Modern day Cinderella tales and international beauty competitions never fail to fascinate Pinoys. These elements are interwoven in the inspiring story of Mutya Johanna Fontiveros Datul, a 21 year old lass from barangay Calamagui North in Santa Maria, Isabela who sashayed her way to the hearts of millions of beauty contest enthusiasts after winning the 2013 Miss Supranational title held in Minsk, Belarus. The 5’8” stunner wowed the European judges with her standout beauty, vivacious personality, megawatt smile and distinct salagubang walk, besting 82 other candidates from across the globe, the very first Filipina and first Asian to win the title.

 

 Humble beginnings

     The road to Belarus was difficult, at times perilous. Definitely not for the faint of heart. Armed with grit, fiery determination and maturity that belies her age, she painstakingly learned her dainty steps in local pageants big and small, raising funds for her family while preparing herself for the big time.

     Winning pageants meant she could continue her studies as an Information Technology student at the Isabela State University in Ilagan City and support her mother who needed regular medication due to a debilitating disease. At one point, Mutya became the family’s lone breadwinner when her father infigured in a shooting incident and was unable to work.

     Mutya wore poverty like a badge of honor, and makes no qualms about her humble beginnings. This only strengthened her resolve to excel in the local beauty contest circuit, while hoping to make it big in more prestigious beauty competitions in the big city.

     Ironically, Mutya lost in the Mutya ng Pilipinas 2012, managing to land a berth in the semi-finals. Unfazed, she joined the Miss Casino Filipino in November 2012.  She lost again not even making it to the magic five. Her hopes dashed anew, she decided to stay in Manila, working as a model, to earn her keeps and help support her family in Santa Maria.

     On April 14, 2013, she captivated the hearts of jurors and spectators at the Smart Araneta Center and was crowned Binibining Pilipinas Supranational, earning the right to represent the Philippines in the Miss Supranational 2013 pageant in Belarus.

Belarus

     It was her first overseas trip and Mutya almost missed her connecting flight to Moscow en route to Belarus. For one who admitted difficulty in liberating her thoughts and dreaded public speaking, joining an international beauty competition was a tall order for this probinsiyana from Isabela. But her sunny disposition, compelling stage presence, distinct salagubang walk, a survivor spirit and the desire to rise above adversity, saw her through.

     The finals took place infront of an audience of 5,000 at the Palace of Sports in Minsk, Republic of Belarus with a live transmission to over one billion people in more than 100 countries. The fifth anniversary of Miss Supranational took place in Belarus for over three weeks, with the contestants visiting places of interest such as Vitebsk, Grodno, Brest, and Minsk. It was the first time that the competition was held abroad after four editions held in Poland. In its fifth year run, the Miss Supranational pageant managed to become one of the top international beauty competitions.

     Miss  Supranational is an annual international beauty contest run by the World Beauty Association based in Panama,  established on the basis of twenty years of experience in the event industry and the organization of beauty contests with the mission and vision to draw attention to those countries on their way to become major tourism destination.