by Ces Noble | Contributor

QUEZON CITY — The 40 gorgeous candidates for the 2019 Mutya Pilipinas came to the main Headquarters of the Philippine National Police (PNP) in Camp Crame last Saturday to participate in a self-self-defense workshop courtesy of the Police Community Affairs Development Group (PCADG).

The pageant formerly known as Mutya ng Pilipinas is now simply Mutya Pilipinas. Strategic changes have been introduced with the return of Cory Quirino as president of the organization. For the first time the pageant has embraced a charity cause and this year their goal is for the benefit of poor children.

PBGEN Rhodel Sermonia and Ms Cory Quirino pose with the candidates after the self-self-defence workshops and boodle-fight hosted by PCADG-PNP.

This year’s candidates were chosen from all over the Philippines and from Filipino overseas communities during the 3-month search of the organization. Some of the candidates also competed in other local and national pageants.

The candidates will compete for the following titles: Miss Asia Pacific International, World Top Model Philippines, Miss Tourism International, Filipino Overseas Communities.

“Mutya Pilipinas believes in genuine women empowerment. Not the overly used broad and vague idea but the practical and more meaningful application of this concept,” explains Quirino.

“What does it mean for the women today? It means that women have to learn to be alert and vigilant all the time. It is about taking charge of one’s life and saying ‘no’ to abuse, you will never take no for an answer,” adds Cory.

Thus, PCADG, through Director Rhodel Sermonia, organized a self-defense workshop at the gym in Camp Crame, where the ladies were divided into four groups — karate, taekwondo, boxing and arnis. The event was also co-sponsored by ACCERT (Anti-Crime and Community Emergency Response Teams) led by Miguel Ortiz. Here’s the buzz on what the beauties have to say about their PNP self-defense workshop.

“It is good to be equipped with the skills on how to defend oneself in case of an attack,” says Layla Yousif Adriatico from Bahrain who is representing Cebu City.

“My father is a police officer and I am first to advocate that when troubled with threats to safety and security, we should seek the help of the police in their community. Save the Police Hotline on your phone and do not hesitate to seek help,” says Hanna Jessica Sevilla who is representing Quezon Province.

After the workshops, the girls enjoyed a sumptuous boodle fight with the PNP Badminton team for lunch. They were grateful to the PNP for this practical skills-training event, and they hope to share a similar event with other young women.

Moreover, Mutya Pilipinas affirms their advocacy of saying “no” to crime and corruption. “Indeed, Mutya Pilipinas is all about empowerment and using one’s life to help and benefit others,” adds Quirino.