LEGAZPI CITY—Inspired by the film “The Greatest Showman,” this year’s Daragang Magayon, one of Bicol’s biggest mutya pageants, ended the Magayon Festival by celebrating the beauty, grace, elegance, and intelligence of the Bicolana.
Projecting their panache, 24 candidates from all over Bicolandia dazzled the jam-packed crowd at the Albay Astrodome on Thursday for the titles of Miss Albay 2019, given only to Albay contestants, and the overall queen Daragang Magayon 2019.
Jashmin-Lyn Dimaculangan of Capalonga town in Camarines Norte province outshone other candidates and won the crown and the P250,000 that came with it.
And it seems the entire country may soon see Dimaculangan, a former contestant in Ms. Earth Philippines Earth 2014, in national pageants again.
“Daragang Magayon is a stepping for me to level up to the national pageant. I’m not yet sure what specific national pageant, but it has always been my main goal,” she told Getaway PH.
Dimaculangan is a marketing specialist for her sister’s fashion design business based in Quezon City.
“The pageantry in Bicol is very competitive. I expected so much from the girls because we are all beautiful,” she said of her Daragang Magayon tint. “I learned to build a long-term relationship with them.”
Dimaculangan was also hailed as the winner in the swimsuit competition.
Daraga is a Bicolnon word synonymous to Tagalog’s mutya, while magayon is a Bicolnon that means “beautiful.”
Question and Answer
From the 24 contestants, by the mid of the evening’s event, the top 12 were announced with candidates number 3 Jannel Mendee Calleja (Legazpi City), 4 Liezl Anne Iñigo (Camarines Sur province), 5 Aurey Fae Balonzo (Legazpi City), 9 Dara Sofia Cartujano (Naga City), 10 Margarette Briton (Tabaco City), 11 Katrina Claudia Jamin (Iriga City), 12 Charlene Boholano (Legazpi City), 14 Joyce Anne Magpantay (Guinobatan, Albay), 15 Shiermay Elnar (Daet, Camarines NOrte), 18 Dawn Vita (Daraga, Albay), and 19 Angelie Balfermoso (Pasacao, Camarines Sur) joining Dimaculangan for the first question and answer round.
According to the Provincial Tourism, Culture, and the Arts Office (PTCAO), the production decided to add four more candidates due to the number of qualified candidates who passed the standards of the selection committee. Only 20 candidates were selected for the pageant in the previous years.
During the first question and answer round, Dimaculangan was asked by judge Alice Dixson, “If you found yourself in a situation where you were discriminated because of your race, what would you do?”
“If I were judged based on my race, I would promote the qualities of a Filipino woman which are resilient and competent. Right now, I am very proud to represent the Filipinos and the women of Capalonga, and I would present myself with so much grace and honor to these people,” she said.
Dimaculangan was joined by Boholano, who was crowned as the Miss Albay 2019; Calleja, first runner up; Balonzo, second runner up; and Magpantay, third runner up, in the Top 5.
Before the ladies were ranked and crowned, they were asked the final question: How do you think technology is affecting your generation’s ability to communicate and relate to older generations?
“I think technology has a lot of advantages to our generation. It gives us instant communication to anyone we want. However, if you have older parents, it is kind of difficult for us to communicate through technology and I prefer face-to-face communication because gone are the days that everyone—when telecommunications is just at our fingertips—I think we should appreciate intimate conversations and face-to-face communication,” Dimaculangan said.
Magayon through the years
The people behind the pageantry said that as to the search for looking into the perfect example of a Daragang Magayon, nothing has changed.
Maribeth Bichara, a renowned choreographer and sister of Albay Governor Al Francis Bichara, was the overall head of the production and the director of the pageant.
The Top 5 joined the Grand Santacruzan and Flores de Mayo as sagalas on Friday during the last day of the month-long Magayon Festival.
This year, the judging committee was composed of actress and former beauty queen Dixson, actor and former reality show contestant Jameson Blake, Miss Universe 2011 third-runner up Shamcey Supsup-Lee, veteran entertainment journalist Mario Dumaual, and fashion design and hairstyle authority Fanny Serrano.
Daragang Magayon started in 1999, but in 2007, months after Typhoon Reming (international name: Durian), there was no Magayon Festival celebration. This year’s Daragang Magayon pageant is the nineteenth overall.
Some of the former winners of the pageant were also Philippines’ bets in international pageants Miss Supranational, Yvette Santiago (2014); and Miss International, Diane Necio (2011) and Melody Gersbach (2009).
Meanwhile, Dimaculangan encouraged kids who were dreaming of one day joining beauty pageants
“Just go for it kasi you don’t really know kung ano yung magiging result (because you don’t really know what the result would be). Just dream big and take the risk. Don’t stress yourself that you can’t achieve [anything],” she said.
Grand Santacruzan and Flores de Mayo
In collaboration with the Parish of St. Gregory the Great, the Grand Santacruzan and Flores de Mayo was the culmination of PTCAO’s Magayon Festival.
Rev. Fr. Errol Bataga of the Albay Cathedral said that for the entire month of May, a cathecism was held for Albayano children.
“For one month, they observed the virtues and principles given by our beloved Mother Mary and they finished a whole month of devotion to the Mother, so I congratulate all of the children in the Flores,” Bataga said in the vernacular.
He also said that without saying any word and through the procession, the sagalas were able to show to the crowd their faith.
“You saw earlier that during the procession, they displayed their learnings. They did not speak a work. There was no chance for that,” he said. “But the way they carry themselves, they have effectively sent the message that we are witnesses to our faith.”
He also that Santacruzan and Flores de Mayo celebrations these days have lost their meaning because of the way they are carried out and said that the church should be the one to lead such events.
“Flores de Mayo is our devotion to the beloved Mother Mary, while the Santacruzan is the remembrance of our history. This takes us back to March 16, 1521, when the Spaniards brought with them their swords and crosses. We accepted both and became Catholics,” Bataga said.
Santacruzan and Flores de Mayo are May festivals that feature the poor-friendly Empress Helena (Reyna Elena) and her son Constantine, and their discovery of the holy cross used to crucify Jesus Christ.
A ten-minute firework fanfare ended the festivities.