It was another evening of pomp and pageantry as this year’s Mister and Miss Chinatown Philippines culminated in a spectacular display of Chinoy pride, where twenty-five contestants — 13 men and 12 women — strutted down the SM Mall of Asia Arena stage for the Grand Coronation Night.
Prior to the finals, the pageant unveiled the new Phoenix Crown during the Chinatown Ball last August 15, mastercrafted by Hoseki Jewelry Art — ushering in a new era for the Chinatown pageant.
After undergoing months of rigorous training and preparation — having coursed through a series of grueling pre-pageant events — an early favorite and a dark horse contender were crowned as Mister and Miss Chinatown Philippines 2019, in the persons of Jonah Chantong and Nina Lee, who proved to be the judges’ choice after winning both the swimwear and formal wear competitions. Jonah — an alumnus of Xavier School and a B.S. in Industrial Economics and Business Management graduate from De La Salle University — took the lion’s share of all special awards conferred, having also received the Darling of the Press and Best Male Model titles during the press presentation last August 15. He currently works as a business development manager of a potato snacks franchise and is a co-owner of a bar in Katipunan Avenue.
Nina, on the other hand, is an alumna of the Immaculate Conception Academy and the University of Santo Tomas, where she completed her B.S. degree in Interior Design. She is currently working as a sales designer at a European-based kitchen and wardrobe cabinet company, while pursuing her advocacy with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR Philippines), a global organization dedicated to building a better future for refugees.
Jeremiah Tomas and Philene Fenix Yeung placed first runners-up, while Stephen Lim and Maria Lorraine Cho were declared second runners-up. Armed with inimitable grace and wit, these six winners shall be the new ambassadors and ambassadresses of the Chinese-Filipino community who are expected to represent the Chinoys on the national stage with their respective advocacies.
Celebrity host Robi Domingo returned to the stage as the ceremony’s emcee, together with “Umagang Kay Ganda” morning program host, Gretchen Ho. The duo was assisted by Chinoy TV mainstays, Janeena Chan and Willord Chua.
More than just an emblematic contest, this year’s coronation night proved to be the grandest — if not the most purposeful — in its seven years of showcasing the beauty, talent and intelligence of the Chinese-Filipino youth. In response to issues involving the recent nationalist stereotyping of the Chinese-Filipino, the organizers adopted “Building Bridges” as its theme for 2019, with the hopes of making the pageant a fitting venue for Chinoys and Pinoys to come together and celebrate our shared cultural heritage that strengthens the ties that have long held our two nations together for centuries.
Mr. and Ms. Chinatown Philippines is produced by Fil-Chi Media Productions Inc. and Miss Chinatown Foundation, together with this year’s presenters Tak Chun Group and the Federation of Filipino-Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Inc.