MANILA, Philippines – On Sunday, October 2, John Raspado of Baguio City was proclaimed the winner of the 2016 Mr Gay World Philippines pageant held at the UP Theater.
John, 35, will represent the country in the Mr Gay World competition scheduled in 2017. He will try to recreate or exceed the success of Christian Lacsamana, who won 2nd runner-up at the competition held in Malta last April.
Here are few details about the new Mr Gay World Philippines.
1. He is an entrepreneur. According to his biography on the Mr Gay World Philippines website, John is an entrepreneur engaged in online marketing.
2. He joined It's Showtime's "I'm Pogay" segment. In 2014, John joined It's Showtime's "I'm Pogay" segment. He became the grand winner of the contest.
In the VTR aired during the contest, John said winning the "I'm Pogay" contest opened a lot of opportunities for him, and helped pay the bills for his family. His mother, he said worked abroad for 23 years.
3. He's a devoted brother. In the VTR aired during the contest, John talked about his brother, who suffered a stroke early this year.
"It breaks my heart seeing him incapable of doing things. It's sad because when I was growing up, my brother's the one [who came] to the rescue when I'm bullied. Now. it's my time to take care of them. I have to be strong for my family," he said.
In an interview after the competition, when asked about his brother, John said: "I cannot express how he feels, pero nung nagkausap kami (when we got to talk), I know that he’s very proud of me."
4. On winning Mr Gay World Philippines. In an interview after the competition last Sunday, John said: "Syempre sobrang overwhelming. I’ve been training for this for quite some time now."
(Of course it's overwhelming. I've been training for this quite some time now.)
He also said that winning the title of Mr Gay World is "[the] next step for my advocacy and for my main purpose."
5. HIV awareness advocacy. John said one of his advocacies is about HIV awareness saying that he has counseled some people in the past, and would like to focus on health issues.
He also said that he will uphold the mission and vision of Mr Gay World Philippines.
"Kailangan natin isulong yung (We need to uphold the) mission and vision ng Mr Gay World. So syempre (of course), we have to eradicate stereotyping and create an [more positive] image for gay men," he said. – Rappler.com