WATCH: Jonas Gaffud on Gazini Ganados’ potential for back-to-back Miss Universe win
Deni Rose M. Afinidad-Bernardo ( - November 5, 2019 - 2:48pm

MANILA, Philippines — Pageant organizer Jonas Gaffud, creative and events director of the Miss Universe Philippines brand, admitted that it would be harder for Philippines’ Gazini Ganados to win Miss Universe this year because of the pressure to succeed her fellow Filipina, Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray.

“Honestly, dumadating na sa point na sinasabi na ni Gazini na kinakabahan na s’ya talaga. And lahat naman ng candidates ganun sinasabi, kinakabahan, lalo na ang Filipinos, sobra talaga ‘yung pressure,” Jonas told the press during the recent launch of his new pageants, Global Asian Model Philippines and Global Asian Model World. 

He recalled Miss Universe 1969 Gloria Diaz’s explanation on why it is extra difficult for the country to have a back-to-back victory. Gloria was then pertaining to Miss Universe Philippines 2016 Maxine Medina, who finished in the pageant’s top six. Maxine was aiming to succeed Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach, who is managed and was trained by Jonas.

“You know what, nag-usap kami ni Ms. Gloria Diaz one time then. She was bashed because in 2017, she said that Maxine’s not gonna win. She didn’t mean it naman daw. She meant daw na it was really difficult because you’re hosting the pageant tapos reigning pa ‘yung Philippines. So medyo mahirap talaga ang back-to-back because the pressure will be really on you,” Jonas explained.

Although Jonas was the former head of Aces and Queens beauty camp, he acknowledged that the rival camp, Kagandahang Flores, has been vital in training Gazini, alongside other trainers such as Cebu designers and TV host Boy Abunda. 

“With Gazini, ang maganda kasi sa kanya she’s very grounded and nakikinig s’ya sa mga tao,” said Jonas.

“Sana hindi lang s’ya maguluhan kung anong mangyayari. Sana hindi lang s’ya malito. Because you know sometimes, too many cooks would spoil the broth.” 

Jonas shared that while Pia “is also really pushing” Gazini to win, Pia reminded her to also enjoy the journey.

“So sana mawala ‘yung pressure sa kanya. Sinabihan na s’ya ni Pia na maging serious ka pero have fun din and your friends. Find your group of friends and then maging happy kayo,” Jonas shared.

“So the chances of a back-to-back, number one, hindi s’ya pressure dapat. Number two, ‘di dapat s’yang hindi achievable because it will be achievable if you work hard for it, if you deserve it, then you can win. We’ll win it all!”

Since the Philippines has become a pageant “superpower,” as South China Morning Post said in a report, Jonas introduces his very own Global Asian Model Search as one of the country’s ways to discover global talents in the fields of entertainment, pageantry and fashion. 

He said he plans to require the winners of the international contest to work and live in the Philippines for at least a year to create more awareness about Filipino culture. — Videos by Kat Leandicho and Erwin Cagadas Jr.

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