCean spirit and displayed great sportsmanship: Ms. Catherine Joy Pascual-Moraña, Junior High School; Ms. Celine Salvador, Senior High School; Ms. Merjay Angelyn Ayab, Elementary; Ms. Trixie May Barberan, School of Graduate Studies; Ms. Melanie Goyena, College of Engineering and Architecture; Ms. Maria Rosario Pancho, College of Teacher Education; and Ms. Elizabeth Sta. Rosa, College of Business and Accountancy.

They stole the show, mesmerized the crowd, and paraded in one of the most popular venues for beauty pageants in Bicol, the iconic UNC Sports Palace. They captivated us with their character, charisma, and charm in the battle of wits and smarts during the question-and-answer portion. Through winsome walks and ways, admirable advocacies, and transformative tenets of community engagement, the UNC Diamond Jubilee Seven Gems charmed their way into the crowds and presented their worthy gifts fit for the Diamond University, UNC. The talented, Mr. Jao Ogarte, serenaded the Seven Gems of the UNC Grand Mutya 2023.

The first-ever UNC Grand Mutya 2023 shall embody the UNCean CORE values, which are manifested in beauty, personality, advocacy, and the department solidarity – the making of an epitome of a gem that is genuinely UNCean. Reigning supreme was the crowned first-ever UNC Grand Mutya 2023, Ms. Maria Rosario Pancho; 1st Runner Up, Ms. Catherine Joy Pascual-Moraña; and 2nd Runner Up, Ms. Celine Salvador. Special Awards presented in the pageant included: Best in Casual Wear, Best in Evening Gown, Miss Union Bank, Miss Cam Sur Viaje, Miss JCI Naga Cariñosa, Miss Photogenic, Miss Skin 911, Miss China Bank, Best in Production Number, Best in Advocacy, and People’s Choice.

Our Partners: The Judges and Sponsors

The stellar team of judges who joined our journey in our great, grand, and glorious Diamond Jubilee was tasked to bring out the best in our Seven Gems and select the brightest of them. Our gratitude to Ms. Johanna Pauline S. Perez - Chairperson of the Board of Judges, Mr. Glenn A. Altea, Ms. Maria Perpetua Kristine F. Okuszko, Ms. Angela M. Rebuquiao, and Hon. Ghiel G. Rosales.

This pageant for a purpose would not be possible without the commitment of our generous partner organizations and companies who helped us in the noble cause of expanding opportunities for all by raising funds for student scholarships. A most worthy intent and aspiration supported by Camsur Viaje, Skin 911, Kristine’s House of Fashion, Union Bank, China Bank, and JCI Naga Cariñosa.

The Pioneer Team

With the full support of UNC administration, headed by the University President Dr. Fay Lea Patria M. Lauraya, the Deans and Department Heads, and organizations of the alumni, parents, and students, this project took off piloted and pioneered by a dream team: Ms. Marianne Edna Gomez - Mutya 2023 chairperson, assisted by committee members Mr. Ernesto Gurnot Jr., Mr. Kenjie Jimenea, Ms. Ronde San Jose, Ms. Remedios Cuyo, Ms. Gloria Labuanan, Ms. Hazel Sapinosa, Mr. Arvin Sibulo, Ms. Beverly Tipones, Mr. Brian Nacianceno, Mr. Arturo Orante, Mr. Christian Malagueño, Mr. Noel Gutierrez, Ms. Marianne Consuelo, Ms. Czarina Arevalo, Mr. Emman Tejada, Engr. Christian Encila, and pageant host, Ms. Faye Natividad.


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