After a series of postponements, the Mister World Philippines was finally held last Tuesday at the Newport Theater at Resorts World and selected the one who will represent us at the Mister World pageant along with representatives for Mister Supranational, Mister Eco-International, and Mister Multinational. Though I got four out of the six in the Winner’s Circle, there were some surprises galore as two of the guys I thought would get a title ended up as runners-up instead, making way for others to win titles.
Though the big favorites were part of the Winner’s Circle, I have to hand the Lucas Malvacini Award tp one I thought would have a slight edge over the others to squeak into the winners’ circle, but eventually fell entirely short: Candidate 13 (Miguel de Castro). He was probably deemed as not having as strong communication skills and/or charisma to make the Top Eight semifinalists.
I forecasted a Top Ten but it turns out this pageant only selected a Top Eight. I got seven of the Top Eight. The one I didn’t get, Candidate No. 7 (Abdullah Cheng) was in my Bubbling Under list. He probably impressed in the interview to make it this far, but he really has very little chance of making the winners’ circle.
Meanwhile, I’m glad that Candiate No. 6 (Joy Jerome Evangelista) won a well-deserved Talent award and yes, earned his slot in the Top EIght. In the final Q&A he was asked about how to describe the color red to a person born blind. I’m impressed with his answer, delivered in Tagalog, about presenting the concept of courage to the point of shedding blood for your convictions is brilliantly apt to presentt the concept of the color as those things are indeed associated with that color. If you ask me he deserved to be in the winners’ circle with the caliber of his answer, but I have a feeling besides the fact his looks are not as highly regarded in our shores, the judges might have felt in the international arena, they wouldn’t appreciate a guy proud of our native tongue and would expect us to speak English. Still, based on the caliber of his answer, I would’ve rather have him there instead of…
…Candidate No. 2 (Denver Hernandez) who garnered the Mister Multinational – Philippines title. He gave the absolute worst Q&A performance, as he has no clue about what the concept of machismo was all about. He had to ask the hosts–“What do you mean by ‘macho culture’?” The hosts did try to explain the concept but the explanation was incomplete–it wasn’t simply bout asserting masculinity, but prioritizing masculinity without consideration for others. Okay, it made him choose the “incorrect” answer about being pro-machismo as he stressed a positive quality of leadership that we associaate with assertiveness that is definitely needed to get things done sometimes. Still, the fact he doesn’t know as simple a concept as that made me want to be shut out of the winners’ circle. Still, his good looks are undeniable, and perhaps he was given the benefit of the doubt by the judges since the hosts didn’t really guide him right. Anyway, hopefully his prior experience at Men Universe Model will serve him well in his Mister Multinational mission.
Two of the guys who I thought are most likely to garner titles ended up as runners-up instead. Many fans are especially outraged at Candidate 9 (Ameen Sardouk) being shut out. Admittedly Ameen comes off as less polished and the judges noticed that and perhaps even if he has the best physical appearance of all of them, they may want to send a message that he can wait for either the next edition of Mister World Philippines in two or three years’ time*1 for the possibility of ultimately winning it or he can wait to be designated with the Mister Supranational – Philippines title for next year, since it’s unlikely that this local search will be held only when there is a Mister World, and remember that it is expected tha Mister Supranational is held annually (along with the other titles, if those international pageants manage to garner enough support to be an annual ongoing concern). Definitely both him and Candidate 11 (Wilfred Placencia) gave better answers than Denver Hernandez, but perhaps this designaion is a reflection of their potential to be designated titles for a later time and allowing them the options to finesse themselves and the opportunities they may choose to take.
*1 Mister World was never held for two consecutive years in a row–they often skip a year or two before the next edition.
A few more notes on Ameen: I wonder if he’s actually an introvert at heart. He does register as such in the meek way he speaks. It’s a far cry from his Lebanese heritage, as the Lebanese are renowned for their gregarious, outgoing nature. Maybe he can take some tips from his relatives to learn how to step out of his shell more. Let’s see if he’ll take on a title designation next year, or try for the big prize again in two years’ time.
There is a lot of praise for the answer delivered by Candidate No. 4 (Robin Hanrath) as he was asked a question with an LGBTQ theme–what to tell a boy who has crushes on men. His answer was a beacon of compassion and tolerance, advising the kid that if his love is pure, then he should fight for that love. We need people to think in terms of compassion and empathy instead of the selfishness permeating this world these days. His eloquence will serve him well in his mission at the inaugural Mistter Eco International pageant.
Most would presume with the two of the big favorites shut out of titles, the primo title of Mister World Philippines should easily go o Candidate No. 8 (Marco Poli), right? I think the judges felt that even if he has undeniable physical qualities and charisma, from recent years Mister World is looking more on communication skills and personality, and albeit he gave a decent answer when asked about how dispel the notion that being fit and buff also means being narcissistic (his simple albeit verbose answer talks about changing a mindset as working for a fit and buff bod means you simply want to have a healthy lifestyle and vanity isn’t always part of that equation. It’s a good answer, but pale behind Robin, Joy Jerome, and the eventual overall winner…
…Candidate 14 (JB Saliba). I only pegged him in my Top 10 and placed him out of the winners’ circle despite hearing buzz from other pundits about him. As it turns out, yes he’s attractive enough and buffed though I wasn’t that aware about his biggest ace–his impeccable English diction and confident communication skills. In hindsight, he might actually indeed the best fit for the plum Mister World Philippines title as people behind Mister World prioritize an outgoing personality over stunning looks (like what happened to John Spainhour and Sam Ajdani, both shut out of the Top 10), and JB is reasonably appreoachable and good looking and his confident speaking skills turn out to be the key to his outgoing charm. He would make an excellent host delegate since we are going to host the big pageant this coming January.
Overall I’m optimistic about our prospects in the international male pageant arena. JB can break the drought by the strength of our role as host and his personality, and Marco will almost guarantee our best showing ever at the upcoming Mister Supranational pageant this December, and with enough seasoning, Robin and Denver will give us a good showing in those inaugural fledgling pageants. Now basically we’ll watch out what happens next year if they would handpick the runners-up to take the banner to represent us in those “lesser” pageants, or if they will hold out for the opportunity to compete again when the next Mister World would be held in two years’ time.