July 26, 2017, 8:44 am
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John Raspado is ready for Mr. Gay World 2017

ON Monday, April 24, reigning Mr. Gay World Philippines John Fernandez Raspado will meet members of media before he leaves for Madrid and Maspalomas in Spain to represent the Philippines at the 9th Mr. Gay World finals.

The 36-year-old, 6-foot-2 online marketing entrepreneur from Baguio admits he is doubly pressured to compete because first, he is carrying the name of the entire LGBTQI community in the Philippines in the hopes of uplifting them to greater levels of respect and equality, and second, he is crossing his fingers that he will continue the feat of last year’s local delegate, Christian Lacsamana who placed second runner-up, the first Filipino to ever make it to the finals.

Fully aware that an Asian has yet to win the pageant for straight-looking gay men, Raspado is not taking any chances and has adopted a holistic approach in his series of trainings and preparations for his international campaign.

He has been regularly working out in the gym to beef up his physique and is on a no-salt, low-sugar diet. He has also been rigorously undergoing sessions in walking, posing and projection and communication skills under the famed Kagandahang Flores boot camp. He has also been conditioning himself both mentally and emotionally, fully aware of the challenges that will be thrown his way as he pursues his quest to become the first ever Filipino and Asian winner of the tilt.

The coveted Mr. Gay World title has actually been held by default by the representative of Hong Kong in 2015. Emmanuel Mass Luciano, a native of Puerto Rico and resident of Hong Kong, placed first runner-up in 2015 but assumed the title after the original winner, Germany’s Klaus Burkhart, resigned.

“I am counting on your prayers and full support as I embark on this journey to make the Filipino LGBTQI community proud,” John said during an exclusive interview with Malaya. 

The youngest of four children of Romulo A. Raspado, a retired government employee from Isabela, and the former Ma. Dolores Flores Fernandez, an OFW from La Union, John was born on February 20, 1981 in Baguio City and graduated with a degree in Marketing at St. Louis University. He first gained national prominence after winning the ‘I Am Pogay’ contest in ABS-CBN’s “It’s Showtime!” in 2014. He nailed his ticket to the 9th Mr. Gay World Pageant after winning the Mr. Gay World Philippines 2016 finals at the UP Theater last October, a national search organized by Wilbert Tolentino, the first Mr. Gay World Philippines who competed in the first Mr. Gay World finals in Whistler, Canada in 2009.

John will be joined by 20 other delegates worldwide for the weeklong pageant that will culminate in Maspalomas, a resort town in Gran Canaria, Canary Islands known worldwide for its LGBT tourism.

He enjoins pageant fans and supporters to vote for him by visiting www.mrgayworld.com and Mr. Gay World Philippines Facebook Page to boost his points for Mr. Popularity and Mr. Multi Media and eventually increase his chances to become the first Filipino titleholder in the tilt.  

John has this message for all his supporters and followers: “We have come together as one to fight for our rights – the right to Love, Respect, Understanding, Acceptance and the right to Life.

With this collective effort, I know we will be victorious. This battle isn’t just for me. This is for all of us – the Filipino LGBTQI Community. We should not only be recognized in the community, but respected and fully accepted for our rights.”
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