Laga Ta Bukidnon Centennial Queen’s mom writes open letter

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Following news reports stating that Bukidnon Governor Jose Zubiri, Jr. has taken back the Laga ta Bukidnon 2014 (Miss Bukidnon Centennial) crown from Mara Luz Smith allegedly because she is an American, Smith’s Filipina mother, Luisa Gadon Mozar, sent Bukidnon Online a copy of the letter she sent to Capitol. In her letter address to Bukidnon Tourism Officer Joeann Bayona, Mozar said that she has turned over the crown, sash and trophy. Mozar also insisted that the circumstances have “brought so much pain, humiliation and agonies not only to Mara but to the entire family.”

As of press time, Mozar and her lawyer are still waiting for the written decision in relation to the taking back of the Miss Bukidnon Centennial 2014 crown. She also added that the written decision should be sent so that her daughter “can therefore accept other offers that were presented to her during our last trip to Manila in September 4 to 9, 2014.”

Reliable sources tell Bukidnon Online that the statuesque beauty is being eyed for national pageants.

READ: Miss Malaybalay Mara Luz Smith bags Laga Ta Bukidnon 2014 crown

READ: Laga Ta Bukidnon 2014 talent night

The letter can be found below, printed verbatim:

September 22 ,2014

Ms. Joeann Bayona
The Provincial Tourism Officer
Province of Bukidnon
Kaamulan Grounds, Malaybalay City

Dear Madam:

Greetings in the name of JESUS CHRIST our Savior.

On August 28 at about 3pm I was told by my daughter that I was invited to attend a breakfast meeting with the Honorable governor of Bukidnon at Pinehills hotel at 7:30AM on the next day. It is over three weeks since I was verbally informed by the Governor Jose Maria Zubiri during that meeting (SUPPOSED TO BE BREAKFAST BUT TURNED OUT TO BE LUNCH) ON August 29 to be exact at 12:30 noon at the Pinehills Hotel in Malaybalay City about his decision to strip off the title of MARA LUZ GADON SMITH as LAGA TA BUKIDNON Centennial Queen 2014 due to the fact that they made a mistake and they just found out that she is an American and bearing the SMITH last name will definitely be bad to the history of Bukidnon. Per his instruction Mara was not allowed to join the last three days of the culminating highlight events of that centennial celebration which therefore brought so much pain, humiliation and agonies not only to Mara but to the entire family.

In this regard, I am turning over to you the crown, sash, trophy as per text conversation in which you emphasized that there was no dethronement that happened because all these are still in our possession. I am respectfully submitting all these so that your good office can keep this in safety, for we all know that this is the first time in the history of BUkidnon that such a controversial issue has occurred therefore I believe that your office should have evidences to showcase to the people of Bukidnon that your beloved Governor has very good intention for the Province of Bukidnon although at the expense of an innocent child when he officially stripped off the title by giving statements in two major TV network and two radio stations locally.

Until today I am still waiting for the written decision of the dethronement as it was the main agenda of that meeting which I was invited to attend. It was supposed to be an official gathering of the organizing committee I presumed which was represented by you, the city tourism officer with the Malaybalav city mayor but the mayor himself refused to sit with us for reason not known to me at that time. Once I will recieve a copy of the written minutes of that meeting or any document on the dethronement that occurred on August 29,2014 , I will immediately return to the Provincial Treasurer’s office. the cash prize that Mara received and now deposited at the local LANDBANK.

I am fervently praying that you will give this issue an urgent attention as this has been badly affecting my health. My blood pressure has been very high and I ended up in the hospital a week ago due to my BP which went high as 170/110. Please help us resolve this issue immediately as my relatives are all very concern because my beloved sister Milagros Gadon Gallo died of hypertension last October 2013. Next month will be her one year death anniversary. This is a plea that you just have to give me a written statement on the dethronement so that Mara will be relieved of her duties and tasks as the LAGA TA BUKIDNON Centennial Queen 2014 and can therefore accept other offers that were presented to her during our last trip to Manila in September 4 to 9, 2014.

No one has the right to subject our family to this torture of minds and hearts. We still live in this democratic country and therefore no one is above the law but I still believe in the principle of living in ways that GOD wants us to do. All these again I will entrust to the DIVINE WILL and whatever happens is the WILL of GOD, so be it.

Sincerely in CHRIST,

Parent /Guardian to Mara Luz Smith

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  • According to Philippine law, any person with at least 1 Filipino parent is Filipino, so this lady is Filipino even if 1/2 her parentage is not. Even if her father did the paperwork to make her an American citizen by birth, that does not remove her Philippine citizenship. This is simply wrong to remove her crown, title and gifts.

  • I am surprised to read this article again after a year has passed and that there was not a major uproar over this Filipina/American being stripped of her title because she is only 1/2 Filipino. Again, according to Philippine law she is Filipino because her mother is Filipino even if her father also gained her official American citizenship. That American citizenship was hers at birth as was her Filipino citizenship. The only difference is that there is a paper exercise that must occur before the American government will issue an official Consular Report of Birth Abroad, otherwise known as a CRBA. That does not remove Philippine citizenship which was the birthright of the young lady. My 2 children are also dual citizens from birth and have never lost their Filipino citizenship.

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