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This is the blog of Ian Rosales Casocot. Filipino writer. Sometime academic. Former backpacker. Twink bait. Hamster lover.

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Sunday, May 14, 2006

entry arrow11:22 PM | Becoming Hari ng Negros

Mark has been selected to be among the 25 candidates vying for the Hari ng Negros title -- a pageant increasingly becoming quite known in national male pageant circles of being able to catapult winners into considerable success. (Case in point, Reiven Bulado, 2004 Hari ng Negros, who eventually cashed in on his win by landing a plum role as Cesar Montano's brother in Panaghoy sa Suba.)

In the pageant's short history (it started in 2003), Mark has always been hounded by invitations to join it. This year, he has made up his mind to finally join, in honor of his father's memory. The late Mr. Gad Fabillar, Mark's father, hailed from Jimalalud, the town Mark is representing. He died almost two years ago from a freak accident, and one of his unrealized wishes had always been for Mark to make his "mark" in a search like this, if only to make it as a stepping stone for something greater in his son's future. "This may be my last pageant," Mark tells me, "and I am here to do more beyond mere pageantry. I am here to make a difference, to prove to people that pageants also require smarts and substance. In the long run, however, I am doing this for the memory of my father."

The organizers have launched a Mr. Friendster side-competition, the winner of which automatically gets a slot in the top ten semi-finalist circle. The Mr. Friendster competition starts from May 15 to July 1. Every friend added to a candidate's account will be one point. Every testimonial will be five points. The candidate with the most number of points by 8:00 pm on July 1 will be declared Mr. Friendster.

So why add him up? Perhaps to prove a point. Mark's an award-winning debater, schoolpaper editor, orator, singer, and social advocate. He embodies for me what I have always believed a true pageant winner is like: someone who can take a popular platform such as beauty pageants, and make it mean something beyond your usual bikini open searches and flesh market affairs. One of my favorite people in history is Miss America 1945 Bess Myerson, the first Jewish winner of that pageant who used her title to confront the issue of racism and anti-Semitism in America. She made great strides in that respect, a true beauty queen. I believe Mark has the same exact qualities.

So, all you people with Friendster accounts (which is basically everybody in the Philippines), help me out here, and help Mark as well. Add him up with this email address: mrjimalalud2006@yahoo.com. What's in it for you? My eternal friendship. Really.


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