MANILA -- It seemed like a one-shot deal last year but now the Queen of BECQI pageant, dubbed as the search for the “Philippines most beautiful beki,” is rolling its second year with more online innovations.
The Queen of BECQI, a play on the acronym ECQ (enhanced community quarantine), was launched last year by Mr. Gay Philippines national director and LGBT stalwart Wilbert Tolentino to provide “ayuda” or financial aid to the the gay/trans community.
“Balik uli tayo sa ECQ, so balik uli ang corona ng BECQI para maghatid ng saya at makatulong pa," Tolentino told ABS-CBN News Wednesday.
“Open ito to all gays, queers, bi and trans, amateur man o veteran. If you think you have the beauty, body and brain to continue this legacy, pasok ka sa banga!” mused the former finalist of Mr. Pogay on “It’s Showtime."
In the course of the pandemic, Tolentino also created other online benefit pageants and contests, including the all-women Miss GCQ pageant, a venue for veteran "conteseras" and aspirants sidelined by the cancellation of mainstream pageants.
He also supported Binibining Pilipinas candidate Samantha Bernardo in the long postponement of the pageant until she won first runner-up at the recent Miss Grand International in Thailand.
A COVID-19 survivor last year, Tolentino previously told ABS-CBN News that the extension of his life may have a purpose. “God is good all the time, 'yung miracle na binigay sa akin ay one of a kind. Kaya ipagpapatuloy ko ang misyon sa pagtulong sa LGBT community at iba pang nangangailangan,” he said.
Last year, Nueva Ecija representative Marianne Crisologo won Queen of BECQUI with Matmat Centino and Lars Pacheco, Miss Q&A season 1 titlists as runners-up. The contest drew 170 contestants chosen from close to 4,000 entrants.
Tolentino’s co-producer Rodgil Flores told ABS-CBN News that five challenge rounds will determine the next BECQI Queen who will win the cash prize of P200,000.
"Standby sa next announcements sa FB account at FB pages KAFRESHNESS WILBERT TOLENTINO. We will give a special prize for the Photographer’s Choice Award.”
All contestants will also receive prizes in line with the pageant’s advocacy of giving support to the gay/trans community.