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MR. Hibalag 2014 In the Age of Gender Equality

It is crystal clear that today’s age is confronted with disputable issues, either ethical or unethical. One of these issues is gender equality, which nine empowered men will attempt to promote as they compete for the title of Mr. Hibalag 2014. So, before they showcase their talents and willful advocacies on the pageant night, let us get to know them more and find out what exactly makes each one worthy of the title Mr. HIBALAG.

Representing the Siquijorian Students for Enlightenment, Enrichment Development and Service (SEEDS) is the sophomore Computer Engineering student, Mark Philip Hinaut. Although the 17-year old lad is a first timer in pageants, he is confident in joining Mr. Hibalag because of his very supportive org-mates. Mark shares that he joined the competition to promote his organization. His advocacy focuses on sports awareness: “for the people, especially the youth, to know the benefits of engaging in sports.” With everything that happens, he always reminds himself to keep moving forward.

twsCollege of Education Student Organization’s (COESA) Nico Valle advocates the education of street children. As a future educator, the senior education student believes that his profession is an effective medium to expand his advocacy in a larger scale. Despite his busy life as the acting vice governor of the College of Education(COE), Nico pursued to join Mr. Hibalag after being invited by the former Mr. Hibalag, and Student Organization president, Hanz Villahermosa. He shares that joining this competition is the greatest challenge he has ever faced as a student in Silliman University.

twsShibib Ahmed Mamaludin, 17, proudly represents the Kapunungan sa mga Mass Communicators. The former Tomasian is driving for anti-exploitation of women in the media. Although, at first, he wasn’t really confident in joining this competition, but later on, he became motivated in doing his best to win the title because of the genuine support of his friendss. Shibib loves weight lifting, boxing, and Muai Thai during his leisure time. And though pressured to be the next Mr. Hibalag, he knows that he can manage it through his inspiration, *ehem ehem* Miss MassCom.

twsHIV awareness is the advocacy of Wilson Tan from the Medical Technology Society. Since anyone can be at risk to have HIV, he wants to further educate the public on how to keep away from it. Wilson has always dreamed of being a part of Mr. Hibalag. “I’ll do my best and no matter what happens in the middle of the pageant, I will leave the decision to God,” he says. As a sports enthusiast (soccer and longboarding), he knows how to control his attitude in order to socialize well with different people.

twsHailing from Amihang Mindanao Sillimanites (AMS), Kyle Martin Cebedo says that it is crucial that we address the issue of men’s tendencies to abuse the weaknesses of women. As the youngest in the bunch and someone who seems to have no problems in life, he says that his ability to persuade people may carry him in this pageant. Kyle is a symbol of hope for the youth today.

twsSilliman University Medical Students Association’s (SUMSA) very own Joshua Luke Divinagracia says that “if you really want gender equality, you have to take it all—the good and the bad.” As a surfer and a person who loves life, he emphasizes that difference is good. He even joined the pageant just to do something different this year. His different perspective on things is always helpful, and his intellect and passion will definitely make a difference in this year’s Mr. Hibalag.

twsPaul Gilbert Ananayo, representing the Silliman Junior Business Executives (SJBE), joined this year’s Mr. Hibalag because he wants to experience having a more sense of responsibility; a bigger sense of responsibility that is centered on his advocacies. He says that he plans to use his image and his name to promote awareness and to address issues. As a sportsman and an outdoor lover, he quotes James Dean: “Dream as if you’ll live forever, and live as if you’ll die today.”

twsAlso a freshman, Fitz Hanson Oppus of Kadugong Bol-anon (KadBol) is pro-gender equality. He simply says that everybody should treat each other equally. As a very approachable guyand a really fun person to be with, Fitz may address the issue through his ability to interact with people. He is the type of guy who wants to make people happy more than anything. His warm personality is definitely his strongest asset.

twsAaron Roble Diao of the Silliman University College of Nursing Association (SUCNA) says, “It’s good that the theme this year addresses a very common issue that is often overlooked.” As a senior student who enjoys playing the guitar, he makes music as his primary means of relaxing and his way of contemplating on his different concerns in life. He says that having exceptional communication skills and being very fluent in English are the requirements in order to excel in a competition like Mr. Hibalag. And with his last words, he says, “I believe Mr. Hibalag requires an individual that can stand as a leader and one that can create change. I know deep inside that I can create change.”

The advocacy-driven male pageant will focus on fostering equality among all genders, including the acceptance of gays and lesbians in the society. Mr. Hibalag pageant night will be on August 25at the Hibalag Booth area.~

*Photos by Silliman University Camera Club

By James Asuncion & Nurlyn Elli

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