10 facts about Mr Gay World PH 2013
MANILA, Philippines - Pageant enthusiasts and gay rights supporters have their eyes on Antwerp, Belgium, where Mr Gay World 2013 will be crowned on August 4.
Erimar Ortigas, Mr Gay World-Philippines, is there to compete with 29 others for the title. Now on its 5th year, the Mr Gay World pageant seeks to turn its contestants and winners into spokespersons for gay and human rights. Andreas Derleth of New Zealand is the current titleholder.
The pageant attracted controversy in 2012 when contestants from Zimbabwe, Ethiopia, China, Bulgaria, and Namibia were sanctioned by their countries' governments for joining the contest.
Ortigas stands firm in his belief that, by joining the pageant, he can help champion LGBT rights.
He told ABS-CBNNews.com, "I would like to show to the world that this is the other side of being gay, that we are professional, that we could be a good role model."
Who is Erimar Ortigas? Here are some fast facts.
1. He's a 29-year-old hottie working as communications manager for a business process outsourcing office.
2. He graduated with a degree in Business Administration (major in Management) from Lyceum of the Philippines University-Manila.
3. Aside from his good looks, he was chosen to be the Philippine delegate because of his excellent communication skills honed by many years in the call center industry.
4. He is a pageant veteran, having been a finalist in Mr Gay World Philippines 2009.
5. He is a spokesperson for the HIV/AIDS awareness advocacy Love Yourself. As his chosen charity, Love Yourself will get US$500 if he wins the People's Choice Award in the Antwerp pageant.
Watch Erimar Ortigas speak about his advocacy:
6. Active in many LGBT organizations, he has participated in charities here and abroad.
7. According to OPMB.com, Ortigas attended the symbolic wedding of 12 gay couples, officiated by Rev. Ceejay Agbayani at Quezon City Hall. Ortigas called the event "a good headstart for the LGBT community in the Philippines."
8. Ortigas took part in a donation draw for the benefit of children with special needs at St. Andrew's Mission Hospital in Singapore.
9. For the past several weeks, Ortigas has undergone rigorous physical and pageant training under the tutelage of mentor Rodgil Flores. He refined his skills in walking, posing, projection, and communication for the much awaited Question and Answer portion.
10. His National Costume for the pageant was conceptualized by his mentor and first Mr Gay World Philippines Wilbert Tolentino. It features a cape made from recycled plastic toy cars.