MANILA, PHILIPPINES – The most purposeful pageant by trans women and for trans women is back once more in the Philippines – this time under the advocacy group LoveYourself and led by Ms. Yanyan Araña as its new National Directress.

Miss Trans Global Philippines serves as the local franchise of Miss Trans Global, a UK-based organization pushing for transgender rights globally. Here in the Philippines, LoveYourself’s arm for transgender advocacies, Transcend by LoveYourself, is spearheading the search for the country’s next rightful representative in the global pageant.

Beauty has long been defined by many with a patriarchal narrative and view, but Miss Trans Global Philippines wants to change this. “Beauty is diverse, inclusive, and purposive” is the franchise’s battlecry, ready to redefine the standards of beauty pageants in the country.

Araña, also Transcend’s Program Manager, expressed her excitement as the pageant date, May 21, draws nearer. “I’m looking forward to meeting the next Miss Trans Global Queen who will not only represent the country, but also ensure that transgender people are heard even in local communities,” Araña mused.

Top 15 finalists of this year’s MTGPH include four transwomen from Greater Manila Area: Zoe Black (Bulacan); Khristine Borres (Manila); Iris Magtibay (Laguna); and Jam Cabico (Taguig).

Here are the finalists from north and south of Luzon: Kyra Isabelle Antonio (Benguet); Maria Alexsandra Lopez (Ilocos Sur); Christina Kendra Mendoza (Naga); Jeffzel Bryle Raña (Nueva Vizcaya); Juno Guspio (Palawan); Nicole Silvestre (Quezon); and MJ Visperas (Romblon).

Visayas and Mindanao are also represented in this year’s pageant, with Sway Cañete (Cebu City); Julie Yap (Cebu Province); Rojean Buhian (Davao); and Edcel Santillan Meneses (Surigao del Sur).

With support from the Global Fund PSFI-PROTECTS national grant for HIV and through the generous support of the American people to the Philippines through PEPFAR and USAID, Miss Trans Global Philippines candidates will undergo rigorous training on HIV & AIDS, sexually transmitted infections, and transgender health. These pre-pageant activities will equip them not only to represent transgender people on an international platform but also to strengthen their engagement with their local communities.

“We want to capacitate them to contribute to building transgender advocacy by connecting them with service providers and community centers on the ground to encourage transgender people to proactively access healthcare services,” Araña shared.

The Miss Trans Global Philippines pageant will be held on May 21, 2022, and live-streamed through the Miss Trans Global Philippines and LoveYourself, Inc. official Facebook pages.

The Miss Trans Global Philippines 2022 is presented by LoveYourself, Inc. and Transcend by LoveYourself; co-presented by Camber Pharmaceuticals, Inc. by Hetero and ERO Condom, and powered by Spaces MNL, OwlRight Studios and Castro Communications. The event is also made possible by the generous support of the American people to the Philippines through PEPFAR and USAID.

The Miss Trans Global Philippines 2022 is also supported by AIDS Healthcare Foundation, Pilipinas Shell Foundation, Inc., PROTECTS, Champion Community Centers, PhilHealth, World Health Organization Philippines, UNAIDS, and Lauvette, with special thanks to Magnitude Wellness Massage and Spa, and Gian Henderson Masterpiece.

Written by Hazel Ivy Jeremias with Bet Domingo

Graphics by Geno Maglinao

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