Pinoys in London help kababayan prepare for int'l beauty tilt

By Ryan Chua, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 19 2014 04:42 PM | Updated as of Feb 20 2014 12:42 AM

model Erwin Trinidad

LONDON—He’s a veteran of modelling shows and beauty contests here, juggling his day job as a nursing assistant and his runway gigs.

Today, Erwin Trinidad is preparing for the biggest opportunity he has ever had so far: representing the Philippines in an international beauty competition.

Trinidad, who works for the United Kingdom’s National Health Service, will be the first Filipino to compete in the Mr Tourism International World Final pageant in Panama.

With only two months to go before the contest, he is currently in the thick of preparations with some fellow Filipinos who take time outside their work to help him.

The head of the agency that selected him for the contest and his stylist are both nurses. The photographer who shot his photos for the competition is a carer. Like Trinidad and other Filipino professionals in the UK, they are able to pursue their passion outside work.

“It’s gonna be a big event, so we really need to prepare,” Trinidad said after a photo-shoot on Saturday. “It’s an honor for me.”

Trinidad has joined and won several beauty competitions before, including the annual Mr. Philippines-UK—just one of many beauty contests organized by Filipinos for Filipinos in Britain. He was also a model during the London Fashion Week in September 2013.

Trinidad said he is excited to join the competition not only because of the $4,000 cash prize awaiting the winner, but also because of the chance to help the Philippines.

“It’s all about tourism, Philippine tourism. I want to be able to help our country,” he said.

“We are going to promote the Philippines, what the Philippines can show to the world. For example, the culture, the tourist spots of the country, the character of the Filipino,” said Precious Medina, managing director of Prime Events, the agency that’s backing Trinidad.

Trinidad has good chances of winning, according to his gym buddy and stylist, Gianmatello Montillano.

“I think he just needs to be himself,” said Montillano, who is a nurse, make-up artist and fashion designer.

“He is a charming guy. He has all that it takes. He is in good shape, in good form.”

The competition, which is now on its fourth year, will be held in from April 10 to 20.

The pageant aims to “promote tourism, folk and culture among the participating countries, friendship and world peace,” according to its primer.