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CULTURAL POTPOURRI | Hiyas sa Kadayawan 2022 Beauty Rose Gandarosa

Hiyas sa Kadayawan 2022 Maranao Beauty Rose Gandarosa with Vice mayor Melchor Quitain, Jr., Nurainie Ampatuan, Dr. Malou G. Monteverde

HANDPICKED as ambassadors of goodwill by their respective community’s deputy mayors, 11 young, vibrant, talented and beautiful tribal maidens vied for the honour to represent Davao City as Hiyas sa Kadayawan 2022 for the 37th Hiyas sa Kadayawan sa Davao at the RMC Petro Gazz Arena last August 17, 2022, at 6:00 p.m.  Months of preparation culminated in one spectacular pageantry ably directed by Dan Salvana of Salvo Events with the full support of the Davao City Government under Mayor Sebastian Z. Duterte and the Davao City Tourism Operations Office under OIC Julieta L. Catacutan. The event, as expected, was a veritable gathering of Lumad tribes and their leaders, government officials and department heads, and prominent representatives of the various sectors of the Davao society. 

     This year’s 37th Kadayawan Festival of Thanksgiving is highlighted by many colourful and festive events and activities during its ten-day celebration.  But one stands out for its distinction; and that is the search for the Hiyas sa Kadayawan.  Yes, it’s about time we drive out the worries and concern brought about by the Covid pandemic and which had Hiyas sa Kadayawan 2019 Nurainie Ampatuan and her court hold on to their crowns for the longest time. 

(l-r): Hiyas sa Kalambuan Krezyl Joy Ungab, Hiyas sa Kadayawan 2022 Beauty Rose Gandarosa, Hiyas sa Panaghiusa Alnesa Bangasin

Although many consider the Hiyas as a beauty pageant, what they neglect and omit is the fact that these young ladies are vying for the title that would make them the face that would represent the festival for the next 12 months. Unlike other pageants, the Hiyas sa Kadayawan focuses on the cultural uniqueness of each indigenous tribe and their muse’s knowledge of their tribe’s cultural identity. 

Hiyas sa Kadayawan Beauty Rose Gandarosa with Vice Mayor Quitain, Dr. Monteverde, Councilors Myrna D. Ortiz & Al Ryan Alejandre, judges

These ladies perform solemn rituals of their respective tribes while garbed in their colourful costumes, swaying to their clan’s rhythmic dance steps accompanied by their delightful music and chants, all of which are intimately interwoven with their rich customs and traditions.  And this is what makes the Hiyas of our 11 tribes stand out.  This year, “Education, tribal representation and cultural preservation are the prevalent advocacies championed by the 11 candidates.

    Up close and personal with the candidates as one of the judges, indeed, it was admirable that these tribal maidens gathered enough courage to be thrust into the limelight with the sole purpose of ably representing and showcasing their tribes’ cultural uniqueness.  Mind you, but these young women representing the 11 tribes of Davao are far from the docile and meek tribal maidens of yesteryears. 

The year’s candidates include Krezyl Joy Ungab (Bagobo-Klata), Emylyn Armodia (Ata), Liezly May Mendoza (Bagobo-Tagabawa), Dianaruth Campong (Matigsalug), Lady Ray Bangga-an (Obu-Manuvu), Erika Kandog (Iranun), Alneza Bangasin (Kagan), Beauty Rose Gandarosa (Maranao), Sitti Rohilmina Emani (Sama), Jiaria Mae Sakal (Maguindanaon) and Maisara Mendoza (Tausog). 

All the candidates are naturally beautiful, morena or fair-skinned, frank, and talented in showing the best of their tribe which made it truly difficult for the judges’ daunting task of choosing that singular, distinct and multifaceted gem.  To think that the Hiyas sa Kadayawan pageant is the only one of its kind in the Philippines “giving women from different cultures recognition for their role in their community.”

The 11 candidates

      The 11 candidates were judged according to their knowledge of their culture; their cultural skill/talent; personality and stage presence; their community project proposal and advocacy; and finally, their deportment.

Hiyas sa Kadayawan 2019 Nurainie Ampatuan

     The Hiyas sa Kadayawan must naturally be blessed with beauty and wisdom as the winner becomes the official festival symbol and spokesperson of the Kadayawan sa Davao; and will be tasked to promote Davao City and Mindanao— its products, industries, and particularly its tourism, fashion and floriculture.  “She must serve as inspiration to the youth,” emphasized Mayor Sebastian Duterte in his message read by Vice Mayor Melchor Quitain, Jr.

      Believe me, but all the 11 candidates were outstanding in their own natural right.  Each one had the confidence and determination to win the Hiyas sa Kadayawan title for the recognition it would give their City and tribal community.

     In the Hiyas sa Kadayawan Talent Competition, I was overwhelmed with Beauty Rose Gandarosa’s performance.  She played the agong with precision and danced the singkil so regally while blindfolded! She describes herself as a “cultural performer by passion.”  Mind you, but the Taosug Maisara Mendoza did her mighty best as well in her performance to earn loud cheers from the audience.

     The big night for the proclamation had the Maranao “hakot awards queen” Beauty Rose Gandarosa crowned as Hiyas sa Kadayawan 2022 by Vice Mayor Melchor Quitain, Jr., Dr. Malou G. Monteverde and Hiyas sa Kadayawan 2019 Nurainie Ampatuan.  An educator by profession, Gandarosa is determined to “uplift the spirit of Maranao culture and heritage among the youth.  “I want to inculcate in the hearts of the youth the deeper meaning and true beauty of our culture.  I want to inspire the youth to understand that our culture is not just living practices and traditions but they are actually the river of knowledge that our ancestors have passed on to us in order to ensure the stability and unity of the Maranao people,” she expressed clearly.  

     This year’s Hiyas sa Panaghiusa is Alnesa Bangasin (Kagan) while the Bagobo-Klata Krezyl Joy Ungab was crowned as Hiyas sa Kalambuan.   The remaining eight candidates comprise the Hiyas sa Kaliwatan.

Judges Art Boncato, Eric Zerrudo, Michael E. Dakudao, Gabby Malvar

      Yes, only in Davao City do you have a tribal beauty, talent and intelligence pageant such as the annual Hiyas sa Kadayawan.  Congratulations to all!



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