Filipinos love a good beauty pageant, so it’s no surprise the 2017 Mr Gay World Philippines pageant was a panoply of colors, costumes and more.
John Raspado of Baguio City was crowned winner at this year’s event, held October 2 in Quezon City.
The 35-year-old will now represent the Philippines in the Mr Gay World competition next year.
Khalil Vera Cruz and Bench Ortiz were named first and second runner up, respectively. Christian Lacsamana, Mr. Gay World Philippines 2015, won second runner-up at this year’s Mr. Gay World competition in Malta.
Raspado, who works in online marketing, competed in categories include casual wear, talent and national costume.
And, of course, swimwear.
In his interview segment, Raspado was asked what was the most challenging aspect of being gay in the Philippines.
During the competition, he discussed his family, including his brother, who suffered a debilitating stroke early this year.
“It breaks my heart seeing him incapable of doing things,” he said. “When I was growing up, my brother’s the one [who came] to the rescue when I was bullied. Now. it’s my time to take care of him.”
He called his win “overwhelming,” and said taking top honors at Mr. Gay World was “the next step” for his advocacy work, helping to raise awareness of HIV/AIDS and “eradicating stereotypes and creating an [more positive] image for gay men” in the Philippines.