Friday, December 17, 2010

MAGANDANG HAPON PO! -PART TWO!

I woke up on Tuesday morning feeling like a freight train had hit me. Yep, that crazy feeling of Jet-lag where it feels like people talk in slow-mo and you’re walking on a moving platform, yet, it was time to get down to business and do what I came to the Philippines to do. First stop was a radio program called Tambalan at one of the Philippines biggest Media Groups where we did promotion for the 2011 Mr Gay World Competition to be held in Manila in March, as well as promote the launch of our new campaign for the education of HIV/Aids-The Red Ribbon Campain!

(Now, for those of you who are interested, The Red Ribbon Campagin is an initiative by Mr Gay World and Gay World Philippines to create awareness and education within the Philipino community. This was done in honour of one of this year’s contestant from the Philippines who lost his battle with Aids. AS said previously, statistics had show a dramatic increase in the infection rates in the country and so there was only one thing left to do, GET THE WORD OUT THERE and educate the community so as to mobilize them to action, after all, this is their future at stake here.)

This was only the start of my day and by the end of it, I had visited no less that six Radio stations allover the city with my final interview being at 21:30 on a show called Boys Night Out.I can tell you one thing, if it wasn’t for my incredible hosts keeping me fed, and Starbucks, I don’t know how I wiuld have made it! Lol

After all the hustle and bustle we headed to meet Noemi, the MOTHER of the Mr Gay World Philippines for some nice traditional-ish Philipino food, after which it was back to the hotel for some rest as the next day I would be doing a photoshoot with sash and all for the Mr Gay World 2011 competition! (not that I got any sleep, as it was midday back home, so my mind was tired, but my body was on a whole different time schedule!) I had also started to get the feel of the place, with its intense humidity and craziness yet, unlike most busy cities, there seemed to be an incredible politeness and genuine friendliness from the people. Maybe it was because I stood at least a foot taller than most of them and had blonde hair and blue eyes (a rarity in the Philippines). Either way, I felt at home. Even though the next few days were going to be hectic, it was all good....







MR. GAY WORLD 2011 Launching in Manila with Charl Van Den Berg

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

MAGANDANG HAPON PO!

Walking through the all familiar International Arrivals hall at OR Thambo on Monday afternoon, I think back to a week ago when I left South Africa to travel to the Philippines to launch an initiative by Mr Gay World and its counterpart, Mr Gay World Philippines Called The Red Ribbon Campaign. Like many I thought I’d be able to take a break from all the ‘pageant stuff’, lie on a beach and relax. After all, it was my birthday in just a few days and I was on a tropical island (7101 islands to be exact) so what better way to spend it, right?

After an 18 hour journey I finally arrived in Manila to the warm welcome of Mac, a Producer of Mr Gay world Philippines as well as my dear friend David Bosley, Mr Gay World Philippines 2009, whom I had become close friends with during my time in Oslo at Mr Gay World 2010. I was tired, yet as always when I’m in a new country, excited to see what this journey would bring.  The two hour drive from the airport would be my first real taste of life in Manila. A city inhabited by 23million people (Philipino population is approx 90 mil), the Metropolis of Manila is a hustle and bustle of cars, tri-cycles and Jeepnies (their public transport) all thrown into what I could only describe as organized chaos! I thought Jo-burg traffic was bad…lol….yea right! Yet, the people seem to have an understanding, so you just go along with it. Although I must admit I was really glad I did not have to drive!

After checking into my hotel room it was off to dinner with the rest of the production team at a Brazilian restaurant in a complex called Metrowalk, where they have live music every night of the week. Oh btw, for those of you who don’t know, Philipinos are absolutely crazy about music and their celebs, a few of which are now world famous (Charise and also the dude from Black Eyed Pease). Anyway, after dinner I was briefed about my week and all the activities that would take place and starting in the morning would be a visit to all their high profile radio stations to promote the Mr Gay World 2011 Competition in Philippines as well as the launch of our Red Ribbon Campaign, that was to be held on my birthday. It was clear to me that this was not going to be a time of rest, but a time of advocacy for gay rights in the Philipines especially focussing on the matter at hand-that 3 in every 5 homosexual males were being infected with the virus daily in this country, and while the rest of the world was showing a decrease in infection rates, the Philippines showed a dramatic increase!

This week was going to be hectic, so after a few drinks with the crew it was off to my bed at the Holiday Inn Galeria to get some much needed rest for the week ahead!

END OF PART ONE!


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