I can vividly remember the very first event when I was formally introduced and spent time with Col. Ricardo L. Nolasco Jr. during the selection of Official Candidates for Mr & Ms Hannah’s Ecotourism Philippines 2017 at Market! Market! We were seated alongside each other on the judges’ table back then.
I never expected that first encounter to reel off my regular visits to Hannah’s Beach Resort & Convention Center whenever they would host preliminaries of different national pageants. I’ve always considered Pagudpud to be such a far and remote place to go to. But after just two consecutive invitations to head up north, I got so used to the trip – be it by plane or by bus. The #CrownJewelOfTheNorth became like a second home, having spent six (6) workcation weekends there last year.
With that, I have grown much closer to the Proprietor himself – Col. Ricardo L. Nolasco Jr. – a down-to-earth man who has placed his unwavering faith in my talents and capabilities. And no event by Hannah’s went by without my presence (and coverage).
Up to this year when I got significantly involved in the nationwide Go-Sees, Grand Callback and Actual Competition for Mr and Miss Hannah’s World Tourism Philippines 2018 up to preparations for Miss Hannah’s World Tourism, he was always there checking on us – always the hands-on superior whose fatherly presence I regularly look up to with such endearment.
Now that Gov (as we fondly call him) has sadly moved on to be with his Creator, I feel a sense of great loss. Last night, I could not find the right words to say to his loved ones who are left behind. But this morning, I finally gathered the strength to face up to the reality of his untimely passing.
#TeamHannahs with Col. Nolasco (center)
Mahal na mahal ka namin, Sir! Hinding hindi kita malilimutan. Ikaw ang inspirasyon na laging gumagabay sa akin at sa amin. At sana’y tuloy-tuloy mo pa rin kaming bantayan.
Our second to the last pair of Official Candidates for Mr & Miss Hannah’s World Tourism Philippines 2018 have a number of similarities that make up the individual threads of their existence. They are both independent-minded, both hungry for achievements and both keen on making themselves purposeful. He is the only remaining entry for Mindanao, while she is the sole rep from Bataan.
Meet Michael Gomez #SwimmerForLife and Errish Anne Nalus #WomanOfPurpose.
Swimming represents more than just a sport in the life of Michael from Midsayap. It is not all about doing laps on the pool or competing with fellow aquatic athletes for a podium finish. He has the Gold medals to prove, especially in his favorite event – the butterfly – for this. But this young man hashtagged #SwimmerForLife considers himself as someone in continuous search for the win in every challenge he takes. He is neither a perfectionist nor a motion-follower. He would rather be called a strategist.
“Growing up in North Cotabato may not be the most ideal in the eyes of the judgmental. But in my case, it has given me the foundation to stand on my feet without necessarily cutting off my family ties. I love everything that has to do with my parents, siblings and even my foster father in Manila. But I also love pushing my boundaries and seeing what’s out there for me. I relocated to Davao City to evolve into a professional right after graduation. I did for a while. The call for stronger achievements is a lot louder though. I want to do well in Mr & Miss Hannah’s World Tourism Philippines. And I dream of being a representative of the country in an international competition.”
Michael is not one to give up on his goals easily. He has had his share of failures in the past couple of years. But he learns from his mistakes, picks up the pieces and plots a stronger comeback every time. Going for the Gold means more than just a medal for him. It is a hard-earned validation.
There is subtle parallelism between Errish and her current employer -City of Dreams – in that she would like to envision herself in a perfect-ish world where all her wants and wishes can be realized. Being self-reliant since she became an adult at 18, she has been gradually planning her life according to what she wants to become in ten years’ time. And she very seldom goes on auto-pilot mode. She would rather drive herself towards a goal as she pleases.
“I have been an independent woman for many years now. And this conscious shift from relying on my parents for everything made me realize everything I found significant about life. One thing that I want in is to show people that I am more than what they see physically. I can be quite the adventurous individual, like when I climbed Mt. Pimitinan in Montalban, Rizal to the surprise of my family and friends. The universe created ‘ME’ only once and I am born with my unique qualities, unique stories and unique talents. My purpose may still be unclear to many, but it is something that adds up to my mystery as an individual.”
At the onset, I thought of Errish to be self-limiting in a way. But she proved me wrong. She has guts, and loads of it. And when she focused her sights on Mr & Miss Hannah’s World Tourism Philippines, I know that she’s in it for the long haul, however bumpy the ride can get.
