Spotlight On Jojo Almazora Sebastian: A Glimpse To Pageant Hosting

Download NowBy Alwin Ignacio

Before Jojo Almazora Sebastian becomes the first Hall of Famer Pageant Host Inductee of the Australian Golden Sash Awards, the hosting wonder from Down Under, share a recollection from his reckless youth years in Laguna with its bucolic charms, laidback surroundings, and the kindest of people, an unforgettable all by myself past time: “I was always in front of the mirror, with a comb on my hand as my pretend microphone.”

That season under the sun, the hosts who were en vogue are Martin Nievera, who babbled and out talked his Filipino celebrity guest in the late-night talk show “Martin After Dark” and Johnny Litton, the televised conversations with the new moneyed and seasoned bourgeoisie, had a considerable impact on the pubescent Sebastian.

The winner of the TV Presenter award from Aberdeen Fashion Arts and Media Awards, however, gives credit to the main person who was instrumental in planting the “hosting seed” to him, the one and only Josephine Sebastian, his mommy dearest.

He shares: “I believe it is my mom who brought about it during my early childhood. You know, she has a strong and pleasing personality, and it seems like in all the programs of the various organizations she was part of, her task was to be the host. She tagged me along in those hosting gigs, and I was always mesmerized by the way she handled herself on stage. She was always confident, in and out of it, but she had a special aura about when she held the microphone. I remember her eyes twinkled. She beamed. Her smile was radiant! Seeing my mommy Josephine on stage, made me feel good. I am so proud her.”

When his time to host happened, it was in a local beauty pageant in his hometown. He was a young man of sixteen summers then: “The stage was all mine that time because my co-host did not arrive. Was I a nervous wreck? Of course! But you know, when I was 16, I was not the type who will chicken out to an event just because I will be going solo. I did give it my best, and I should say, I passed with flying colours I guess because, at the end of the gig, they gave me a talent fee of P500. From that earning, I bought a Penshoppe shirt that I was saving for the longest time. “

The shirt, he has kept it, neatly tucked in closet in his home away from home, in Hawaii. A wonderful memento of how, when, and where he lost his hosting virginity.

Sebastian admits that nowadays, he still gets nervous when he does hosting. He explains: “I believe it is important to keep all those butterflies in your stomach, to be a little ill-at-ease, to be even huffing and puffing like the big bad wolf. When you do something that you love, all these feelings, are part and parcel of it. “

“For me, all of these means, that am not overconfident and I am not complacent with what I do that is why the good kind of nervousness is still present,” the Ryan Seacrest and Xian Lam hosting admirer carries on. “Being overconfident or complacent, I never want to be in such a predicament. “

How does he conquer his stage jitters? Sebastian’s swift reply: “Believe it or not, I learned to realize as I mature as a host that the amount of energy you spent in being nervous is the same when you are excited, you know. What I do is that I psyche myself by talking to the candidates before the pageant starts. IT does do me good to have short and sweet conversations with them.”

With 22 pageants under his belt and more of them are about to transpire in the nearest future, Sebastian’s impart what he thinks are his strengths that pageant organizers recognize and appreciate: “My main role as a host is to make sure that I showcase each and every candidate. Usually, I request permission from the pageant organizers that I will be given permission to chitchat with them. To know them a little better and not just rely on what are written on the cue cards. I do my research as well so that come pageant time, I will be able to give the most import information about the ladies. They are after all, the central figures to any given pageant.”

Some do’s and don’ts in pageant hosting, Sebastian imparts: “Never outshine your co-host, if you have one. You must work as a team. I make it point to rehearse with my co-host, with the permission of course from the pageant organizers. Also, this night is for the ladies, so they must be front and centre and not you. Never take away their moment to shine. They rely on you to have their moment on the stage and it is imperative to give that to them. I don’t cut their answers during the casual interviews. I smile at them, look them in their eyes. And make them feel that my sincerity and I am there to listen to their answers. I am their friend on stage.”

Jojo’s favourite pageant segment: “Oh, it is always the awarding of the winner,” he declares. “There is a magic that is so palpable when the awarding of the winner happens. The joy is authentic. You know, these ladies worked hard for it. Being a candidate is not walk in the park and the one who becomes queen truly deserves all the accolade and love.”

The low downs in the world of pageant hosting are a plenty. Sebastian divulges: “The criticisms can be savage and I had my share of social media bullying. Some of criticisms of course are objective. A handful are amusing. And there are a lot who are just there to nit-pick or undermine you simply because the one they root for did not make the cut. They think since I am the host, I did not announce the right name. “

“Some pageant fans are passionate about the queens they support,” Sebastian continues. “Instead of them carrying out their disgust and gripes to the organizers, since I am the host, I am the easiest target of their bashing and hating. I just take it all in stride knowing that their feelings are eating them up. There is a ready document, the paper that contains the name of the queen that can be shown to those who continue to pester and are not gracious in accepting the reality of it all.”

