When Pia Wurtzbach was crowned Miss Universe 2015, the whole country rallied behind her. It’s a rare kind of mania, it seems, when the country comes together in a frenzy to support a fellow Filipino, such as the kind only seen before whenever Manny Pacquiao would embark on another title bout with a foreign boxer.
But Filipinos love their success stories, and beauty pageants continue to pervade Philippine society, bringing with it what seems like a hypnotizing effect that people just cannot resist. But while the support for Filipino beauty queens have been thunderous, it’s rare to hear of a Filipino man winning in the pageantry world and getting the same patronage.
Mark Andrew Guerta Baron may be an unfamiliar name, but he is winning major titles internationally in male pageants. Apart from modeling, the 24-year-old Baron is also a public school teacher. In his latest triumph, Baron became the first-ever winner of the Mr. Star Model Universe 2018, which just recently concluded in Peru.
Baron took to his Instagram page two days ago, May 28, to share about his win. “At long last, with all the effort I put into this contest. The discipline. The favorite foods that I tried hard to ignore….. lahat ito, sa pahintulot ng Dios Ama, nakamit ko na maging kauna unahang (all of this with God’s grace, I became the very first) Mr. Star Model Universe 2018,” wrote Baron on his Instagram as he shared a photo of him holding up a Philippine flag.
Baron, however, did not sugarcoat his win. He shared that the long travel to Peru had not been easy for him, as it took two days to get there. He also had problems adjusting his body clock and adapting to the climate in Peru, where he eventually caught a bout of cough.
After thanking his supporters, he added that he still hasn’t slept because of the happiness: “Di pa po ako nakakatulog hanggang ngayon dahil sa galak! Ang tagumpay ko na ito ay para saPilipinas!”
(I haven’t been able to sleep because of the joy. My victory is for the Philippines.)
Baron’s win was definitely a “Pinoy pride” moment for many, with netizens taking to his Instagram to extend their salutations. This isn’t the first time Baron has won a major title in pageantry, however.
Baron also won in the Mr. Real Universe Philippines pageant back in 2015, which saw him represent the country in the Mr. Real Universe competition in Ecuador that same year. JB