JONAS GAFFUD LAUNCHES “THE CROWN: YOUR ESSENTIAL GUIDE TO BECOMING A BEAUTY QUEEN” MANUAL
Jonas Gaffud, the trainer who has produced a Miss World, a Miss International, and a Miss Universe for the Philippines, shares the secrets to winning beauty pageants and spills inside stories of the most celebrated beauty royalties in recent years in his first book under ABS-CBN Publishing, Inc. entitled “The Crown: Your Essential Guide to Becoming a Beauty Queen.”
With more than 30 certified beauty titlists under his belt, Jonas is undeniably the country’s premier beauty queen maker. Known as Mama J in the industry, his list of mentees includes winners in international beauty contests such as Miss World 2013 Megan Young, Miss International 2016 Kylie Versoza, and Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach who all joined their trainer in “The Crown” book cover.
Together with his beauty pageant training squad, Aces & Queens, the new author has become a key player in the Philippines’ pageantry success for 16 years now.
“It’s all about Aces & Queens’ journey, how we trained beautiful ladies all these years (and their stories as well), how we created our group, and how we evolved,” shared Jonas on what the book is all about.
“The Crown” will prove essential to both pageant aspirants and keen spectators, with its discussions on competitions’ crucial matters such as dealing with the height problem, question and answer tricks, and sashaying in heels 101. It also provides the Aces and Queens checklist and tons of tips on preparing for the big event.
Jonas also opened up about his biggest triumphs in his book. He said, “training beauty queens gave me front row, and most recently, mosh pit, to the exhilarating world of pageants. Seeing the ladies we trained showcase their unique beauty, walk and personality on stage never fails to give me a natural high. A definite milestone in my career is being able to help make Miss Universe happen in the Philippines.”
The handy manual provides inspiration from the stories of his group’s roster of beauty queens who all remained gracious through victory and defeat. The author also revealed other interesting details like his first-ever buena manocandidate, his Aces & Queens team members and their training forte, and his learnings when pageants wrap up.
“The best and most fulfilling part of all is being vessels for these young girls to be better individuals, thinking individuals, who reach their dreams and do something that make our nation proud,” wrote the beauty queen trainer who also heads Mercator Artist and Model Management.
Jonas launched the book together with the other Aces & Queens pillars Arnold “Mama Ruffa” Mercado and Nad Bronce, and their beauty queen alumni Pia, Miss Universe 2010 4th runner-up Venus Raj, actor Daniel Matsunaga, model Marc Nash, and other special guests at a ceremony held in Marco Polo Ortigas Manila.
Pia shared her excitement about the beauty queen manual. She said, “the book gives me a lot of flashbacks when I was just starting. They (Aces & Queens) found potential in me at a time when I didn’t see it yet.”
“The Crown: Your Essential Guide to Becoming a Beauty Queen” will soon be available in leading newsstands and bookstores nationwide for only P295
Yesterday, Miss Universe Philippines Maxine Medina (in a red Christian Moya gown) underwent her final training day/rehearsals as the country’s bet and host delegate for the 65th Miss Universe. All bases were neatly covered. And the three pillars of Aces & Queens – Jonas Gaffud, Arnold Mercado and Atty Nad Bronce – saw to it that our Queen is more than 100% in-the-zone and on target for a back-to-back victory. The pressure is extremely high that it can cut like a knife if something goes amiss. So at this point, we can say with certainty that Miss Philippines is well-prepared, polished with confidence and ready for the Universe. I daresay that her preparations are even more meticulous than that of Queen P’s.
Get ready for #4M4MU (the hashtag cheer for Maxine Medina). She is ready to welcome all the delegates with a big smile and wide open arms.
You will understand why there are no clear or close-up photos of the ladies who showed up for the Final Screening of Aces & Queens for the Class of 2017. There are around ninety-nine (99) who arrived (filtered from the 267 online applicants) with more than a few qualifiers who did not make it for personal reasons (but they will show up eventually for sure!).
This is the biggest final screening of applicants the beauty camp has conducted to date. And the main man himself, Jonas Gaffud, is so pleased with how the group has grown by leaps and bounds through the years. The hard-earned efforts are paying off. The process has leveled up real nicely. And everyone is accounted for – Arnold Mercado, Bessie Besana, Atty. Nad Bronce, Gerry Diaz, Cesar Evangelista, Direk Jeff Jeturian, Boyet Blas, Albert Kurniawan, Caloy Buendia, Pao Baysa, Jim Ryan Ros, Dave Grona, Raymond Galang, Carissa Medved and more! Let’s throw in my favorite shoemaker, Jojo Bragais, as well. And what’s a final screening without BQs? Hillarie Parungao, Christi McGarry, Arienne Calingo, Angelica Alita, Jehza Huelar, Kimverlyn Suiza and Apriel Smith all clocked in.