“I keep myself current by making sure that my skills are in check, my information is up to date and my humility intact by embracing the fact that there is no formula to pageant hosting and my learning continues,” avers Sebastian about his edge. “I also love doing and trying new things when it comes to hosting. Being current does not mean totally forgetting your foundation, it means that your growth is constant and the hunger to learn and hone your new skills set are for real. Observing. Researching. And communicating well helps you to evolve. You know, I constantly remind myself that I am only as good as my last hosting gig. All the congratulations, I put it to my heart and not in my head.”

In conclusion, the future is indeed rainbow coloured and sparkling for Jojo Sebastian as he wants to realize: “Hosting the Oscar’s perhaps? That will be a blast. Or maybe, the most coveted beauty title of all, the Miss Universe. Wow! That is some dream, huh! Or an awards night in my beloved Philippines, I think that spells and screams fun!”

Introducing The Stunning Alyssa Manalo

By: Jenny Aluning

One can never truly underestimate what being in the right place at the right time can do for your future. Alyssa Manalo was taking part in a singing performance when destiny called “I have never thought about trying out for a pageant and I didn’t really know much about pageants, but the lady recommend that I auditioned so I gave it a go.” Little did she know that on June 6, 2015 she would find herself crowned as First Runner Up in the ‘Miss Australasia Official Beauty Pageant’! “I was so overwhelmed and I couldn’t believe that I actually placed since it was my first competition. It was really exciting standing there while I was awarded with a crown and sash in front of family and friends.”

The pageant, established by Maryrose Salubre of Salubre Models International, aims to help empower young women to help others in need. In this, Alyssa will be fulfilling that tenet as she was also named ‘Charity Ambassador for the BNH (Bunga National High School) in Leyte, Philippines which was severely affected by Typhoon Yolanda in 2013. She will not only be raising money and collecting much needed supplies or the school, she will also be traveling there to personally deliver them and to meet the students!

Participating in the pageant definitely found the 17-year old outside her comfort zone. But she warmed to the experience as she was able to “meet new people” and “I like being able to dress up in different types of clothing and styles to express my personality.” She endured the hard slog of hair (“hair styling can hurt sometimes”) and makeup as she found the whole event, and especially her fellow contestants, very interesting “It was great getting to know them, their past experiences and lifestyles. Especially since we had many rehearsals together, we were able to talk to each other frequently.”

While new to beauty pageants, the half-Filipino, half-Maltese has already spent quite some time in the entertainment industry indulging her passion for music. Indeed since winning her crown, Alyssa also performed at the inaugural Mrs Australasia Official Beauty Pageant on October 24. Being in the limelight is never easy and Alyssa has learned to stay grounded by “staying true to myself and I never put on an act. I’m also focused on other aspects of life like school, family and friends.” She’s also learned to “always challenge yourself even if you’re scared of what others will think. I’ve learnt to always try my best and to not let self-doubt or others stop me.”

For now, it is academia that occupies most of Alyssa’s attention. She plans to finish high school and attend university. Never far from her mind though is her love for singing and music. Now, she also has to juggle her new role as Charity Ambassador amongst all of that! But she has the full support of her family behind her and it will not be a surprise if chance and success finds this talented young lady once again.

Find Out More About The Talented Jasmine Henry

By Jenny Aluning

Yes, she’s just 11 years old and yes, she’s barely in her first year in high school. But young Jasmine Henry has not let that stop her from already making a name for herself in the Australian music industry. First taking to the stage at 7 years old, Jasmine has since then been a prolific performer, never failing to impress her audiences with her powerful and soulful voice.

Her time on stage fuels her love for performing. She enjoys it “when my audience connects with me and I can feel their presence when I am singing.” She’s shared the stage with some of the Philippines’ biggest artists such as Piolo Pascual and Martin Nievera, and earlier this year, she was one of the opening acts for YouTube megastar, Gabe Bondoc. In February last year, Jasmine wowed a crowd of 5,000 when she sang the Australian national anthem at a Sydney Kings home game at the QANTAS Credit Union Arena. Sydney Kings’ general manager, Rod Harys and administration manager, Lorraine Landon said: “We are happy to have Jasmine. What a great voice for someone so young!” But what she considers her most memorable performance so far is her birthday concert last year which was held at the Parramatta RSL where she performed Broadway theater star and The Voice Philippines judge, Lea Salonga’s iconic song: ‘On My Own’ from Les Misérables.

For someone so young, Jasmine possesses a mature, sensible and humble attitude with a strong belief in her faith. Strongly supported by her mother and her brother, she says “my mum inspires me to be a better person every day. She believes in my visions and dreams in life.”

There is absolutely no doubt that Jasmine’s music career is taking off. While she is currently working on her album (produced by TrueAmerican Music), Jasmine admits that there has been challenges – “finding the right materials is not easy for a young teen like me. They kept saying it has to be age appropriate.” She is also adding songwriting to her resumé and hopes to include at least one of her own compositions in the album.


