“WHAT LED TO my victory? Maybe my faith in the Lord, maybe it’s because I had fun, maybe it’s just my time. I have no guarantee of what the reason is but I have only God to thank for that,” said Don Elton Cerna of the Young Entrepreneurs Society of Silliman (YESS) after winning the title of Mr. Hibalag 2016 during the pageant night last Aug. 27 at the Hibalag Booth Area.
Mr. Hibalag 2016, an advocacy-driven male pageant with the theme, “The Sillimanian in the age of Gender Equality,” was organized by the Renaissance Youth Leaders Forum.
Cerna stressed that everyone is given the chance and opportunity by God to have their own choice of who they want to be and what they should believe in.
“As long as you are not hurting anyone, as long as you’re making yourself happy, and as long as you’re making this world and the society better, you can do it,” Cerna stated.
Cerna stated that the people who could never adjust and accept that there is no dominant gender is the biggest obstacle for gender equality.
“We are all created equal, we are all created with the same heart, with the same soul. If you realize that you are the same as everyone out there, If you realize that you are no better, but as better as you can be as with everyone sharing hand in hand, then you will realize that there is no such thing as a dominant gender,” Cerna said.
“Everyone should learn how to love, everyone should learn how to accept each other, and if they learn how to do that, then they can overcome the obstacle of gender equality,” he added.
Cerna was also awarded Mr. Photogenic, Mr. JD Fitness Zone, Best in Production Number, and Best in Formal Wear.
On the other hand, Daniel Tristan Española of the Silliman University (SU) Medical School Association won first runner-up, Best in Themed Wear, and the People’s Choice Award. Michael Angelo Palomar of the College of Education Student Organization won second runner-up. Clark Vincent Ferrer of the SU College of Nursing Association bagged third runner-up, Mr. Professionalism, Best Speaker and Gandang Levy Salon. Kyle Chester Lerado of History-Political Science Society was awarded fourth runner-up and Best in Talent.
The Committee’s Choice Award went to John Patrick Buiquil of Surigao Deep Sillimanites. Roberto Gonzales Jr. of Illuminates of the SPECTRA was awarded Mr. Congeniality. Martin James Acoymo of Silliman Junior Business Executives won Mr. Power Print Smile.
According to Andrea Dawn Boycillo, Mr. Hibalag 2016 Committee Chairperson, she has seen the candidates become better versions of them and didn’t see any competition within them.
“They have proven to the Mr. Hibalag Committee that this pageant is not just about winning the crown, but winning new friends as well,” Boycillo said.