Friday, August 13, 2010


There’s more than one road leading to an international pageant crown, so over a dozen young Filipino Americans tried travelling that path through the land of their roots, the Philippines.

A pair of 20-year-olds were chosen last week as the fairest of 'em all in the Fil-Am communities of Maryland, Virginia and Washington DC and earned the right to join the Mutya ng Pilipinas pageant in Manila next year.

Madison Elliott and Heather Corner won the top two spots of the Mutya ng Amerika contest in Baltimore.

Pageant organizer Mary Ann Herrera tells us it’s too late for them to join the Mutya ng Pilipinas pageant that’s already started in the Philippines.

“It wouldn’t be fair to them because there would be no time to prepare them. They will get tired trying to catch up,” she explained.

The East Coast will be represented this year by 19-year-old lass from New Jersey. They would join other Fil-Am beauties from Canada, Northern and Southern California, Hawaii and the Midwest, according to Herrera.

Madison and Heather are slated to represent for the first time next year the Fil-Am community in the Mid-Atlantic region, Herrera added.

“We’ll just wait for 2011,” she added.

The Mutya ng Pilipinas appears to be luring more Fil-Ams after one of them, Mirium Chui, bagged the crown in 2002. Three years later, an expat Filipino candidate from Italy won the title and there have been winners from Filipino communities in Germany, Norway and Canada.

The winner of the Mutya ng Pilipinas represents the country in the Miss World pageant.

Madison is a daughter of Fermin and Melanie Elliott. The father traces his roots to Cebu.

He had no idea his daughter was part of the pageant, and found out only when he got to the Comfort Inn conference complex near the Baltimore-Washington International (BWI) Airport, where the contest was held.

Although she quit after high school, Madison indicated her desire to go to college to pursue a degree in psychology.

In contrast, Heather is finishing her marketing and international business major course at Drexel University and plans to fly to London next year to pursue a Masters degree.

Heather is a daughter of Fil-Am Ramiel Navarro, who hails from Southern Luzon, and Terri Corner who traces her roots to Eastern Europe.

Other winners of the Mutya ng Amerika include Diane Butler who will represent this region in the Miss Body Shots competition back home and Nerissa Lumban who is slated to join the 2011 Miss Philippines-Earth contest. Eighteen-year-old Samantha Salazar was chosen Mutya Philippine Migrant Heritage.

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