Monday, October 12, 2020

Mr and Ms Chinatown Philippines 2020 Candidates compilation of Challenge 3: Culture

Candidates compilation of Challenge 3: Culture
Challenge 3 is all about a chance to STRENGTHEN their cultural ties! For this challenge, candidates will showcase their Chinoy heritage through their Phoenix headpiece. Which one do you think is the best? Comment below!


Candidate 1: Camille Buenaventura

Red, gold and ruby. These are the elements of my Phoenix headpiece.

Red is the color of power, vitality, action, & passion. Red symbolizes strength. Red is the symbol of energy, that one is ready to take action on a new goal. With this strength and passion, I am able to acknowledge the situation we are facing before taking action. Because how can we inspire others to act and rise up if we do not recognize the walls we have to break?

The red flower pattern on my headpiece is one of the most common patterns in Chinoy culture. For me, this represents my Chinoy roots – this pattern has been passed on from generation to generation, and I will continue to pass it on to preserve the Chinoy culture. This pattern keeps me connected to my ancestors, and in turn, our connection keeps me grounded as a Chinoy.

Gold illuminates and enhances. Gold is associated with knowledge and spirituality. It encourages us to have a deeper understanding of ourselves. Gold empowers me to be generous and giving. To share my blessings even when I feel that I have none. The gold leaves on my headpiece represents the wings of the phoenix, and is sprouting to all directions, so that I may spread warmth and compassion as I understand my soul, rise from who I used to be and transform into a new me.

Ruby symbolizes vigor and passion. Ruby represents the vitality of life. It is power, courage, & love. I filled my phoenix headpiece with rubies as it encourages me to fully understand who I am and what I can contribute to the Chinoy community. With my rebirth, I am full of happiness and passion, and I aim to empower others to embrace the new versions of ourselves as we realize that we can do so much more for our community; enriching the lives of others as we rebuild, inspire, strengthen and empower one another.

Like the phoenix, these three colors represent the great energy of hope and rebirth. My phoenix headpiece fuels me to live fully, use my past experiences as my drive to be a better version of myself, to see the strength and potential of the Chinoy community from the perspective of my own heart, to be compassionate and loving, and to empower myself and others to work together and rise up as one.

Candidate 2: Cassandra Chan

The Phoenix, an immortal bird of the ancient Chinese culture, is symbolized by the values of strength and rebirth. Also known as the Feng Huang (凤凰), it is the perfect representation of rising up from the ashes in times of turmoil. This rising of the phoenix has always been a significant concept for me. I, too, experienced complete transformation this year. Like most, the weight of this pandemic has affected so many aspects of my life. It was very challenging mentally especially for an extroverted person like me. It took prayers and constant support from my loved ones to get back to a stronger mindset. This experience of rising up from a difficult situation has molded me into the person I am today. My motivation this year is to be like the phoenix, whose presence back then was meant to inspire and strengthen the resolve of the people who witnessed them. I want to show through my actions and words what it truly means to be a pillar of strength for others.

My perception of the values of this powerful creature is represented in this piece: The iconic red and gold hue is associated with the values of happiness and prosperity. These vibrant colors are meant to represent the dawning of a day where we can rise together as one community after this pandemic. The three-feather motifs signify the hope we have placed in ourselves so that we may pass it on and strengthen others in our community.

One of the biggest realizations I’ve had this year is that strength not only comes from within, but it takes the support of others as well to rebuild ourselves during this time. Lastly, the part I’ve found most relevant are the pair of “wings” on each side of the headpiece. It embodies the concept of rising up from our current situation and the capacity of our community to soar towards a better world. Personally, it’s the most powerful Filipino-Chinese value we can incorporate in our lives: the idea that rising up doesn’t happen individually, but collectively as one community. With that, I am hopeful that we can soar and rise into a greater future together.

Candidate 3: Alexi Enriquez

This is my version of the Phoenix headpiece. Having a headpiece with abundant underlying symbolisms and meaning can only be properly represented through fine craftsmanship. To incorporate all these and to give justice to the Phoenix, I decided to have the artefact custom-made based on how I interpreted the Phoenix.

