Manhunt International president says contest ‘not a pageant’
MANILA, Philippines — In this year’s staging of Manhunt International, its 21st edition, the announcement brands the competition as “Manhunt International Male Supermodel 2022” which was not the case in previous installments of the global tilt.
Manhunt International executive president Rosko Dickinson said the pivot to “fashion and modeling” is the logical step for the international contest given the direction the competition has taken and the path the titleholders have treaded.
“We don’t want to portray ourselves as a bodybuilding contest or a sports contest. We’re not a pageant either. We’re a modeling contest and we’re embracing the modeling industry,” he told the Inquirer at the sidelines of the candidates’ press presentation at Okada Manila in Parañaque City on Sept. 26.
Dickinson also noted that many of the contest’s winners and former contestants have embarked on their respective modeling careers in their own countries and some have even penetrated the international fashion scene. The most significant manifestation of this shift from pageantry to modeling is the absence of a national costume competition this year, a staple in almost all international pageants.
“We’re going to introduce this year ‘high fashion,’ glam high fashion,” Dickinson declared.
For the 2022 search, the competition segments will be swimwear, tuxedo and high fashion, with the latter giving the delegates the liberty to walk the runway in outfits that reflect what their respective countries’ interpretation of high fashion is. Designers from the nations represented in the global tilt now have the opportunity to showcase their creations on the international stage in a portion dedicated to fashion. But no award for a designer is at stake for now.
“Maybe next year, there’ll be an award for the best designer outfit,” Dickinson said.
This is the third time that the Philippines has played host to Manhunt International. It first staged the contest in 1999, then again in February 2020 just before the world ground to a halt because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dickinson said the third Philippine staging of Manhunt International has been talked about as early as the 2020 competition. The contest was staged at a time when the country was reeling from the devastation caused by Taal Volcano’s explosion, and the world was clueless about an impending global health crisis.
“We had to do it again here, under better circumstances. But we never thought we’d hold it while we’re still in a pandemic and we all have masks on,” he shared.
This year, Manhunt International attracted 34 contenders aspiring to inherit the title from Paul Luzineau of the Netherlands who won in the Philippines in the contest’s 20th edition held in 2020. The Philippines is represented by model and collegiate athlete Joshua De Sequera, son of Filipino supermodel and beauty queen Marina Benipayo.
June Macasaet is the first, and so far only, Filipino Manhunt International winner. He bested 52 other delegates in Bangkok in 2012. He is also the longest reigning titleholder, there being no competitions held from 2013 to 2015.
The 2022 Manhunt International Male Supermodel final competition will be staged at the grand ballroom of Okada Manila on Oct. 1. JB
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