It can be said that Filipino educators make good envoys in the annual Mr. Gay World pageant. After educators Marc Ernest Biala, Randolph Val Palma and Nomer Yuzon, now, a 30-year-old public high school teacher named Christian Lacsamana will compete in the eighth edition of Mr. Gay World pageant, to be staged in the island of Malta, between April 19 and 23.
The annual international contest founded by Australia-based philanthropist Eric Butter in 2009 is again on the lookout for an Adonis-like gay leader who will succeed the throne of Emmanuel Mass Luciano, a 35-year-old fashion designer-stylist-blogger and Puerto Rican migrant from Hong Kong, capable of spearheading LGBT campaigns in their respective countries and in the global human rights arena.
Never in the entire history of Mr. Gay World has a Filipino representative made it to the top five or final cut of the competition. Wilbert Tolentino topped the sports challenge and harvested Best in National Costume, Best in Formal Wear and Mr. Gay Popularity special awards in 2009; David Noel Bosley was a semifinalist in 2010; Biala and Rosadiño were awarded Best in National Costume, Mr. Gay Popularity and made it to the semis in 2011 and 2012; Erimar Ortigas was Mr. Gay Popularity and semifinalist in 2013; Palma was sixth place overall in 2014; while Nomer Yuzon apparently placed 11th last year.
“Through the virtual [online voting] and spiritual [prayers] support of people who believe in me, plus my hard work and dedication, I really hope to become the first Filipino to enter the top five, and with a bit of luck be the first Pinoy and Asian Mr. Gay World titleholder,” Lacsamana said, in an interview with Outrage Magazine.
Tolentino, who was Mr. Gay Philippines of 2009, is now the local franchise holder of Mr. Gay World here in Manila. Since he got the contract last January, he decided to appoint Lacsamana. “I chose Christian because he can perfectly represent the Philippines and could be a probable winner… he is the latest winner of Mr. Fahrenheit and is also a runner-up in the last ‘I Am Pogay’ contest of It’s Showtime [in 2014].”
I Am Pogay is a pageant for “straight-acting” gays in ABS-CBN television network.
Lacsamana, who hails from the City of San Fernando in Pampanga, completed his bachelor’s degree in secondary education, majoring in music, arts, physical education and health at the Don Honorio Ventura Technological University in Bacolor. He is the youngest of the seven children of Danilo and the former Lourdes Reyes.
To prepare for Mr. Gay World, he trained under the tutelage of Rodgil Flores, a professional pageant coach and head of the Kagandahang Flores camp who produced beauty queens like Miss International winners Precious Lara Quigaman (2005) and Bea Rose Santiago (2013), as well as Miss Earth queens Karla Paula Henry (2008), Jamie Herrell (2014) and Angelia Ong (2015). He revealed that he will be wearing a national costume inspired by the Moriones Festival and jeepney in the competition.
Lacsamana is a supporter of Love Yourself Inc., a non-government organization with efforts helping in preventing the spread of HIV among the youth and key affected population via awareness, counseling and education.
Lacsamana, who bears a striking resemblance to TV and film actor Dominic Ochoa, made a sweet and emotional gesture by dedicating his Mr. Gay World stint to his mother who passed away last year.
“It was my mother who influenced me [to become the] educator that I am [right] now. My mother [also] accepted me for being ‘what’ I am and who I am. She was very supportive of me when I joined I Am Pogay, she accompanied me at the venue during the grand finals where I emerged as first runner-up,” he said.
Lacsamana’s mother suffered from stage four breast cancer, and “there’s nothing I could do [to prolong her life], so I spent a lot of time with her to make her happy. I miss her a lot. She’s on my side now… on my journey to Malta. I wouldn’t be standing here if it weren’t for her. I believe [that] we will fight together—and we will win the crown together.”
Filipinos across the globe can help Christian Lacsamana walk away with the Mr. Gay Popularity special award and land a possible spot in the semifinal round by clicking MGW 2016 and voting once every 24 hours until 11:59 p.m. of April 23, Saturday (Manila time).