BAGUIO CITY (PIA) – – A third year Tourism student of the University of Baguio bested representatives from 31 countries and crowned as Miss Heritage 2014 in a pageant held at Johannesburg, South Africa last December .
Odessa Mae Tadaya, 19, and native of Guimba, Nueva Ecija, earned the right to represent the country in the prestigious event after winning the Miss Filipinas Heritage last March 2014.
Winning with Tadaya were representatives from St. Vincent Granadis and Botswana, 1st and second runner-up, respectively.
Tadaya, in an interview, disclosed that Miss Heritage is a new breed pageant that is only in its second year and aims to promote the conservation and preservation of world heritage. First winner of the crown was Shequera Grace King of the Bahamas.
“The pageant itself is unique as it does not involve a swimsuit competition but more on debate and presentation of every participant’s culture such as (indigenous) cooking, traditional games, national anthem and national flags”, she shared.
Tadaya said that aside from the fame, she is more eager about the responsibility that comes with the crown, which is to be an ambassador of heritage.
“It is a very important responsibility to promote heritage sites and advocate the restoration, conservation and preservation of heritages which we have inherited. It shows our culture and history”, she said.
As reigning Miss Heritage, Tadaya is on call for world heritage events and advocacies, though for now she is concentrating on her studies and doing her best to balance her time in school and being a heritage ambassador.
Tadaya also discloses that before the actual pageant, she travelled in different heritage sites to learn about their history and significance.
Heritage sites in the Philippines like that of Vigan City and Iloilo are comparable to that of the other countries, in terms of grandeur and significance in showcasing one country’s history, she bared. (JDP/CCD – PIA CAR)