(From Left) Second Runners Up Rey Talosig and Khai Lim, Grand Winners Theresa Fenger and Van Victor Leano, and First Runners Up Cherry Ann Kubota and Martin Richard.
By Nickie Wang/Manila Standard Today
If you ever decided to visit Boracay then be prepared for every eventuality. Aside from scorching summer events and parties, you might spot or even meet some gorgeous people hanging around or just running at the beach. Be ready with clothes that suit every possibility or you could just let yourself get wet (not with sea water) because like Manila, the weather on the beach island is unpredictable.
No matter how unpredictable the weather was, the winds and the rain were no match to the 20 hot men and women, finalists of Century Tuna Superbods 2009: Bods and Brains Challenge.
On a rainy evening of May 2, guests at the Pearl of the Pacific witnessed the celebration of healthy minds and bodies when 21-year-old Filipino Canadian Theresa Fenger and 24-year-old hunky restaurateur Van Victor Leano were announced grand winners of the Century Tuna search. Both Fenger and Leano received half a million cash prize.
The two-day event kicked off with a welcome dinner at the Sun Village Central where the finalists, 10 dashing men with well-chiseled physique and 10 gorgeous women with whistlebait bodies, were officially introduced to the media and to the guests and sponsors of the event.
The next day, finalists battled it out at five larger-than-life obstacle courses of puzzles and challenges that started at the Plazoleta in Station 2 and finished off at the Pearl of the Pacific beachfront in Station 1. The Superbods Challenge was hosted by Rovilson Fernandez and Reema Chanco. Former Superbods winners Ram Sagad, Patty Ortega, Jon Avila, and Century Tuna endorser Isabelle Diaz-Daza were also there to spice up the event by participating in the challenges.
At 9:30 in the evening, amidst the wet ramp and continuously pouring rain, finalists sashayed before the audience flaunting their perfectly trimmed bodies and beautiful smiles. The pageant started with the introduction of the finalists, followed by the swimsuit competition where women sported bikinis and the men with small-sized board shorts.
The finalists later faced challenging questions during the Q&A. This portion that was facilitated by Joey Mead and Marc Nelson, tested the wit and confidence of each Superbods wannabes.
The judges who made the important decision in choosing the winners were fashion designer Rajo Laurel; film director Sid Moderazo; Cosmo Magazine’s Zo Aguila; lens master Jun de Leon; actress Gloria Diaz; Century Tuna marketing manager Angela Gamboa; and PCNV Communications vice president Juan Ariel Comia.
Rey Talosig and Khai Lim, Cherry Ann Kubota (also Ms. Photogenic) and Martin Richard were the runners-up.
Youngest male finalist Terence Lloyd was voted Mr. Photogenic while basketball player Ervin Vijandre and Patricia Ejercitado went home with People’s Choice Awards. Completing the list of male finalists were Rex Flores, David Nagtalon, Joseph Kidwell, Mychal Nubla, and Laxie Villar. The female Superbods 2009 finalists were Kristina Gonido, Karen McVie, Halley Chiappiazzi, Kate Bautista, Bianca Paz, and Abbey Cruz.
Perfect for canned tuna
On our way back to Manila via Cebu Pacific, we had a chance to have a casual interview with Male Superbods winner Van Victor Leano. The sociable 24-year-old hottie was all smiles when we approached him. He must have perfected the art of befriending people since he personally manages a family-owned restaurant in Las Piñas.
Van, as what his friend fondly call him, trained hard to be part of the competition. He didn’t really expect to win, just like what other competition winners say. “Thankful but my winning was really unexpected.” Armed with Century Tuna Superbods title, he hopes to make it big and perhaps land a career in showbiz.
Van keeps himself fit by getting involved in a wide range of extreme sports and physical activities. His active lifestyle resulted to a well- toned back muscles and broad shoulders, which according to him is his best asset. He loves adventure, plays basketball, and does water sports like wakeboarding and surfing.
“Of course I eat [Century] Tuna every day. Gusto ko ’yung chunks in water para less fat. Aside from tuna, chicken breast, boiled kamote, and egg white. I hit the gym almost every day kung kaya,” Van said and pointed out that he did it only in preparation for the competition, but normally, he goes to the gym three times a week, jogs once a week, and eats everything except oily food.
A graduate of Business Administration major in Computer Application at De La Salle University College of Saint Benilde, the six-foot hunk hasn’t tried ramp modeling but he has been featured in a soda and a fast-food chain TVCs with minor roles. Aside from being included in this year’s finalists of the Century Tuna search, Van was also named one of Metro Magazine’s Smoking Hot Men of Summer.
“If I were given a chance to enter showbiz, why not, it’s an opportunity,” Van expressed and listed Marian Rivera, Angel Locsin, Anne Curtis, and Kate Bekinsale as his celebrity crushes.
As a morning person, he takes care of his skin by putting on some moisturizers on his face by the time he wakes up. He often goes out at night because he manages his family’s restaurant and often stays there until it closes. To all those who would be interested, Van is pretty much taken and in a steady relationship with his girlfriend for more than two years now.