DABAWENYOS are already used to celebrating Araw ng Dabaw anticipating the Mutya ng Davao, a competition of young Davaoeñas’ beauty and wit.
But the 82nd celebration of Araw ng Dabaw made history as the city government decided to organize Ginoong Davao 2019, a competition to find the good-looking, smartest, caring to the welfare of the city – and at the same time brave enough to show all these traits in front of everyone.
A week before the final night, more than 80 young aspiring young men went to Gaisano Mall of Davao where the auditions would take place.
Distinguished judges were invited to screen these young men. Immediately after all of them have been presented, the top 30 were selected, and then the top 15 after that.
Young women and gays alike were “kilig” the moment the pictures of John Paul Navales, Paul Loquias, Cyriel Laurence Rosil, John Winston Ajero, Abraham Yahya, March Kyle Corbeta, Joshua James Yap, Jan Aldrin Laruscain, Hadrian Kim Bueno, Eann Stephen Alferez, Eron Dacuycuy, Carl Michael Porras, Joart Carbonel, Kyle Emmanuel Gaite, and Japeth Lopez were finally uploaded on social media.
March 3, 2019, Sunday was the awaited date for all fifteen of them, their families, and their friends.
The beautifully dressed-up stage of Davao City Recreation Center (DCRC), formerly known as Almendras Gym, got everyone’s vibe ready for the big night. To prepare everyone’s mood The Next Option band serenaded the audience first.
Joining the panel of esteemed judges were fashion designer Avel Bacudio, Miss Earth 2008 Karla Paula Henry, Mr. International 2014 Neil Perez, and TV personality and talk show host Boy Abunda.
Everyone was entertained with the unique question and answer portion for the Top 15 as it seemed like a simple chitchat with no-other-than Boy Abunda. To be interviewed by Abunda, himself, may already be a privileged for some of them.
Because of this chitchat, the people got to know the candidates more. We learned that many of the candidates are Mama’s boy, pet lovers, good conversationalist, single, and so many other interesting things about.
More than that, we learned that some of the candidates have advocacies against single-plastic use, for gender-equality, and for underprivileged children.
From Top 15, only Kyle Emmanuel Gaite, Abraham Yahya, and Cyriel Laurence Rosil made it to the Top 3. They went through the iconic fast talk of Tito Boy. Some questions made them blush, others they answered confidently and with no hesitation.
But for the final Q&A, Tito Boy laid down the question: “As Ginoong Davao 2019, what can you contribute to make Davao and the Philippines a better place?”
To which Emmanuel Kyle Gaite answered with: “As the Ginoong Davao 2019, what I can contribute to Davao is my advocacy for the underprivileged children of Davao City because I strongly believe that if we want Davao City to progress, we must focus on the grassroots level and that is the children of Davao City.”
This answered earned deafening cheer from the audience. It won the hearts of the judges and Gaite was hailed the first Ginoong Davao.