MANILA -- Filipino pageant coaches and designers are once again making a difference at this year’s Miss Universe pageant in Florida, USA.
Aside from the Philippines creative team of Jonas Gaffud for Rabiya Mateo, Filipino artists have been commissioned by other international beauties to boost their chances at the 69th edition of the pageant.
Miss Romania Bianca Tirsin is being trained by veteran pageant coach Makoy Manlapaz, who previously mentored Mutya Datul, the first Filipina Miss Supranational in 2013. Manlapaz conducted his online training three months ago with Tirsin, who was first introduced to him by a Filipino executive of Miss International in 2018. She was a batchmate of Atisha Manalo, who placed first runner-up.
“Most of my training involves personality development and question and answer mental training, 80 percent of the time. I also give pointers on pasarela and styling," Manlapaz told ABS-CBN News Tuesday.
“I’m happy that Filipino pageant coaches are in demand. It speaks of our passion, work ethic and, business-wise, it’s good,” said Manlapaz who also trained Nepal's candidate to the 2018 Miss Universe won by Catriona Gray.
“These foreign beauties always look for us because they also want to know and learn why Filipinas consistently place in international pageants. They tell us we’re patient, diligent in our training and we speak the English language well.”
Designer Jian Lasala was also chosen by Miss Belize Iris Salguero to create her evening gown for the Miss Universe pageant, which features an interplay of colors depicting the crystal blue waters of her country.
“Filipinos have a special place in her heart because she competed at Miss Earth 2017 where Karen Ibasco won, and at Miss World 2016 where Gray was runner-up," explained Lasala, who also helped at one time or another the international pageant candidacies of delegates from Sierra Leon, Kenya and Tanzania.
“They all turn to the Philippines because Filipinos are talented, mabilis kausap and cost-effective. As a designers hub, they also admire our design esthetics," Lasala said. “Our reputation also precedes us a beauty pageant powerhouse with many consistent international placements.”
Other Miss Universe beauties trained by Filipinos include Miss Cameroon Angele Kossinda under the tutelage of international pageant trainer Carlo Sapurco; and Miss El Salvador Vanesa Velasquez under Rodgil Flores's beauty camp Kagandahang Flores.
Other candidates and their Pinoy trainers and designers have yet to officially disclose on record their association.
Miss Cambodia Sarita Reth is also supported by a former OFW teacher from Iligan, Romyr Libo-pn, who rose to become a talent discoverer and eventually Cambodia’s pageant national director.
Baguio-based designer Rian Fernandez was also tapped to create Miss Cambodia’s Miss Universe evening gown.