I began by choosing a color for my headpiece. Since the phoenix is depicted as majestic, radiant, and shimmering by ancient legends, I decided to use gold as the predominant color to encapsulate all that. Moreover, this decision was also influenced by the parallelism between symbolic gold and the powerful Phoenix. Apart from prestige and wealth, both symbolize strength, as seen in their ability to withstand the test of time.

Furthermore, red gems were used to adorn the headpiece as an ode to the fiery Phoenix of the rising sun, while golden flowers were added to represent renewal, another symbolism of the Phoenix.

The mighty Phoenix also reigns over all the birds, and so golden wings were attached at the top. But more importantly, the wings were placed to represent its ability to rise from the ashes of its predecessor. Through the darkness, as manifested in the black base and dark undertone of the headpiece, it is able to glisten, rise above, and ascend into a better future. The Phoenix tells us that it is never the end, but the start of something new.

Lastly, through my pose, I wanted to reinforce the power and feminine grace embodied by the headpiece. I wanted to show that I can be an extension of all these symbolisms to other people, especially during these dark times. There is hope amidst darkness and we always have the choice to RISE not only for ourselves, but for others.

With that, I want to call everyone to #RISEwithMMCP and #RISEwithAlexi as we rebuild connections, inspire others, strengthen the community, and empower one another.

Candidate 4: Jea Go

In earlier times, headdresses were used to accentuate the identity and duties of its wearer. Today, this Phoenix headpiece can represent our roles and how we can #RISE under these challenging circumstances.
The red beads scattered on the headpiece can denote us individuals and the important things that keep us grounded and should not take for granted - good health, clean air, and quality time with family.

The gold structure can be interpreted as the framework without which we would not enjoy the red beads. This could be the local rules guiding us, the government, and the medical community fighting the virus. At the center of the headpiece rests a golden phoenix, an ultimate symbol for strength and renewal due to its ability to be reborn with grace.

If these two features, the red and gold details, collaborate, we will eventually #RISE and be reborn from the physical, emotional, and financial adversities. We have to join hands in the fight against the pandemic.

As a candidate of Miss Chinatown 2020, I wear my Phoenix headdress with great pride and honor embodying the modern Chinoy ways of thinking.

Candidate 5 Kat Ibasco

I designed this headpiece with the shape and symbolism of the phoenix in mind. I modeled parts of it, like the base and the upper adornments, on the phoenix’s tail feathers. And decorated the headpiece vertically, with molded brass elements as a show of the eternal life and rising of the Phoenix.

To mimic the way a Phoenix proudly shows its plumage as it spreads its wings, I borrowed the shape of an open fan. I created the fan in six sections, divided by rows of hand-made Chinese knots of satin cording, to portray the six celestial bodies the phoenix is said to symbolize. The fan, as a tool of both grace and strength, embodies the persistence of the flame for the rebirth of the Phoenix.

Details such as the feather-like brass findings, the emerging branch-like structures of twisted wire, or the beaded flowers that wrap around my head, are sights of new growth and renewal. I combined both hard and soft materials to properly depict the Phoenix’s strength and grace. And created a headpiece that emphasizes the great virtues of both the Phoenix and the RISE movement. As a symbol of the Chinese Empress, this interpretation of the Phoenix should be worn tall, with pride and power.

Candidate 6: Maxine Kong

Crystal Pearl of the Phoenix

Everything has meaning if you are inspired to give it one. With this I hope to convey my message to the community through the meaning behind my headpiece.

The vision of my headpiece was to be a celebration of the Chinoy culture. The pearls represent the Philippines as it is the "Pearl of the orient seas"; on the other hand the lotus in the middle represents a prominent flower in the Chinese culture.

The main shape of the headpiece are curved metal pieces which resemble the wings of the Phoenix. It also serves as the headpiece's foundation which reminds us that we must keep strong in our roots which is our life's foundation to success. The wings of the Phoenix is a reminder that we should #RISE above our failures and downfalls.

The headpiece is adorned with crystal embellishments; and to me that represents transparency. For I believe that the best way for us to #RISE is if we allow ourselves to be true. If we let our true colors, true passion, and the right mindset to shine through

Candidate 7: Kate Tan Pian

“The Empress Bloom” – I feel like an empress wearing this piece. A strong-willed, unyielding woman who leads and wins her battle by rising up from her shortcomings and setbacks and bloomed anew for a comeback. This is an outright epitome of a woman who faces defeats at times, but surely will never be conquered.

