DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/18 August) – Sixteen-year old Rahima Usman from the Maranao tribe was crowned Hiyas sa Kadayawan 2011 on Wednesday
evening at the Davao Recreation Center.
Usman, a nursing student at San Pedro College, outshone nine other candidates from the Tausug, Matigsalog, Obu Manuvu, Maguindanao, Bagobo Tgabawa, Sama, Bagobo Klata, Ata and Kagan tribes.
After the seven Hiyas sa Kaliwatan (Tribal Gems) had been named, only three candidates were left: Usman, Bernalin Mamboo of the Ata tribe and Almeline Cheenee Hamid of the Sama tribe.
Mamboo was crowned as the first runner-up and named Hiyas sa Kauswagan (Gem of Progress) while Hamid was the second runner-up and named Hiyas sa Tingusbawan (Gem of Fulfilled Promise).
The seven Hiyas sa Kaliwatan are Judelyn Ogos (Bagobo Tagabawa), Mia Rose Sarip Apadan (Kagan), Jhel Ann Oboc (Obu Manuvu), Fauzia Jamsuri (Tausog), Norie Fe Licomes (Bagobo Klata), Zarina Mangadta (Maguindanao), and Leah Jean Benito (Matigsalog).
Speaking in their own dialects, the candidates addressed the jam-packed Davao Recreation Center, formerly Almendras gymnasium,
during the introduction.
Usman, who earlier performed a Maranao cultural presentation by playing the Kulintang and later danced the Singkil, was also adjudged
as the Best in Cultural Skills Showcase. She also earned the Miss Photogenic and Miss Face of the Night awards.
Mamboo bagged the Miss Friendship award and Apadan the Smart Texters Choice award.
Instead of the usual question and answer portion during pageant shows, the candidates picked up a number and then a corresponding photo was flashed on the wall which they were asked to interpret.
One of the most applauded interpretations was about the Mt. Apo photo. Ogos was able to give its exact elevation (2,954 meters above sea level) aside from explaining that the country’s highest mountain also represents their tribe.
Crowd-favorite Usman interpreted a photograph of buildings in the city as symbols of “modernization and globalization of the city.”
Last year’s Hiyas sa Kadayawan was Mernadeth Sicutan of the Ata tribe.
Hiyas sa Kadayawan is one of the highlights of the annual festival that opened on August 15. (Keith Bacongco/MindaNews)