PHOTO RECAP: Mr Gay World Philippines 2016, a show to remember
MANILA, Philippines – John Raspado of Baguio City won the title of Mr Gay World Philippines 2016, beating 33 candidates on Sunday, October 2 at the UP Theater. (FULL LIST: Winners, Mr Gay World Philippines 2016)
The special awards were handed out, with Baguio's John Raspado grabbing the most number of awards.
The top 15 were also announced and advanced to the swimwear competition.
After the swimwear competition, the candidates were narrowed down to the Top 10, and then proceeded to the formal wear competition.
From the formal wear, the candidates were narrowed down to 5. Each of them picked a judge from a fish bowl and answered the question given to them.
After a quick break, the 5 candidates were narrowed down to 3 contestants – John Raspados of Baguio City, John Bench Ortiz of Pangasinan, and Christian Khalil Vera Cruz of Zamboanga del Sur.
The 3 contestants then were given one question to answer from reigning Mr Gay World winner Roger Gonsalbez of Spain. The question was: "What is most challenging about being gay in the Philippines?"
All 3 expressed their thoughts about trying to fit in and at the same time, fighting the stereotypes against the LGBTQ community.
Christian answered: "Being gay in the Philippines is difficult. Especially that we live in a society that is very conservative. However, if you are just true to yourself, and be able to influence others, about our sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression, we can shatter the boundaries, discrimination and therefore, we shall have acceptance without exception."
Bench meanwhile said: "The challenging part of being gay in the Philippines is gaining respect and acceptance. But we will achieve it if we brothers and sisters, gay Filipinos will unite to be responsible Filipinos not only in the Philippines but the world. So come with me, I can be your coach of equality. "
John answered: "I feel for these people who are still challenged not being accepted. And with all the efforts of Mr Gay World, we could somehow eradicate stereotypes, patch [up] our differences, and modernize th image of gay men in the Philippines.
"And somehow, we could create a new image for us to be more confident, more creative, and most especially more accepted.
After a deliberation by the judges and the final message by Mr Gay World Philippines title holder Christian Lacsamana, the winners were announced, with Christian placing 2nd runner-up, Bench Ortiz as 1st runner-up, and John Raspado as the winner.
Congratulations to all the winners!– Rappler.com