Ibajay, Aklan – A university professor and researcher of the Aklan State University (ASU) here believed the winning of Miss South Africa in the recently concluded Miss Universe has boosted the morale of the Indigenous Peoples or “aeta.”
“The aetas who watch the television in their homes saw how (Miss South Africa Zozibini) Tunzi was crowned Miss Universe. The aetas saw Miss Tunzi resembling them in terms of skin color and curly hair. This increased their self-confidence,” said Dr. Sharon Concepcion, faculty chair of ASU’s Education Department.
Tunzi is the newly-crowned Miss Universe from South Africa, beating over 90 women from across the world who took part in the pageant which was held in Atlanta, United States on Monday (Manila time).
“Because of this, I will not be surprised if they become competitive in various competitions such as the local beauty pageant, sports or athletics,” Concepcion said, adding she underwent intensive research on the life of the aetas in this province and the province of Zambales.
The aeta communities here can be found in the towns of Ibajay, Numancia, Altavas, and Malay including the Boracay Island.
In the past, a group of aetas has competed in the dragon boat paddling race in Boracay Island. They are also famous for the annual Ati-atihan Festival and are also known to display talents in singing and dancing./PN