You could say that the 18th pair of Official Candidates for Mr & Miss Hannah’s World Tourism Philippines 2018 is a unique duo. True, they’re both fashion models. But the similarity stops there. He is a hardened survivor of Typhoon Yolanda who found the meaning of life in Cebu City. And she is the youngest entry in this batch – a sixteen year-old Fil-Brit who thinks and speaks beyond her actual age.
Meet Giovanni Ramos Viter #IndependentMan and Elisa Taylor #MoreThanSweet16.
Call him Vann for short.
Gone were the days when he went to hell and back during the destruction of Tacloban City by Typhoon Yolanda back in November, 2013. He has survived that devastating part of his young life. And now that he is a self-supporting resident of Cebu City, he continues to live by this mantra – the only person you can depend on is yourself.
“After the typhoon, the family decided to move to Bacolod City since my mom is an Ilongga. At age 18, I decided to live on my own and migrated to Cebu City where I do regular modeling jobs to support my family, to earn and continue my studies and to pursue my dreams. With the hashtag #IndependentMan, I learned to be strong because it toughened me up and made see things more realistically. I strongly believe that life is not for us to find, but life is for us to define.”
While standing on his own has helped Vann become a more mature individual, he has not forgotten the simple pleasures in living like having a loving relationship with his girlfriend. The bad boy image he initially projects on the outside is just a first layer reserved for those who still haven’t earned his trust. Getting through to his innermost feelings could be hard, but there is nothing impossible with the kind of personality he possesses. The heart of gold will show – in bits and pieces at first. And in small chunks later.
Most would be surprised upon learning that Elisa is the youngest candidate of Mr & Miss Hannah’s World Tourism Philippines 2018. But at the age of 16, she is already a Professional Model who can rule the catwalk in all her fashion show engagements. And you can never discount her ability to speak and communicate her feelings. She has a tender way with words, this Fil-Brit of a stunner.
“As a individual, I could say that I’m quite unique in way. How so? Well as many people know I’m still quite young, 16 to be precise. And with that, many people doubt my deeper sensibilities. They think I’m too young to do anything. I was told do just study and be a good girl but that’s not how I work. That’s just not me. I’m a person who will do anything to get what she wants, and I believe no matter what age or size you are, you can do it. Since the challenges are made by God, He knows where our limits are. But if we truly want it, then we will achieve it. And with Hannah’s, what I want is to win not for me but for my supporters, my advocacy, and for the Philippines. Like I said before, the reason I joined is to encourage the people of my generation to do what’s right and to be there and to preserve our natural beauty not only as a country but to the people as well. This is my dream to be a voice and to help others to find they’re voice in this world fueled by judgement and hatred.”
Strong words from a young lady who still has more than a year to count before being called a debutante. But there’s no stopping Elisa. Not now when she has vast opportunities knocking on her door.
For our 16th pair of Official Candidates for Mr & Miss Hannah’s World Tourism Philippines 2018, I give you two young individuals who underwent totally different struggles in life to reach the point where they stand right now. The guy from Antipolo City is an example of self-determination amidst survival mode and the girl from Mandaluyong City who bravely went through the travails of someone who was pre-judged by her skin color.
Meet Joshua Helito #HeartOfASurvivor and Daniella Mariz Lamptey #BlackIsBeautiful.
Joshua may have gone through a string of rock-bottom moments and difficulties in life at a young age. However, these trying times served as his motivation to push himself up and mark a number of milestones in life – two of which are winning World’s Best Models Philippines – Junior Division 2017 and successfully graduating from La Salle College Antipolo just very recently.
“The story of my life is one for dramatic teleseryes. There were times when the family had almost nothing to eat except whatever growing vegetables can be picked from the backyard. That taught my siblings and I to plant anything so that there will always be something available to cook for our meals. There were times when I also experienced eating cheap junk food as viand instead of the usual plain dishes. And you’d be surprised to know that I also had my fair share of bullying while growing up. But here I am, still standing proud on my own two feet.
What are your best life lessons?
“You simply need to sacrifice when you have nothing and never get back at people even if they continuously bruise my pride and feelings. It’s better if you don’t step on others just to get your own way.
I am one patient guy. And I will do whatever it takes to get what I want without losing my honor and dignity. My self-determination is so strong that I can weather any obstacle coming my way. It also helps that I fancy no frills in life – the simpler my existence, the better.”
What makes your family special?
