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Thursday, November 26, 2015

Male Hunks and Beauties Battle for a Crown with a Purpose


Wazzup Pilipinas!

Advocacy group, LoveYourself, Inc., in partnership with HIVOS and City Government of Mandaluyong, brings an exceptional beauty pageant with a purpose to spread awareness on HIV/AIDS to targeted populations, including males who have sex with males (MSMs) and the youth.

The “Mr. and Ms. Fratpad 2015” banks on promoting self-worth, while fostering unity and camaraderie among LGBT sub-communities to achieve a common goal of preventing and ending misconceptions on HIV/AIDS in the country.

Interestingly, the 21-candidates of the pageant are all biologically males, in which eleven (11) contestants are confidently donning as hunks, while the ten (10) others are courageously draping as beauties.

LoveYourself Executive Director Ronivin Pagtakhan said “Regaining self-worth plays a pivotal role in preventing the spread of HIV by eradicating misinformation, stigma and discrimination often associated with it.” He added that “innovative initiatives such as this pageant strategically engage everyone, most especially the vulnerable populations like MSMs and the youth.”

Crowning of Mr. and Ms. Fratpad will take place on 28 November 2015 at the at the Kaban ng Hiyas Hall, in Mandaluyong City Hall, in which ticket sales and social media votes (www.facebook.com/loveyourself.ph/) through likes form part of the criteria to win the title “Ambassadors of Self-worth.” The proceeds from the ticket sales will help fund LoveYourself’s projects, while the online clamour it may create will drum up the digital awareness campaign of the organization.

Boosting the advocacy further, LoveYourself and HIVOS will publish the “I Magazine,” a publication featuring the pageant, the candidates, as well as tackling sexual health issues. The “I Magazine” stands for inspiration, insight, improvement and ideals about taking care of oneself, and challenging issues such as infections and identity, among others. Apart from its initial digital release on 28 November, it will also be distributed in LGBT-friendly bars and organizations in the Philippines and across Asia, which will likewise carry portraitures shot by fashion photographer Mark Ryan Alvarez.

Additionally, budding fashion designer Louis Pangilinan sponsored the dresses that the candidates will wear during the “Resort Wear” portion of the pageant. The Laguna-based designer has been featured in the Beauty Queen Academy, and his creations were already worn by Bb. Pilipinas titlists Ariella Arida, Bea Santiago, and Pia Wurtzbach to name a few.

Meanwhile, renowned acts (e.g., the Philippine All-Stars and Leah Patricio) will also light up the stage during the coronation night.

Mr. and Ms. Fratpad was an extension to LoveYourself’s “Fratpad” project, which is a free and confidential HIV screening, counseling, peer education for members of clans and societal groups.

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