Jerome Tabayoyong from Laoac, Pangasinan is a Misters 2015 The Pageant Official Candidate
Call Jerome Tabayoyong the big brother among all the Official Candidates of Misters 2015 The Pageant. At 29, he is the oldest in the batch and does not really mind being tagged as everyone’s ‘Kuya’
. Interestingly, he is also like that at home – to his elder brother John Philip who was born and diagnosed as Non-Verbal CWA (Children with Autism). That is where some of his life’s dramatic moments started, but where the more inspiring ones originated as well.
“I used to be his rival. Hindi ko siya maintindihan and there were times na sinasaktan ko siya noong bata kami. Kasi kapag sinisira niya books ko, ako pa rin pinapagalitan ng magulang ko“, intimated Jerome.
“I took SPED (Special Education) for the purpose of going abroad and financial security. But as years passed by, I got to learn by experience that destiny paved its way for me to be the one to teach my brother. He used to have a nanny for thirteen (13) years. But when she went abroad, nag iba lahat ng routines niya. So its up to me to make daily plans and strategies to control him. When you take out something from a special child, their whole routine changes and part of it their behaviors change too.”
Jerome and his brother John Philip when they were kids (left photo) and as grown-ups now
But while taking care of his brother is a mission he set upon himself, Jerome also wants to fulfill a lifelong dream of joining a male pageant. This is like the second mission he is looking to accomplish with Misters 2015. Check out the Q&A we had. I must admit that his original answers required a lot of editing to shorten some of the lengthier explanations.
1) As a Misters 2015 candidate, give me a 30-second intro about yourself which will make followers show more interest in you.
Hello everyone, I am Mr. Jerome Tabayoyong, I am 29 years old. I play dota, billiards, soccer, a bit of golf and basketball and I faithfully go to the gym. I am an alumna of Claret School of Quezon City where I served as member of the Football Varsity and which helped me qualify to be part of the UP Men’s football Team. I played soccer at the same time fulfilling my duties as a UP student…My motto in life is to serve a purpose. Without purpose, life is pointless.
2) As one of the candidates, what image do you want to show the others?
I came from humble beginnings. When I was young, I was subjected to teasing and mockery since looking dark and very Filipino contradicted the more popular Caucasians or fair-skinned actors/models. I believe that this has psychological effects on young children and society. Most people want to change their skin tones/facial features through medical advancements. I want to exemplify the value that true beauty is about being distinct in culture and ethnicity. It is to work with the given and love yourself.
Gusto ko pong itaguyod na ang isang Pilipino katulad sa mga nakasulat sa libro ng Hekasi, Sibika at Araling Panlipunan. Hindi hadlang ang pagkakaroon ng pangong ilong, biluging mata, biluging noo at kayumangging balat upang ipagmalaki na ang isang Pinoy ay hindi papahuli, talagang may kalidad sa trabaho at may puso sa kahit sino mang lahi o kababayan.
3) In Miss Universe, a popular running line is “yellow is the color of joy”. What color best represents you?
For me it is the Color Red. Red symbolizes love and the heart. A heart’s purpose is to pump blood throughout the body. Same in life, to live life with love and heart with the unsung heroes of nowadays. ..
4) Not everyone can win a special award in the competition, but if you are qualified for the following, which would you prefer to win: Mister Friendship or Mister Talent?
I would prefer Mr. Talent. It is my frustration to become a rockstar or a lounge singer. But kidding aside, I want to use my singing talent if your ears won’t hurt. I want to share them to the potential kids and less privileged. And one day they could have a sense of master-apprentice relationship just like what my mentor Bidz Dela Cruz told me.
5) If you win one of the titles, people will expect you to be a good role model. How will you start building that image if ever?
It is really not for me to tell or assume winning one of the titles. But if by fate and God’s will, I want to send out a message that to listen and to respect someone is based not on stature, level of achievements or from the school you came from…
6. Have you joined other male contests in the past? If so, what difference do you expect in terms of handling Misters2015 competition? Will you adopt a new gameplan, this being a tougher field?
This is my first time to participate in a very big event. Before I was only able to bring the name of my org and UP Men’s football team. But now, on my shoulders is the name of Claret-UP Diliman and UP Men’s Football team. It is a big pressure as this pageant is to showcase the Flag of the Philippines. I was overwhelmed since my fellow candidates are mostly title holders, models. And objectively speaking, you cannot feel the pressure among them for they are very humble, bubbly and with good characters even behind the cameras.
My gameplan for this pageant is to accept constructive criticism, to listen to the people who know best and accept your limitations. To avoid comparisons since every person is distinct to their own physicality, spirituality, intellect and character.
7. How do you expect your life to change after being named an Official Candidate of Misters of Pilipinas 2015?
I am really overwhelmed by this experience. My only prayer to God was to experience the life as a model. And he gave more than expected. Being part of a prestigious competition will enable you to use them as credentials not for something to boast about. Instead to serve as teacher not limited in the classroom setting. To apply these lessons in real life to form a legacy in this world…
8) Do you think that your being a UP scholar and SPED teacher will give you an edge in terms of patience and intelligence?
Normally, when people graduate from UP, it is highly expected that you have the brains. But I do not consider myself as one of them. There are two kinds of people in UP –ang Matalino at Ang Maabilidad. I can firmly say that I belong to the Maabilidad.
9) How will you factor in your age, being the oldest in the group? Advantage or disadvantage?
Being the oldest in the group is an advantage. I can share my life experiences to my younger co-candidates. One of the best fulfillments in life is to guide them in the right path if they permit me to. Being 29, almost reaching 30 is the peak of the modelling career for men. But when things are on the edge, life becomes more meaningful. To savor every moment, meet new people and learn from them. Getting traits from different sets of people is a priceless gift you can keep for the rest of your life.
10) Any message to your followers, Jerome?
To the Claret Football team, to the Claretians, to the UP community, UP Men’s Football team and to all the teachers out there, please support Misters 2015. This is not only for me but for my co-candidates/friends as well. I want you to watch this experience as later on it will serve as an inspiration to follow your dreams. According to Disney’s Hercules: “A Hero’s strength is measured by his heart”
Jerome (right) after getting his Misters 2015 shirt from Neil Perez (Photo credit: Joy Arguil)