By Ariel Allera
Mentoring pageant entrants is a passion I've rediscovered during pandemic and decided to recapitulate after all is said and done.
When I logged away from the pageant system for quite sometime, I felt that an essential piece of me was missing. And even during the days I was active, I couldn't help feeling so locked-in and left out, especially with the limited time I had and the myopic profile I kept within my domain.
It's ironic because while I'd teach my mentees to be empowered, I myself did not feel the least bit. And it's a shame. Because even if they didn't know it was purely lip service for the love of teaching, at the end of the day you'd cry yourself to sleep wishing you felt thoroughly fulfilled and accomplished.
Somehow this pandemic has brought about some good in my life, among those is the realization that it's high time I went out there and broadened my horizons. By going out there I don't mean exposing myself to a menace to life and limb, which is our invisible enemy. I mean: sharing my passion for and know-how about pageants to as many as my free time can afford.
I don't have to go all the way from my far-flung southern home town of Malabuyoc to the northern Liloan town in Cebu Province to sit down with my Misters of Filipinas 2021 Q and A mentee Dexter Tundag or to Lapu-Lapu City on the island of Mactan to help another Misters of Filipinas 2021 candidate Jhon Christian Arong in his mental preparation for the upcoming national pageant to be held in Negros Oriental on August 1 through 10, 2021.
I can just sit here, ask them questions, give them my honest-to-goodness feedback, teach them how to improve upon their answers, and walk them through the way to answering from the heart and soul—all in the comfort of my home with a cuppa on the table.
Thanks to Cebu's King of All Kings Noel Inez of Team Forte (which he coheads with Elmer De Venancio) for entrusting our Misters of Filipinas 2021 hopefuls Dexter Tundag and Jhon Christian Arong to me in the mental department. As their Q and A mentor, I will do my best to bring out the best in them so that they will end up bringing home any of the five titles: Man of the World, Mister International, Mister Model Worldwide, Mister Tourism and Culture Universe, and Mister Model of the Universe.
Who would've thought that this pandemic had us cross each other's paths? Whether virtually or whatnot, it doesn't matter. What matters is that Noel and I share the same goal for Cebu pageant kings and queens: to continue to bring home the bacon.
To recall, Noel Inez produced and directed the Mister United Continents pageant held in Cebu in 2018. And for what it's worth, that's not the only global pageant he's had a hand on. It's an open book among everyone in the industry how professional he is, having worked with his creative fellows at various prestigious pageants. In fact, he's part of the production team that's all set to go to Manila for the Miss World Philippines 2021 finals to be held at the Mall of Asia Arena on July 25.
Couldn't be more excited to take my pageant mentoring seriously and no longer for granted. If this is going to send me to places where I can make more friends who share not only the same passion for pageants, but more importantly, a zest for helping, and most especially, a sense of self-empowerment, then I don't mind being surrounded by more beautiful people moving forward. Who doesn't wanna rub elbows with the most gorgeous men and women in the country anyway? Feel free to leave the group if you say you don't. Tell that to the marines.
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