December 2, 2022

A home-grown beauty pageant, an event that may have been difficult to organize due to restrictions by the current health crisis, was launched last week in Baguio City not just to choose the fairest of them all but mainly to advocate mental health awareness and inspire others to get on with their lives in spite of these trying times.

Unlike any other beauty contests, the pageant, called Ms. Amazing Baguio 2021, has for its finalists young women from all walks of life who didn’t have to meet height and weight requirements, but instead have inspiring stories to tell and possess the confidence to make positive change out of life challenges as their advocacy and be an inspiration to those in the same situation.

Their stories range from being a single mom, a victim of sexual abuse, brushes with social ills, and mostly bouts of depression and mental illnesses brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Eighteen candidates selected among 46 contenders during the pre-qualification rounds that started in June gave justice to the pageant title they are vying for, when they amazed their audiences with their beauty, wit, clear knowledge of their chosen advocacies, and sincerity in putting their plans into action.

What’s more amazing is the collaboration behind the one-of-a-kind pageant, which is between Amazing Sports that is known in promoting sports events like mixed martial arts, boxing, and activities that project muscle and brawn led by Michael Humiding; Krayons Productions founded by its leader Wreigh Jann Tamayo and the power behind the semi-final finish of Igorot dance group J Krayons Dance Crew in the 2018 edition of Pilipinas Got Talent 2018; and Models Unlimited Talents Center.

First time to produce such event, Humiding said the pandemic made them think of a way of putting back the smile in people who for the most part of nearly two years suffered through series of lockdowns. Now that the economy is slowly opening up, they hope to turn that smile into hope and inspire those who have been depressed to stand up and keep on moving forward.

“Ms. Amazing Baguio pageant aims to try to motivate people. We are hoping to help jumpstart the economy by trying to put up activities that will make people smile and laugh again, which might prevent them in doing something bad to themselves,” Humiding said during the presentation of the candidates to the media on Dec. 4 at Porta Vaga Mall.

He added the activity is part of their LightBulb Project, which has already been helping out communities and people in need during the pandemic through provision of food packs, fundraising, and outreach projects not only for physical sustenance but also to provide motivation and address mental health issues.

They also plan on inviting speakers who would volunteer to talk about their life dreams to inspire others to start thinking, gather shattered pieces of their life due to challenges, move forward, and workagain.

Humiding said they hope the pageant beauties will leave a legacy by finding a way to contribute to the development of the Baguio community and in their own little way make a difference.   

Tamayo said winners of the pageant will become ambassadors for the event’s advocacy, but their group is already considering all the finalists as a solid team committed in realizing their goal of promoting mental health awareness and reaching out through community projects.

The Amazing Baguio 2021 coronation night will be on Dec. 18, 3 p.m. onwards at the Benguet Electric Cooperative Pedro Dumol Hall along South Drive. – Hanna C. Lacsamana