“I come from a God-fearing and religious family. I love my parents unconditionally, and I will do everything to bring happiness to them, including those I consider close to my heart.”
“I am a Sophomore in College taking up Tourism Management.
I took up this course because of my love for travel. I want to see and discover the world’s beauty and many hidden places that will form part of my amazing experiences in life. Unlike other people I always find comfort whenever I travel and take creative shots of interesting things in the environment like bees, flowers, trees and other weird looking things found in the environment.”
What kind of a young woman are you?
“I am a woman of many dreams, I am an advocate of anti-bullying in my city of Mandaluyong. We have a mission to help young ones build confidence within themselves and help them overcome fear by conducting seminars, community extension and outreach programs.
In this stage of my life I am happy that through joining pageants, I am able to help other people by telling them my story and my own true experiences in life.
I also wanna add that black is a color that stands for bravery, darkness and obscurity. And for that, black represents me as a lady who is fiercer, bolder and 100% true. My complexion says it all.”
Daniella believes in the famous qoute “To live your life in fear is living your life half lived, so we should see and experience what the beauty of life has for us.” And with Mr & Miss Hannah’s World Tourism Philippines 2018, she will definitely see a lot of beauty and excitement in nature.
I am now presenting to you the 16th pair among the Official Candidates of Mr & Miss Hannah’s World Tourism Philippines 2018 – a Criminology student from Calasiao, Pangasinan who is uniquely old-fashioned in the world of millenials and a Business major-cum-model from Caloocan City who aspires to become a Victoria’s Secret model someday.
Meet Makheos Quiambao #OldSchoolGuy and Jane Nicole Miñano #TheDreamerInMe.
19 year-old Makheos is a Criminology student at the University of Luzon. He is a native of Calasiao, Pangasinan and considers himself one of the regular guys inside the campus who enjoys playing basketball as his sport and dancing as a talent. But that all changed when he entered the world of pageantry. He suddenly stepped up and got hold of the more confident side in him. Just a couple of months back, he participated in his first national competition as one of the contenders for Global Bachelor Philippines. It gave him a good understanding as to how things work and can now say that he is a better version of himself for Mr & Miss Hannah’s World Tourism Philippines 2018.
What makes you different from other young men your age?
“I could say that I’m different among the millennials because I still prefer to do things the old-fashioned way especially when it comes to courting a girl. I highly respect women and I don’t like hurting their feelings. I also look at challenges as tests that will prepare me for a more solid future – be it in my chosen career or any alternative opportunities that may come as a result of joining male pageants.”
Brace yourself for Makheos because he is more than ready to give this search a good fight.
This tall and striking eye candy from Caloocan City was one of the running favorites during the Grand National Callback of Mr & Miss Hannah’s World Tourism Philippines 2018. As such, making it as one of the Official Candidates was a breeze. But who is Jane Nicole Miñano outside the spotlight?
“Simply being myself makes me unique as an individual. I love being different but with some sense of idealism still in place, and not fitting the stereotypes. I have a good heart, uncomplicated and always willing to give a helping hand to other people as well as for efforts in our environment. My words and actions communicate a strong personal presence even if initially quiet and reserved in nature.”
How’s your schooling?
“I am a fresh graduate of Accountancy and Business Management at the University of the East with plans to pursue BSBA major in Financial Management for my college career. I took up this course primarily because I love solving mathematical problems. Aside from finishing my studies, I also want to be an international model and – fingers crossed -a Victoria’s Secret model. I have faith in myself and I believe I can make it big someday. After all, I am Jane Nicole Miñano – a dreamer, soul searcher and wanderer rolled into one.”
28 down, 12 more to go. Here now is the 15th pair of Official Candidates for Mr & Miss Hannah’s World Tourism Philippines 2018. And they actually look like an ideal Big Brother-Young Sister match from different parts of the country. He, a registered Medical Technologist from La Union and she, a fresh-faced ingenue from Liloan, Cebu.
Meet Jayvinne Klein Jainar #DevotedMedTech and Kylah Kristianne Yve Sanchez #SportyGirl.
Jayvinne is a person with strong will and determination that he brings to the fore in his chosen profession as Medical Technologist. And he always mentions with pride how dedicated he is to be one. This 24 year-old guy with the always-smiling face is an ardent promoter of his beautiful province of La Union. And he plans to make the place extra prominent once he goes full swing in his candidacy for Mr & Miss Hannah’s World Tourism Philippines 2018 where his jolly and friendly personality will come into play.
