Home / Features / Arts and Culture / The Mutya ng Lipa Tradition and this year’s Queen, Keena Katigbak

The Mutya ng Lipa Tradition and this year’s Queen, Keena Katigbak

It’s more than just a grandiose production; more than the elaborate decorations on the chosen venue; more than the sophistications and elegance of atendees in ternos and Barong Tagalog. The annual Rigodon de Honor and the crowning of Mutya ng Lipa both play significant roles in the history of the city of Lipa.

The Mutya ng Lipa coronation night is part of the city’s fiesta celebration each year. Learn more about this grand tradition and this year’s queen, Keena Katigbak.


The annual Mutya ng Lipa is a societal event highlighting family prominence, wealth, and beauty. It has its roots in the celebrated coffee years of the town when people were awash in cash and the aristocratic Solis Clan would precede the splendid grand balls attended by ladies in their finest jewels and glimmering dresses dancing the pas a quatre and rigodon with the money seeking Spaniards.

Carrying on the tradition of this refinement, Lipa celebrates its fiesta with the year’s biggest ball, attended by high ranking city and national government officials and prominent couples and personages don with their finery and elegance. The splendid event, complete with the dancing of the rigodon de honor by ladies in their colourful ternos and gentlemen in their embroidered piña barongs, is topped with the time-honoured coronation of the mutya.


The title of Mutya ng Lipa was conferred to 21-year-old Maria Kristina Peña Katigbak.

Keena, as she is fondly called, was born February 24, 1989 to
Joaquin Cecilio “Jake” Espinili Katigbak and Maria Teresa Umali – Peña Katigbak. She hails from two prominent Lipeño Families as she is the granddaughter of Atty. Jose Malabanan Katigbak and Lourdes Espinili Katigbak of the The Mabini Academy and of businessman Bienvenido Aranda Peña and Dr. Norma Umali-Peña of the Bigben Complex.

Raised in Lipa, she finished her elementary and secondary education at De La Salle – Lipa. Following the footsteps of her late grandmother, Dr. Norma Peña, a dentist who also happened to be a former Mutya ng Lipa – Muse of Agriculture, Keena is now on her third year proper pursuing a degree in dentistry at Centro Escolar University.

Despite her family’s fame, Keena shines with her simplicity and humble up-bringing. As a pledge to her hometown, the dream of becoming a dentist would not only be beneficial for her but for the community as well.

Contributed by: Renz Marion Katigbak

Credits and Sources:

  • Batangas Sosyalan by Danny Dolor and Abe Florendo in Batangas Forged in Fire
  • Coming of age for the Hometown Queen by Des Mendoza Lopez
  • Photo courtesy of Joel Umali – Peña
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    About JR

    JR Cantos is the Publisher of WOWBatangas.com. Some of the articles here on the website have been contributed over the years, so please just email us at help (at) wowbatangas.com if you have any concerns. Salamat!

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