MANILA, Philippines – After 18 years of training women to become beauty queens, Aces and Queens co-founder and talent manager Jonas Antonio Gaffud announced on Monday, April 1 that he will be leaving the group.
On Facebook, Jonas wrote: "When my friends and I founded Aces and Queens, our intention was to prepare young women to be queens for national and international pageants. Our group got bigger, as the number of girls we train or who asked to be trained by us, also grew. And we have trained them with passion, love and dedication without asking anything in return. Though we have permanent jobs, our only reward was to see them grow as persons, and bring honor to our country. We never knew it would be this big."
"As much as I would love to continue training girls as head of Aces and Queens, I believe it is time for me to leave the group to pursue other endeavors. As such, I will focus on developing and sustaining advocacies which are close to our hearts: education of children, and raising funds for their causes, LGBTQIA rights & awareness, tourism for the Philippines and women empowerment."
Jonas thanked the ladies who underwent training in Aces ans Queens as well as the people they worked with including fashion stylists, makeup artists, and designers. He also gave a special thank you to the Binibining Pilipinas Charities Inc and Miss Universe Organization, which he has helped in several events.
"Let’s support our queens. We are Team Philippines after all. Mabuhay at maraming salamat (Thank you.)"
Jonas has been training Philippine representatives since the early 2000's. It was under his mentorship that the Philippines was able to produce several runner-up placements in Miss Universe, including the 2015 win of Pia Wurtzbach – the first after 42 years. Other ladies whom he mentored include Miss World 2013 Megan Young and Miss International 2016 Kylie Verzosa
In 2017, Jonas launched his book The Crown: Your Essential Guide to Becoming a Beauty Queen, in which he shared tips about honing women into a beauty queen.
View this post on Instagram The Crown: The Making of A Queen. @piawurtzbach @meganbata @kylieverzosa #missuniverse #missworld #missinternational #acesandqueens #beautyqueens #philippines A post shared by Jonas Antonio Gaffud (@jonasempire.ph) on Dec 9, 2016 at 8:50pm PST
Jonas is also behind Empire PH, a digital channel which produces lifestyle, beauty, and wellness shows, as well as Empire Studios, that facilitates workshops on personality development, dance, acting, and pageantry. He also heads Mercator Artist and Model Management. – Rappler.com