QUEEN – Nine Lives by Mikko Mahinay

eHello, there, blog. I know and I hate the thought I haven’t updated this for months now, but here I am breaking the ice again. Although I have been ridiculously battling lethal and often unrealistic deadlines, frequent flights, trying out every workout routine my hometown could provide me with, and being lethargic by overthinking, I have managed to write this down in just a matter of 10 minutes.

I’m a bawse.

Perhaps,  I’ve been saving all my best thoughts to be written for a year end entry- 2017 was, as millennials say, lit AF. Seriously, this year was met surprises- the kind my younger self once daydreamed of during hazy afternoons during contemporary East Asian studies class, but I’ll share more of that on my year end post. But I just couldn’t give it another 2 months before I could update this space again- & hopefully, more, with a lucrative queue of content.




This particular newspaper editorial was one I excitingly did, having to shoot a reigning Miss Cagayan de Oro right before her ceremonial turnover is probably on any photographer’s bucket list. Perhaps, beauty pageants have discoursed itself, although just often, from what was once a platform for a multi-hyphenate of a woman, boldly carrying a flag of beauty, brains and talent- to what it is today and what is to some- a superficial parade of sponsors-vested interests post-pageant (“Ah let’s make her win! She may not have any substance but her beauty matches my brand”) and these things do have a psychological and sociological effect on the ladies joining them during the entire competition.

Fortunately, in recent years, beauty pageants have veered away from the preferred foreign aesthetic with family names difficult to pronounce, that have conquered the platform for years, to ladies portraying more traditional, and to some extent, ethnic beauties. Ladies such as Venus Raj, has given women of racial diversity or non-conformist standard of beauty, while Pia Wurtzbach was even made tan, with a sleek back raven colored hairdo when she bagged the Miss Universe crown back then after years of the Philippines drought at the said pageant. And, although not all the time, on stage presence and that extra je ne sais quoi; a little something that keeps the audience interested, wins the title.

eSherlyn Legaspi doesn’t fall short off the “new” standard. Surprisingly, when they first release their headshots during her batch’s competition, I immediately said “she’s going to win” just by that sharp piercing look in her eyes at that tight headshot, complimented by her velvet tan skin attributed by her frequent scuba & diving excursions. THE Jonas Gaffud, who has trained the likes of Pia Wurtzbach, was the surprise judge and chairman of the board of judges during Sherlyn’s coronation and he didn’t think disappoint by highly favoring her for the crown.

Shooting Sherlyn was no disappointment ever; it’s like as if her face was designed to be picture perfect- and she was quick to get my often-ridiculous instructions on set and bursting out into laughter in between breaks- further justifying that a great personality really does exude volumes of beauty: on stage, in photographs, on TV and of course, in real life.

Over and out.

Photography & Styling / Mikko Mahinay

Hair / Maricel Salise

Make-up / Len-Len Anaya

Wardrobe / Dio Deus

On Location at The Sky Bar at Cagayan Town Center

For Mindanao Gold Star Daily Urban Life


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