Calamba beauty pageant advocacy gets nod from int’l award-winning director

By Saul E. Pa-a

CALAMBA CITY, Laguna Sept. 22 (PNA) — Calamba City’s advocacy criterion for its forthcoming “Mr. & Ms. Calamba” beauty pageant got a nod on Tuesday from no less than Filipino international award-winning film and television director Mario J. Delos Reyes during his meeting with the city’s Search Executive Committee.

“Direk Mario J” as he is fondly called in the showbiz circle and entertainment industry encouraged the city government organizers to raise the bar of excellence in the youth personality competition “on a standard that we want it done.”

Jeffrey Rodriguez, Public Affairs Chief and Phillip Bautista of Calamba City Mayor Justin Marc Chipeco’s office; Liza Estolano and Net Estrada of the City Cultural Affairs, Tourism and Sports Development Department; June Aguilar of Alay Lakad Foundation and Raffy Tabora and Ruval Magpayo of Pansol Tourism Council and Search Executive Committee, were on hand to receive the visiting showbiz personality.

The versatile movie-TV director and writer was briefed on the scope of the competition from the candidates’ press presentation and media conference to trainings, tours, exposures and pre-pageant as well as the grand finals set for November 28 instead of December 5 as earlier announced.

He proposed that the pageant finalists’ orientation would have advocacy criteria for the beauty pageant aspirants as he shared his vast experience in film and movie direction here and abroad where organizers could promote their famous tourist attractions.

Referring to the city’s famous national shrine and icon “Bahay ni Rizal,” Delos Reyes said this would inspire the contestants during photo shoots to underscore the historical significance of the place as well as promote the other tourism attractions.

The director has been involved in major projects that feature Calamba City such as the TOFARM Film Festival under the auspices of Milagros Ong How, chief executive officer of a Calamba-based agricultural manufacturing firm Universal Harvester and sponsor of Calamba’s first official coffee table book.

Delos Reyes was in town also to share his views in preparation for the city’s “Buhayani Festival” next year and told organizers “big events need more time in the planning and creative concepts to really make it “bongga” (impressive and the best).”

“Direk Mario J” also shared how such competition could bring out the best in the city’s fashion, production, stage designers; make-up and theme artists, photo shoots and location shots.

In addition to the city’s tie-up with the school-based “Kabataan (youth) Patrollers,” the film and movie director also proposed to tap local and home-grown production outfit and service providers, saying they can partner with his Studio56 in terms of technical and production services, lights and sounds requirements.

The multi-awarded film director has been invited to several pageants and personality tilts to sit as jury in the recent Ms. Cabuyao competition and the La Laguna Festival and this time for the Mr. and Ms. Calamba Search.

During a light banter and courtesy call on City Mayor “Timmy” Chipeco, Delos Reyes prodded the good-looking and celebrity look-alike Calamba chief executive to star in his forthcoming “telenovela” in tandem with movie/TV actress Angelu de Leon.

Mayor Chipeco gamely agreed and in jest said he would not play a matinee idol’s role but rather a father’s.

Chipeco also revealed having played as a challenger in the extreme adventure and game show “Extra Challenge” when he and other young congressmen were featured in the television program’s last episode.

In 2004, Direk Mario J reaped various international film awards during the Berlin International Film Festival’s Crystal Bear for “Best Feature Film” and the Deutsches Kinderhilfswerk Grand Prix again for “Best Feature Film” for the much-acclaimed Filipino film “Magnifico.”

The film director also romped off with the Special Jury Award for the “International Competition” category for the film “Naglalayag” during the Brussells International Independent Film Festival in Belgium. (PNA)