This piece flaunts the majestic blend of gold and silver, which personally gives me the picture of empowerment, excellence and elegance.Its main material-the metal, known for its energy conductivity, inspires me to understand deeper the dynamism of the culture I have and how its energy- the values, principles and practices it carries, transcend from a person to another. The Silver Feather-like projections symbolizes the “silver-lining” vibe inspired by the life and power of a phoenix- a life and power that showcases supreme display of regeneration, rebirth and transformation, this specific structure extends outward as it suggests thriving and rising from ashes of personal downfalls and beyond that, reaching out in order to extend hopefulness, positivity and benevolence to the community which also happens to highlight The Mr. and Ms. .Chinatown organization’s mantra “Chinoy Cares”. The 5 infinite-circular designed dangles attached to the main piece portray the guiding principles and values, serving as the hallmark of Filipino-Chinese identity and how their impact and influence infinitely ripple across people and ages- diligence, family-orientedness, compassion, resourcefulness, and having sound visions in life.

Candidate 8: Ezra See

Paragon

‘A thing viewed as a model of excellence’, is just like how I envision a phoenix to be. I named this headpiece as Paragon since I see the phoenix as a magnificent creature rising from the ashes, with pride and dignity knowing that it is a symbol of hope and renewal, with its wings spread widely and its long tail flowing so beautifully in place. Red and Gold may be the most popular colors for Chinese people, but I chose them as it best represents a Phoenix. Gold, represents royalty and power while Red represents fire or passion, beauty and success. With these color combinations, it creates an exemplary representation of something powerful, a higher level of life, a new beginning, which the RISE movement exemplifies.

The ‘Paragon’ also has a bird which represents the phoenix. The bird has a crown on top of it which shows royalty and divinity. With gold and red feathers to show its elegance and power residing on top of a gold headband filled with flowers which symbolizes harmony.

A Phoenix is also a symbol of the empress. Gold chains and pearls inspired by the ‘Fengguan’ headdress worn by Chinese empresses are also incorporated in this headpiece. Pearls are also something so precious and modest, which are some of the characteristics of a good role model.

With this headpiece, Paragon, I want to show people how we can also rise like the Phoenix, amidst our challenges; and be a model of excellence and a voice for our community.

Candidate 9: Latisha Tan

One of the beauty found in the Phoenix is its association with being reborn every 500 years after it dies. This is very timely in today’s crisis and pandemic as being born again is equal to being able to rise again from the death and despair we are currently experiencing. As we were creating the headpiece, we have chosen materials that reflect the characteristics of a phoenix that resonate with our current experiences. The color Red signifies the universal word for stop. We must stop trying to be pulled down by these burdening ashes and let go from the insecurities and anxieties that stop us from soaring high. The coins sticked to its body represent the beautiful value found in being able to conquer these ashes. The tassels represent its grace and beauty as it flies with its wings despite the past despair it went through. What a phoenix represents is a glimmering hope of being renewed and reborn from all the dying ashes of life. It is about having the wings of freedom to soar high with renewed strength not only to finish on top wit confidence but to learn how to have courage to face failure with grace and dignity. All together, the phoenix represents the beauty of choosing to neglect the idea of despair and being able to rise not above others, but with others. A symbol of hope and encouragement to everyone experiencing despair that is inevitable.

Candidate 10: Anie Uson

In our rich culture, the PHOENIX symbolizes STRENGTH, RENEWAL and REBIRTH. The CHINOY are like a Phoenix when all was left are ashes we clothe ourselves again in flame, a flame of HOPE, a flame of PASSION. As we RISE UP for a new beginning we stand with GRACE and DETERMINATION.

These are the concepts that inspired my head piece. GOLD, the color of prosperity and wealth showing courage and perseverance in the midst of all adversity.

In these trying times, as we rise together from the dust of this crisis we will rekindle the spark of our future and remain steadfast and believe in the power of a new beginnings 

Candidate 11: Hillary Uy

The Phoenix is a symbol of rebirth and glory, and as such, the crown I created is a manifestation of these. I chose the Phoenix headpiece to be a crown as a crown represents strength, royalty, and majesty, which are characteristics attributable to the Phoenix. In the process of conceptualizing this crown, I incorporated various elements that hold meaning that make the symbolism of the crown even richer. First, the center of the crown holds the Sun. The sun, much like the Phoenix, blazes with flames, shining brightly above anything else. The wearer of the crown must shine like the sun to inspire and illuminate the lives of others around her. The Phoenix’s fire burns and is a signal of hope for all who are distraught, and from the ashes, the Phoenix is reborn bright as the sun.

