2013 Mister International, Venezuela's Jose Anmer Paredes
2013 Mister International, Venezuela’s Jose Anmer Paredes

Jakarta, Indonesia –  Ah, the power of social media! Less than a week after the Philippines was disqualified from beauty pageants for the next two years, the Association of Beauty Pageant Franchise Holders (ABPFH), voted today to add Venezuela and Brazil to the list.

Millions of netizens took to the Internet to protest ABPFH’s earlier ruling singling out the Philippines from among many other countries which have also done well in beauty pageants over the years.

Aside from the Philippines, Venezuela and Brazil have also succeeded in winning the crown for the “big four” international beauty pageants, Miss Universe, Miss World, Miss International and Miss Earth.

Venezuela  has won 7 Miss Universe titles, 6 Miss World titles and 6 Miss International titles. It won the Miss Earth title in 2005. The first country to win all four pageants was Brazil when it won Miss Earth in 2004.

The ABPFH, however, denied that it caved in to pressure from netizens. It said its decision was based upon Venezuela’s  and Brazil’s recent victories in the 2013 Mister International Contest held last week in Jakarta, Indonesia.  Venezuelan Jose Anmer Paredes was crowned the winner, while Jhonatan Marko of Brazil was 2nd runner-up.  The Philippines’ Gil Wagas placed 5th.

ABPFH also clarified that the ban will not take effect until after this year’s Miss International Pageant which will take place on December 17 in Tokyo, Japan.



Pacquiao with The Adobo Chronicles publisher (foreground)
Pacquiao with The Adobo Chronicles publisher (foreground)

Macau, China – Filipino world boxing champion Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao confirmed to reporters today that he has set his eyes – and fists – on the Philippine presidency when the 6-year term of incumbent president Noynoy Aquino comes to an end. Pacquiao is currently serving as a Congressman representing his hometown district of Sarangani.

Pacquiao, whose last title bout ended with him being knocked out by challenger Juan Miguel Marquez, faces Brandon Rios of the United States tonight in a title fight.

Paquiao will be the first boxer ever to run for head of state.  The Philippines has had its share of non-politicians running for elective positions.  Former president Joseph Estrada, now mayor of Manila, was a movie actor. Many Philippine legislators, provincial governors and city mayors, are also actors, entertainers and journalists.

Asked what his top priorities will be if elected president, Pacquiao said that his first order of business would be to convert the Cultural Center of the Philippines to a national karaoke center and the National Assembly Building (Batasang Pambansa) to the “Boxing Center for Asia.”  Aside from boxing, Pacquiao’s other passion is singing.

As for his chances of winning the elections, Pacquiao said he is confident that the Filipino electorate will see his honest intentions to lead the country.  “It’s definitely not about accumulating wealth, unlike many politicians.  I already have lots and lots of money.”

Pacquiao’s mother, Aling Dionisia, was apparently delighted at her son’s announcement. “I don’t mind being called Queen Mum,” she exclaimed in her native Visayan dialect.

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