By Nickie Wang/ Manila Standard Today
The fashion and entertainment industries teem with beautiful women who often grace the television programs and advertisements, magazine covers and gigantic billboards. They have been heralded as the epitome of beauty.
Yet their male counterparts, once overlooked by the public, can now claim their share of ogling eyes from, don’t raise your eyebrows, not only women but men as well.
On Sept. 1 at 7:30 in the evening, 18 dashing men will parade in the Activity Area of posh A. Venue Events Mall in Makati City to vie for the title of Mister International Philippines 2008.
The winner in the pageant will represent the country in the prestigious Mister International 2008 in Kaoshiung, Taiwan on Nov. 23.
Since its emergence in the beauty pageant arena in 2006, Mister International has become an international annual tradition with countless young men all over the world vying for the title. This Singapore homegrown pageant has evolved into a powerful, year-round organization that advances and supports the contestants.
Today, the Mister International titleholder is also the official ambassador of men in the world who continues to stand proud breaking boundaries and defining what it means to be man of the 21st century.
“A lot of people will condemn me for saying this but there is a clamor for a classy male pageant. Mister International Philippines is not just a sleazy male beauty contest. This year, we are bringing this pageant into a new level of legitimacy,” Mike Lim, pageant organizer and producer, told the Standard Today.
Lim added that the winner of the local pageant will be exposed to different charity events and outreach programs in a larger scale and will be a spokesperson who will promote the organization’s advocacy.
Mister International is an annual search for the most beautiful men from different countries, but last year’s Philippine representative Ian Leonel Porlayagan was not able to compete in Malaysia.
“Alan Sim, the president of the international competition, was not very pleased when the country failed to send our representative. For seven months, he had lost contact with the local organizers, so he personally contacted me to handpick a delegate. But I thought of conducting a real pageant instead,” Lim revealed. “We are also giving last year’s winner Ian Porlayagan a chance to join the pageant again because we believe that everybody deserves another chance since he expressed his desire to compete and represent the country,” he added.
Three official screenings were conducted and more than 200 hopefuls showed up during the selections. Lim disclosed that they reserved three more slots for the fourth screening held early this week. They decided to do another screening to complete the final 18 candidates.
Right now, the 12 men who officially qualified in the pageant’s high standards are Marvin Miranda, Ian Leonel Porlayagan, Jeff Surio, Juan Lorenzo Quitiquit, Leo Reyes, Christian Ang-Cayabyab, Philip Ramos, John Bardo Espiritu, Mike Lee, Ricswartz Sibal, Dennis Torres, and Norman Mallare. They will be judged in three categories: swimwear, evening wear, and interview.
The board of judges will be chaired by Bohol socialite Lani Schoof. Other judges include Venice Jeweler’s Judy So, A. Venue’s Nancy Coo, celebrity columnist Crispina Belen, designers Paul Cabral, Barge Ramos, Ricky Abad and Renee Salud, Salon Prive’s Joef Simpson and Aficionado’s Joel Cruz.
Renowned designer Barge Ramos will be providing the barong tagalog for the finalists, with Ricky Abad for the swimwear, Eric delos Santos for the party wear and Jeff Rogador for the suits. Freego will be the official jeans sponsor and Philosophy for Men for the club wear. Victor Ortego will be doing the hair and makeup.
“This pageant is like a fashion pageant. It will be fast paced. There will be no special awards. After the swim wear and formal wear competitions, we will cut the finalist in half then we will proceed to the Q and A, then the announcement of the winner will follow. The first and second runners-up will get P5,000 and P10,000, respectively, and the winner will receive P20,000,” Lim concluded.