The base of the crown is shaped like the nest of the Phoenix, which represents home. The crown, at the foundational level, is the home of the Phoenix, where it grows and thrives, just as how the wearer must provide a sense of home and comfort to others. At the same time, it reminds us of the value of a home, where one is to evolve and grow, and share in the love of their family. Surrounding the nest are tails and feathers extending upward to the sky, firm and taught, while also being flexible — moving along with the direction of the wind. These tails and feathers, although light, nimble, and graceful, also hold themselves upright despite the forces that attempt to destroy them. Similarly, the wearer of the crown must be able to move within their circumstances, malleable to adapt to their situation, while also being resolute and steadfast in their beliefs.

The final element in the crown are the two swords, crossed behind the head. These two swords represent the strength and discipline with which the wearer must lead the people around her. Swords, as symbols of power, have been used to shape the destinies of civilizations since the time of their creation. With these tools, the leader must use the power she wields wisely, not to destroy, but to build a great society and community for the generations to come. 

Candidate 12 Julianne Yap

I used to dream about being a princess. My parents and I would dress up and talk about leading kingdoms. As I got older, I realized that being a Disney princess was not a possible career path. Nevertheless, my desire to rise and actively influence the Chinoy community still holds dear to my heart. Prior to the lockdown, I had planned to travel and study in Shanghai for a semester to immerse myself in the culture and to better my Mandarin speaking in order to communicate with my guakong more. Much to my dismay, travelling is still prohibited, but my dream continues to one day immerse in the culture and engage in a discourse that will lead the community to rise.

The crown is the highlight of this photo. Although it isn’t a princess crown, it symbolizes the epitome of the phoenix and Chinoy culture, which in turn emulates the #rise movement. Its gold color symbolizes wealth, much like how the phoenix and community are rich in culture and traditions. It also has a winged bird on top to emphasize how a phoenix rises and soars above. The red gem exonerates the power that comes with uniting together as a community with our shared traditions. I associate the gold chain-like structures on the sides of the headpiece to the Chinese belief on noodles, which symbolize long life and also portrays how the ancient chinese medical traditions are of great length. Lastly, it is surrounded by flowers, butterflies, and pearls, as I believe that no man is an island and that our harmonious relationships will lead us to rise.

Even though I am not a princess, I firmly believe that my love for my culture, community, and profession will enable me to rise. I am Julianne Yap, a daughter, Chinoy, leader, and aspiring doctor. Along with many other professions, the frontliners and doctors are the leaders of tomorrow especially during this pandemic. In spite of the ashes, downfalls, and pains caused by the pandemic, I encourage everyone to rise and unite. Together we can work and achieve a more inclusive society. 

Candidate 1: Herc Ang

My passion for music and performing arts has been my inspiration into picking this hat, which has been inspired by the hanfu (汉服) of the song dynasty, the time where lyric and poetry has reached its peak, combined with how my late Ama has imbued the Chinese culture into our identity, the vibrant colors of this head piece represents a significant meaning to our culture. Red. Which symbolizes luck, and joy and also expresses my passion and love for the chinese culture. Gold. Which usually symbolizes wealth and prosperity, but it is also associated with illumination, courage, and wisdom. Like the way my grandmother has lightened the path for me, the wisdom she has instilled in me, and the courage she’s given me to continue my journey to become the next Mr. Chinatown. 

Candidate 2: Carlo Carcido
SALAKOT

This hat is commonly called as the Salakot. It refers to the broad-peaked headgear with a conical shape. The Salakot has been used by both Filipino and Chinese since the early period and it is mostly worn as they work outdoors to protect themselves from the sun and rain.

This handmade headpiece is created to symbolize the flag of the Philippines. As we go back to our Philippine history, the red color symbolizes patriotism and the bravery of the Filipino. The blue color symbolizes peace, truth and justice. The stars represent the three big islands namely Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. The eight golden rays represent the provinces that revolted against the Spanish colonizers.

