UB stude crowned Ms. Heritage 2014

by RONALYN BANAKEN

 

 

Miss Heritage 2014 1

UB's Tadaya edged out the 31 other hopefuls to win win the crown. (Photo: Miss Heritage Organization)

  

 

Odessa Mae Tadaya of the University of Baguio (UB) was crowned the 2014 Miss Heritage  – an international pageant which showcases the world’s cultures – held in Johannesburg, South Africa last Dec. 20.

 

Tadaya, who is taking BS Tourism Management at UB, won the title after besting 31 other contestants from around the globe. The 19-year-old native of Guimba, Nueva Ecija represented the Philippines after winning Miss Filipinas Heritage held last March 14.

 

“It was surreal,” she said. “It was a lot of pressure. We underwent physical, mental and spiritual trainings… In the end, I learned a lot.” She added, “It was a contest, but there was plenty of camaraderie among us contestants. No racism.”

 

“More importantly, the competition is not all glam and beauty. There is a distinct cause, and that cause plays an important role in understanding and respecting the diversity of our cultures,” she said.

 

Although not a part of the Big Four – the group of the four largest and most famous female international beauty contests – Tadaya stressed that the Miss Heritage pageant is equally significant.

 

“[Miss Heritage] showcases the diverse cultures of the world, yet unifies us as one. And that alone makes me proud to have been part of the competition,” she said. The pageant included a debate competition, which according to Tadaya, “made us very aware of the situation of our society.”

 

“In joining [the pageant], I have come to further admire the Filipino heritage, especially the resilience of the Filipino people. It was a profound experience,” she said. The winner has one project to work on during the period of her reign. For Tadaya, it focuses on education. As part of her cause, she has initiated a book drive.

 

“I have always believed that education can get you anywhere,” she said. With her win, Tadaya hopes to inspire others to embrace who they are. “Be who you are and be still always.”

 

The pageant was first held in 2013, with Bahamas as the winner. The organization is headquartered in South Africa.

 

Scroll down for photos

 

 

Miss Heritage 2014 5

 (Photo: Miss Heritage Organization)

 

 

Miss Heritage 2014 2

Tadaya (center) with 1st Princess Anna La Borde (Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, left) and 2nd Princess Katlego Gaotsenelelwe (Botswana, right). 

(Photo: Miss Heritage Organization)

 

 

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 Tadaya with Ms. Heritage 2013, Shequera Grace King (Bahamas)

(Photo: Miss Heritage Organization) 

 

 

Miss Heritage 2014 3

 King bequeathing the crown to Tadaya 

(Photo: Miss Heritage Organization)  

 

 

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