The Search For Mr Ateneo is the brainchild of nine communication sophomores that were tasked to create an event for their Communication Seminar class to practice their public relations and events planning skills. The process was long and enjoyable as the group had to carefully screen all possible candidates that started with the whole male population of the campus, down to a chosen 50, the first 20 and The Final 10. Despite all of the eyecandy that was more than enough to make any girl’s dreams sweet, they were faced with a multitude of problems – logistics, scheduling, budget and then skepticism.
The concept of Mr Ateneo seemed like such a hit in the eyes and minds of the organizers but question on whether or not the rest of the Ateneo community will approve or, at the very least, appreciate it caused much anxiety. Thankfully, with the proper promotional teasing and timing, it was met with much excitement and support by friends, strangers, Ateneans and non-Ateneans alike. To date, the The Search For Mr. Ateneo facebook like page has 3,552 likes.
To finally name a Mr Ateneo, a small pageant was held at the Fine Arts Exhibit Hall in the Ateneo de Manila University last September 23, 2011. “Everything that could go wrong will go wrong,” their professor always said and true enough, lots of things did go wrong an hour and a half before the event itself but by some amazing grace in the form of people in blue collared Ateneo shirts and friends, everything came together at the very last minute.
The pageant went smoothly as it was hosted by Ateneo’s favorite hosts Miss Patch Buenaventura and Janlee Dungca who were more than happy to do the job. It was received by the audience as they witnessed the boys’ silly, serious and sexy sides with an impromptu dougie showdown. Unfortunately, one of the top 10 finalists, Von Pessumal, wasn’t able to make it to the pageant for he had to attend basketball training and eventually winning Game 1 for the championships.
After all the eye-candy the 10 boys delivered, it was time to take a break to vote and listen to the amazing acoustic and electric guitar duo, Gab ‘n Joshwho serenaded with ease. To keep up with the ear-pleasing momentum, it was time to announce the three winners of the pageant. The Guy With The Sweaty Nose, Jason Uy, won the ‘You Already’ award for his commendable dougie and Q&A skills that easily garnered perfect 10s from the judges. A Kurteous man always wins as Kurt Lim won the ‘I Choose You’ award. Since two out of three winners are already Chinese, it seemed only fitting to crown the ultimate Chinaman Hanz Go as the first and only Mr Ateneo.
Many thanks to the people who liked the page, supported their boys by liking their photo and an even greater thanks to the people who came out on a busy Friday afternoon to attend the pageant. Special thanks to the hosts – Patch Buenaventura and Janlee Dungca, the judges – Idge Mendiola, Anne Marie Topacio and Drew Capuyoc, the DJ – Arthur Tan, the maintenance staff, Dollhouse, Sir Elgene Feliciano, Cocotoure, Paper Wallets, Lemonade Clothing for making this event possible and even more enjoyable. And of course, to the boys – Paolo Syling, Paolo Tirador, Lee Roman, Hanz Go, Kurt Lim, Daniel Velasco, Von Pessumal, Jason Uy, Jose Cruz and Bardo Wu – for being such cooperative and game-for-anything boys and we hope you had as much fun working with you all as we did.
Photos by Kitkat Lastimosa of The GUIDON