This headpiece also symbolizes the face of a phoenix. As I have looked through, in Chinese mythology, the phoenix or the fenghuang imposes many different meanings. One of which is the ability of a phoenix to rise from the ashes for it to have a new life and a new beginning.

This is one of the reasons why I chose to incorporate both Filipino and Chinese histories in my headpiece. This creation’s inspiration stems from the vision of a true Filipino-Chinese who is resilient and hardworking. I, as one, would always look up to our fellow countrymen who bravely fought for our freedom - and just like the phoenix, I have and will always have the drive for new beginnings. As a part of the Mr. and Ms. Chinatown movement, I would like to encourage people, especially the youth, to #RISE and have the courage and desire to face challenging situations humbly and make these as their inspiration to do better and be better for themselves and for the people around them. This is a testament to look beyond the challenges ahead of us, be inspired by our forefathers’ courage and bravery and the power of a phoenix for a new birth, which ensue that there will always be hope for every person who will desire for it. 

Candidate 3: Beef Co

This headpiece resembles my transformation during this whole pandemic. I wear it with pride as we approach the final moments of the RISE movement where I have learned to appreciate my Chinoy background more.

The Phoenix in the middle symbolizes rising from the ashes of this pandemic. The Gold symbolizes my strength reborn, pushing forward and not holding back. The Ruby signifies the reflection of my strength to everyone around me. Lastly, the Silk is a note to ourselves to keep positive about the future and not lose ourselves dwindling in the shadows 

Candidate 4: Eric Cua

”Golden phoenix symbolizes strength, transformation and new beginnings. Like what my parents have been telling me, time will come that I will be on my own. In everything I do, I always have to be strong. No matter how many times I fall, I have to set those failures as lessons so I can move forward.
Being a grown-up man, I can say that all of them are true. I failed many times in business. There are times that I’m just tired of being an adult lol. Who can relate? But hey, I didn’t give up! You should too.

Just wanna remind everyone that like a golden phoenix, we always have to be strong. Failures transform us to be a better version of ourselves so we can create new beginnings. Never give up! 🖤 

Candidate 5 Jiro Go

My phoenix-inspired headpiece encrusted with gold and with foliage strewn about not only showcases elegance but also celebrates life as symbolized by the plants and flowers revolving around it. I adore this headpiece primarily because of the phoenix fixed at the center which is a symbol for the RISE movement.

Attached in front are two stones: Opal and Ruby. Opal symbolizes purity and passion, while ruby being the phoenix egg, symbolizes new beginnings and re-building. These two stones combined together create a very timely relevance as a lot of people have lost a lot of hope, and currently are re-building to get their life back before the pandemic.

The Crown is also surrounded by flames, topped with a bloomed flower. This symbolizes my burning and undying passion to impart positivity despite hardships and negativities in life. The flower at the top of the flame manifests that no matter what experience we face, all of these collectively add to our personal growth and well-being.

Last but not the least, there are two peacocks situated at the front, which symbolizes the various colors that we see in life. This showcases that beauty and strength could be found everywhere, while empowering others to see the color and beauty in our everyday lives. 

Candidate 6: Jerrick Luy

The Chinese have always seen clothing as a way to show status, education and power. The headdress is no exemption. Since time immemorial, Chinese emperors have been known to wear headpieces adorned with ornaments and covered in colors that mean something, and the headdress that i am wearing reflects that of an emperor.

The color red, which can be prominently seen, symbolizes luck, happiness and joy;

In these times of uncertainty
it is important to be happy and
content with the blessings we have.

The color yellow symbolizes power, royalty and prosperity;

Being powerful doesnt mean
raw physical strength, it is the
fortitude and resiliency amid
challenges that matters

Finally, the color gold symbolizes riches and wealth;

Which reminds us that these
are temporary because what's
more important is our health,
both physically and mentally.

This headdress is more than a piece of clothing for me. It represents my whole being, the challenges i've been through, the mistakes i've learned from, the people who supported me, the experiences that make up who i am today and the relationship i have with my family and friends that i will cherish forever.

They say there is strength in numbers, with that I say we are all emperors and empresses of the modern world. Even without a gaudy headpiece we are strong, determined and powerful, and together we will RISE. 