But while her time in the spotlight seems to be ramping up (she has a massive following on both Facebook and Instagram), Jasmine admits that “my studies comes first. I have few amazing offers from here and abroad but then my mum keeps saying take it slow and one day at a time.” Even at 11, the half Filipino/half Australian songbird already knows about the darker side of the music industry. She knows “that haters will hate hate hate” and that she has to remember “that I am beautiful inside out…I have to stay loyal to people who were there from the beginning and never to forget where I came from…I consider beautiful when the person is honest and loyal. Because you know they won’t hurt you and will be with you no matter what. By then, I see Jesus in them.”

Multi-talented Jasmine Henry (who incidentally not only sings, but can make her own soaps, hair care products and lotions using natural ingredients) is a young girl with big dreams in and out of the music industry. She’s expressed that she wants “to be a politician one day so I can help our country especially those who suffers in different forms of abuse and help build a better future to the new generations to come,” and would like to “start my own brand of clothing for kids and teens because I love fashion.” Within music, her album’s release would be a dream come true as well as performing in the Philippines. Another dream is a chance to work with Justin Bieber – “he is a great artist and my ultimate crush, I dream one day to be on stage with him.”

It is distinctly clear that the sky is the limit for this extraordinary young lady. Jasmine Montemayor Henry is definitely one name to watch out for!

The Australian Golden Sash Awards: What Is It All About??

The AGSA (Australian Golden Sash Awards) is a ceremony aimed at showcasing Australian beauty queens who have made the most outstanding contributions to the pageant industry during the year.

National Directors were invited to nominate and vote for men and women who have competed in their respective pageant systems in the specified categories. They were also able to nominate and vote for men and women who belong to other pageant systems whom they feel deserve to be recognized. Pageant kings and queens as well were invited to nominate and vote for men and women whom they feel deserves to be recognized for their platform. All the entries were judged by the entire pageant community. You had to be a National Director, a titleholder or a beauty pageant contestant to be eligible to vote.

This annual event is a first of its kind in Australia. The ceremony is brought to you by the International Beauty Pageant Awards in collaboration with StarCentral Magazine, and the awards are broken down into the following categories:

Beauty Queen of the year

The beauty queens that defined the year as a whole with ubiquitous industry demand and presence. They distinguished themselves by crossing over to the modeling industry via top-tier bookings with some of the best photographers, stylists, and clients earning next-level visibility, while at the same time giving back to the community – making them this year’s foremost star.

Ultimate Role model of the year

The beauty queens who inspire and sets positive examples for other beauty queens as well as members of their community.

Humanitarian of the year

Nothing is more important than giving back to the community, and during the past year, these beauty queens have inspired us all by putting charity first. Devoting their time, energy and status to causes big and small, these women raise awareness and bring hope to those who need it most.

Most Promising Newcomer

The most promising newcomer has had a substantial presence on the pageant and modeling scene, only their careers have just begun to take off in the past several seasons. As a newcomer to the pageant/ modeling industry, these rising stars have racked up coveted campaigns and impressive editorial work in a short period of time and are set to leave a lasting mark on the industry.

International queen of the year

The international queen of the year has had a significant presence on an international beauty pageant. These beauty queens have inspired us all by not only becoming a titleholder here in Australia but also performing well overseas.

LGBT beauty queen of the year

The LGBT beauty queen that defined the year as a whole with ubiquitous industry demand and presence. They distinguished themselves by crossing over to the modeling industry via top-tier bookings with some of the best photographers, stylists, and clients earning next-level visibility, while at the same time giving back to the community – making them this year’s foremost LGBT beauty queen.

Pageant king of the year

The pageant king that defined the year as a whole with ubiquitous industry demand and presence. They distinguished themselves by crossing over to the modeling industry via top-tier bookings with some of the best photographers, stylists, and clients earning next-level visibility, while at the same time giving back to the community – making them this year’s foremost pageant king.

Other Awards

Curve Model of the year, Miss Photogenic of the year, Charity queen of the year, Miss Natural Beauty, Social media queen of the year, Pageant of the year, Pageant Director of the year, Best Pageant Host, Best Pageant Photographer, Best pageant makeup artist, Best pageant hair stylist, Best pageant dress company, and Best Children’s pageant.

Introducing…. MS Magazine

MS Magazine is set to shake up the Australian media landscape, providing a publication purely focused on empowering women. MS magazine is a quarterly magazine founded by Maryrose Salubre and primarily marketed to women.

There are hundreds and thousands of magazines today, from fashion to beauty, to family, to house, to travel and more. MS magazine begs to differ from other publications as it aims to inspire and empower women. It’s an opportunity for the Maryrose Salubre, the National Director of Australasia Official and Mrs. Universe Australia to live and work her passion for inspiring and encouraging others using this platform – a print and online magazine.

Join in Maryrose Salubre’s journey to reach and inspire, by coming to the official magazine launch on May 26, 2018, at the Entertainment Dome, Club Burwood (96 Shaftesbury Rd, Burwood NSW 2134).