City of San Fernando, Pampanga – Salma Emam, Mutya ning Porac, was crowned the Mutya ning Kapampangan (MNK) 2023, surpassing 21 contestants at the grand coronation held at the Bren Z. Guiao Convention Center on Sunday, December 11.
Governor Dennis “Delta” Pineda, accompanied by Pampanga’s first lady Yolly Pineda, MNK Committee chairperson Board Member Mylyn Pineda-Cayabyab, MNK 2022 Leigh Sunga, and other major sponsors, presented the crown, flowers, sash, and cash prize.
Governor Pineda commended the Kapampangan talent, urging the winners to serve as role models for the province’s youth.
“To all candidates, sabi ko naman lahat sa inyo, lahat kayo winners. Representing your town dapat maging proud na po tayo congratulations po sa lahat. Sa ating mutya ng Porac, please be a sample and model to our Kabalens. Asahan mo parating nakasuporta ang provincial government sayo,” he said.
During the final Question and Answer portion, the five semi-finalists were asked: “Can you share a meaningful aspect of your local culture that you are proud of and how will you showcase it as a title holder?”
“In Porac, we have this traditional way of eating food called binulo, where we stuff these dishes in bamboo and wait patiently at the right temperature. It is essential because it reminds me of myself. As I am a continuous work in progress, just like the binulo, I am going to show this to the world by being my natural self and demonstrating how Kapampangans are more beautiful than ever,” said Emam.
Besides the crown, Emam also bagged seven special awards, including Miss Telegenic, Miss CLTV 36 Telegenic Award, Best in Culinary Head Dress, Diosdado’s Choice Award, Cusina Manuela’s Choice Award, Miss Philippine Airlines, and Best in Swimwear.
Board Member Cayabyab stated that the event not only celebrates beauty but also represents Kapampangan resiliency and rich cultural heritage.
“Itong Linggo masaya ako dahil ramdam na randam ko yung pagiging Kapampangan natin, tumatagos sa puso. And this event tonight is only one way to remind our contestants and yung mga manonood kung paano ka importante yung kultura natin,” she said.
Runner-up positions were secured by Stacey David (Mabalacat City), 4th; Sophia Bianca Santos (Lubao), 3rd; Gabrielle Galapia (Magalang), 2nd; and Joanne Marie Thornley (Angeles City) 1st.
All winners receive crowns, flowers, sash, cash prizes, and more.