Candidate 7: Georwin Ng

As we come towards the end of the year 2020, new life and beginnings await us next year. The crown is made of wood with a red lotus. Wood is one of the five important Feng Shui elements and when balanced, it enhances trust, originality, growth and new ideas. It represents one that seeks to grow and expand as it springs and buds optimism and positivity. Paired with the lotus flower it shows the blooming and the start of new hope for life, attracting prosperity and longevity. This headpiece is simple yet symbolises the ultimate perfection for a healthy and harmonious future. 

Candidate 8: Johann Sy

Elegance is not a word I would normally use to describe a man, but when wearing the Phoenix headpiece, that mantle of elegance rests naturally on one's shoulders.

The Phoenix captures what most cultures aspire for, rebirth. With my headpiece, the black accents symbolize not only death but leaving the past behind. From the ashes, one can rise to new heights and the gold crown symbolizes the bright future ahead. The red flames rising to the skies convey resilience and one's drive to push and move forward.

On reflection, the headpiece reminds us that adversity is one constant in our lives; we have faced it in the past, there are many in the present, and likely more in the future. Let challenges come and do their worse, and we need to simply do our best. The phoenix not only symbolizes the beauty of emerging from adversity but also endurance. Failure is the best teacher, and quitting should not be an option. Let hope spring eternal. 

Candidate 9: Don Tang

It's easy to lose sight of life's colors in the dark. Your spark dims. Your fire burns out. But it is during these times that you are also able to look deep within you and find that strength you never thought you even had. And once you see it, nothing can stop you now from embracing that powerful energy and letting it fuel you.

To #RISE isn't simply to move forward or fly again. It is to see the light, to be the light, to bring the colors back to our lives. When you #RISEwithDon, you'll find that it's not just about bouncing back; it's about gaining that momentum and shining brighter than ever. 

Candidate 10: Abs Tsai

Having my lunch on a hot summer noon, I couldn’t stop but think about the farmers who endured the heat, stress and pain just to provide food on our table. Past the days spent in quarantine, I was jubilant to start my own tomato plants, and observe my watermelon growth; I fell in love with nature and gained more respect towards our resilient farmers.

By experiencing the trials in gardening, I learned to wear the farmers’ straw hat, the Balanggot, which protected me from the sun’s heat, and later, inspired my art.

Visually, the self-handcrafted headpiece is a flower in full bloom. Like a Phoenix that symbolically rises from the ash, the plant starts anew and blooms more stunningly.
The red color symbolizes passion and green shows nature or health. Collectively, nature care and health prioritization should be our new normal. The emperor’s hat or “官帽” in the middle represents nobility while the various leaves present prosperity and abundance. In our culture, to be successful, we must first practice decency and respect.

By showing kindness and gratitude to others, we can strengthen and motivate them to achieve more. Let us be more thankful—even the slightest appreciation can brighten up someone’s life. 
Candidate 11: Kevin Ty

The Phoenix’s fire represents renewal and rebirth, and that’s why I created my cultural headpiece from recycled materials and items we already had at home – to give them a whole new life. With a little bit of creativity, beads from a broken bracelet, old scraps of cloth, and leftover art supplies can make all the difference in showing your Chinoy pride. This look was inspired by Zuko from Avatar, one of my favorite shows that’s inspired by Chinese culture. By reaching out to others, he was able to transform from villain to hero and rise above his greatest challenges. 


Candidate 12 Justin Yap

The inspiration for the headpiece is the fabled PHOENIX bird – a mythical creature known for its ability to rise alive from the ashes to live another period.

It is mainly an inverted Taklub, a fishing contraption popular in the olden days in the five bays surrounding Tacloban City, represented by the five blue jewels framing the face. From its center rises the PHOENIX, depicting the various stages of its rebirth. It is buttressed by the full wings of the bird as though ready to soar high to its full potential and magnificence. The base is accentuated by South Sea pearls.

Gleaming at the center with inlaid sunrays, is the Pearl of the Orient, a moniker given to the Philippine archipelago. The Chinese traditional hairlock and hair clasp, popular among the royalty during the Ming Dynasty is incorporated into the design.

A fusion of Filipino – Chinese cultural similarities, this PHOENIX-inspired headdress uses mainly indigenous materials like bamboo and vines, interspersed with wooden beads and is accessorized with metallic feathers and gemstones. 

 

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