MANILA -- Amid the deferment of many beauty pageants due to the pandemic, reigning Miss Universe Philippines Gazini Ganados is throwing her support to a new local pageant which will extend help to the contestants’ communities.
The virtual pageant, dubbed Miss GCQ or Miss Gandang Contesera Quest, is organized by veteran pageant producer and former Mr. Gay Philippines Wilbert Tolentino.
Ganados told ABS-CBN News that the pageant will hopefully bring back the impetus to local pageantry which has been paralyzed by the health crisis.
She said this could be a venue for veteran "conteseras" and aspirants to develop their skills while waiting for the return of mainstream pageants in the future.
Ganados also praised the support to the pageant industry of Tolentino who recently recovered from COVID-19.
“Posible pa rin palang mag-extend ng ayuda even during this difficult time. Thank God he survived COVID-19," she said.
A call center owner and philanthropist, Tolentino was diagnosed with the disease complicated by critical pneumonia with acute respiratory distress syndrome or ARDS last July. He was discharged early August.
Through his Sir Wil Online Challenge established at the start of the lockdown last March, Tolentino produced online benefit competitions of drag queens, gay contestants, male contestants, social media influencers, entertainment and pageant media, pet owners community and singer-songwriters.
Tolentino said, “God is good all the time, 'yung miracle na binigay sa akin ay one of a kind. Kaya ipagpapatuloy ko ang mission sa pagtulong sa LGBT community at mga nangangailangan.”
For details of the Miss GCQ online registration which starts this week, applicants can check the Wilbert Tolentino Facebook fan page.
Ganados said the Miss GCQ winner will receive P250,000 cash prize and cash assistance to her community or chosen charity/advocacy group.
Show producer and ace beauty queen maker Rodgil Flores said Miss GCQ is also supported by other national and international beauty queens, among others, Miss Supranational 2013 Mutya Datul; Miss Earth 2008 Karla Henry Ammann; Miss Earth 2015 Angelia Gabrena Ong; Miss Universe Philippines 2017 Rachel Peters; Bb. Pilipinas Intercontinental 2019 Emma Tiglao; Bb. Pilipinas International 2015 Janicel Lubina; Miss Philippines Earth 2013 Angelee de los Reyes; Miss Philippines Earth 2019 Janelle Tee; and Miss Philippines – Fire 2020 Shane Tormes.
The first Miss GCQ will be crowned in a virtual ceremony last week of September.