Philippines wins Mr Gay World 2017, SA in 5th place


John Raspado, a 35-year-old online marketing entrepreneur from the Philippines, was crowned Mr Gay World in Spain on Wednesday night.

Raspado was a clear favourite. He not only scooped the overall title but also took home the Best Swimwear, Mr Online Vote, Mr Interview, Best in Formal Wear, and Mr Social Media awards in the contest.

The 1st runner up was Candido Arteaga from Spain, followed by Raf Van Puymbroeck from Belgium.

South Africa’s representative, Xander Steyn from Bloemfontein, came in the top five and was named the 4th runner up.

The grand finale was held at the Yumbo Centrum in the resort town of Maspalomas in the Canary Islands in front of an enthusiastic audience of thousands.

According to his official biography, Raspado loves to cook and try new dishes and unique delicacies. A gym rat who’s into adventure sports, he loves the outdoors and considers himself an adrenaline junkie.

Pic: Joy Arguil Photography

In 2014, Raspado won the television reality show, I Am Pogay, described as a contest for “handsome gay men” in the Philippines.

Minutes after the finale, he dedicated his victory on Facebook to his family and loved ones and said that he was committed to fighting for the gay community.

Speaking to Gay SA Radio on Thursday, Steyn said that Mr Gay World had been “such an amazing experience; these whole nine days of meeting new people and going through all these challenges together, and the highs and lows… It was really worth it!”

He congratulated Raspado for winning the title, adding “I am really happy to have met so many awesome people.” Steyn also thanked “all you guys back in South Africa for all your support”.

The Philippines is said to be one of the most gay-friendly nations in the world and the most LGBT friendly in Asia. Despite this, there are still restrictions on same-sex marriage, gay adoption and legally changing one’s gender identity.

Watch an overview of Wednesday’s Grand Finale below.

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