I am certain that Aces & Queens will come up with another exciting batch of ladies who will vie for Bb. Pilipinas 2017. Watch out for the hidden gems because they will surprise you! 😉
UPDATE from Arnold Mercado himself:
“The results are in… After tabulating all the members’ votes, 33 made it to the A&Q training pool. 9 more applicants will have a special screening next week. To the Class of 2017, welcome to ACES and Queens. You will receive an advice for the general orientation.”
If you take a close look at the group photo above, the familiar and not-so familiar faces of the ladies won’t surprise you that much anymore. Standing from left to right are Catriona Gray, Maria Angelica de Leon, Vinie Dy Quiangco, Sandra Lemonon, Atty. Nad Bronce (A&Q’s Q&A specialist), Arienne Calingo and Charmaine Elima. Crouched is Arnold Mercado, while kneeling are Caloy Buendia, Pao Baysa and Mr. World Philippines 2015 Sam Ajdani.
Q&A training is extra crucial for the beauty camp, reason why the ladies being groomed for Miss World Philippines 2016 and Bb. Pilipinas 2017 (for Maine) plus Mr. World Philippines 2015 are getting their one-on-one and group sessions with Atty. Nad Bronce himself.
There are no rigid structures in the way such public speaking enhancements are reinforced in each one. The natural ability of the individual to express his or her thoughts are circled around and improved so as not to veer away too much from the spontaneous nature inherent in the trainees.
Anyways, watch out for the six ladies above and how they will ne polished in time for their respective competitions. 🙂
As far back as I can remember, Aces & Queens has never had a pictorial of the whole team that was as properly set up as this. So when the lovely photographs taken by Dix Perez started showing up in the Facebook accounts of both Jonas Gaffud and Arnold Mercado, I said “Finally!” It could perhaps be the best time to do so after the camp has successfully helped in getting the 3rd Miss Universe crown (via Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach) for the country that matched well with our 1st Miss World victory (courtesy of Megan Young) for which they also got significant credits for.
So without further ado, let me just give you a quick rundown of the members in their grouped and family portraits.Note: There were four important members who missed the photoshoot so let me just cite the following individuals as well: Carlos Buendia, Jr. (for wardrobe/dancing/choreography), Yuventus Albert Kurniawan (for make-up), Dave Grona (for hair) and Film Director Jeffrey Jeturian (Senior Adviser).
I doff my hat to all of you! 🙂
The famed beauty camp is not resting on its laurels, especially not after a splendid performance for 2015:
Miss Universe 2015 Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach
Miss Globe 2015 Ann Colis
Miss Tourism Queen of the Year International 2015/16 Leren Mae Bautista
Miss Intercontinental 2015 1st Runner-Up Christi Lynn McGarry
Miss World 2015 Top 10 and Multimedia Awardee Hillarie Danielle Parungao
The plan is to stay well in the game, while riding on the wave of the Filipinas’ popularity in the global pageant arena and facing the challenge of helping bring more honors to the country. Not the easiest of missions to sustain but these individuals are headstrong in their passion, mission and vision.
And according to Jonas himself, the group is setting its sights beyond beauty pageants. Can’t wait to see what other chapters will be opened soon.
More crowns. More honors. #ForThePhilippines 👑🇵🇭
Honestly, I can’t find a big blunder in Pia Wurtzbach’s Q&A performance after Judge Sen. Sonny Angara asked her permission to ask the question in Filipino. Any candidate (except perhaps the likes of Laura Lehmann and Joy Diaz who are more at ease speaking in and understanding English) in the same position will answer on the affirmative and then segue to a reply also in Filipino. What I would possibly have suggested is to shorten the initial response so as to give her extra seconds to quickly translate the same in English for the foreign members of the panel. This was the discussion I had with my seatmates – Atty. Nad Bronce of A&Q and designer Eric delos Santos – at the venue. For someone who is more than ready to answer in English, she wasn’t caught off-guard making a 180-degree switch to mouthing statements in the vernacular instead. Given the boiling pressure at the time, presence of mind allowed continuity of her thought without making a long pause. Or better yet, it would have served her well not to make a translation anymore so as to avoid getting harassed by the thought that not everyone who mattered understood her. After all, there will always be fellow judges who can help translate for, say, Maria Gabriela Isler or US Consul William Christopher or even Mexican Ambassador Julio Camanera.
And hey, it is also possible that we are looking at the wrong source of reason/s for Pia’s non-win. There is also the likelihood that the judges were looking for a more exotic-looking Filipina to represent us in Miss Universe and fair-skinned Binibinis are not impressive enough for their taste. Maybe, just maybe, she did not really register a very strong mark and MJ Lastimosa was zooming up to the top at a rate that would no longer be reachable for the other comers.
Regardless, it is time for Pia to move on and find her place in the sun under the shadow of another beach umbrella. 😉