“I am an earnest individual who enjoys the simple things in life. Being happy is a state of mind, and I don’ t think that people should settle for less than what they deserve. I always look forward to the next best thing and I know that this search will bring me to greater heights and opportunities. There is more to life that we have to explore and enjoy at the same time.”
Remember the name – Jayvinne Klein Jainar. He is out to prove that good looks and perseverance are not enough to achieve success in the competition. He will measure up with a fighting heart to earn the nods of many.
When Kylah attended one of the nationwide go-sees for Mr & Miss Hannah’s World Tourism Philippines 2018, she did not only leave a mark across the screening panel. She literally wowed everyone with her exotic beauty and a refreshing appeal that scored unanimous ‘yes’ votes. She flew to Manila shortly after and is now a proud Official Candidate.
“I am not your typical beauty queen aspirant. In all the contests I have joined prior, I got my fair share of wins and losses. But the failures didn’t stop me from aiming for my dreams. And aside from this, I am also a hardworking athlete – a volleyball varsity player and a skim boarding fanatic. I was trained to face challenges to help mold myself into a better challenger. Truthfully, I never stop learning from all of my life experiences. I have become someone who is unstoppable because of the downfalls that I had experienced.
At the age of 18, I know that I still have a lot to prove. And that is one of the reasons why I joined this national competition.”
Soon, you will see this brave and daring #SportyGirl from Liloan, Cebu giving her 100% to the new mission.
Time to meet our 14th pair of Official Candidates for Mr & Miss Hannah’s World Tourism Philippines 2018. Two tall lookers are now ready for viewing – a fitness enthusiast who dreams of becoming a firefighter and a Church youth leader with the cuddly warmth of a true friend.
Meet Crispin C. Tabao of Tuguegarao City #FitnessLover and Honey Grace Cartasano of Antipolo City #WomanOfFaith.
He could live inside the gym if he wants to. But 21 year-old Cris is not about to spend days and nights working out. He simply manages his time well and makes sure that he faithfully follows his workout regimen without sacrificing his other essential responsibilites. This Mister Tuguegarao City 2017 titleholder wants to be the master of his own fate en route to his goal of being a future firefighter – a superhero of sorts in his own right.
“I come from one of the hottest – if not the hottest – places in the country where the famous Pancit Batil Patong originated. I stand 6 feet tall and a proud fitness lover.
During high school, I played football in Palarong Pambansa three times. Once I entered college, I decided to focus on pursuing my dreams of becoming a Law Enforcer someday.
Last year, I joined a provincial pageant and was unexpectedly crowned as Mister Tuguegarao City 2017 during the Celebration of the Pavurrulun Afi Festival. But my more precious achievement so far was passing the board exams for Criminology graduates.”
How does it feel to be part of Mr & Miss Hannah’s World Tourism Philippines 2018?
“It was good luck perhaps that I made the cut. And I can only thank God for the honor and the blessing. I prayed hard to be included. And when my name was called, I felt a sense of great relief because this would be my biggest competition so far.”
And your future plans after the contest?
“I want to become a firefighter to save lives and properties. I’m waiting for the quota of Region 2 to be able to apply with the Bureau of Fire Protection. And hopefully, it should become a reality this coming July.”
Honey possesses such a pleasantly kooky personality that observers won’t see upon first meeting. Give her time to warm up and she would sing like actress Anne Curtis in a heartbeat. Yes, she knows her vocal limitations but is gutsy enough not be deprived of the chance to show her so-called talent. And this is one delightful side that endears her to people instantly. On a more serious note, this beauty is a #WomanOfFaith with strong-willed determination to boot.
“Being raised by my single mom like a princess and shaped by struggles like a warrior, I’ve learned to be a strong and independent woman with God on my side. Though most people think that I’m too girly (they sometimes look at me like a barbie doll because of my physical appearance), I’m kind of different inside. I’m tough, brave and a little bit boyish.”
What makes Honey special?
“I can be a shoulder to lean on when life puts you down. That’s why I am very pleased that God appointed me to be a group leader in our church. To serve Him is my joy and to be able to inspire people to be strong but anchored in Christ is an honor.”
There is deep-seated warmth and grace in Honey. And anyone would be lucky to have her as a close friend and confidante. Will such qualities turn her into a winner in the competition? I’m sure she would want more than to be named Miss Congeniality. She aims to be Miss Hannah’s World Tourism Philippines 2018.