Beauty pageant contestants can individually stand for HIV advocacy, but if an entire pageant is dedicated to increasing awareness, it makes for a unified campaign sending a stronger message.

This is what Mister and Miss Kagay-An Plus strived to achieve, and has successfully accomplished for the past three seasons. In 2018, it has crowned Reynan Panoy Baguio and Gemini Elorde Matulac as title-holders in a colorful pageant held on December 1st, right on World AIDS Day. Their crowns served as symbols of both triumph and task, as they continue becoming peer educators in spreading HIV awareness.

Kagay-An PLUS (Preserving Life, Uniting Society), Inc began holding this pageant a year after they’re founded (in 2015). Aimed at promoting LGBT empowerment while strengthening their HIV advocacy, the idea of creating a pageant to champion the cause was a no-brainer. It easily reached its target audience while making sure the message and objective of education is emphasized.

Pageant winners like Reynan and Gemini put a face to the Kagay-AN PLUS’ undying cause: promoting the importance of knowing one’s HIV status, the need for immediate treatment for those who have tested positive, and the ease of fighting stigma and fear through education.  As peer educators, they extend their reach to more people in the region, and help drive more clients to testing centers and get the conversation going on how to address the epidemic. Their experience in promoting HIV awareness, and even LGBT rights, add to the authenticity of the message they’re sending.

Vote for the Project of the Year here.

About the Ripple Awards

The second Ripple Awards was inspired by the ethos of courage and compassion in the face of tremendous odds, thus now honoring five (5) individuals, three (3) organizations and a project which demonstrates the genuine ability to move other people towards uplifting the lives affected by the HIV-AIDS epidemic.

Beyond the glitz and glamor, The Ripple Awards celebrates the great human potential to drive change, inspire hope, and bring healing to others in need. Save the date for the awarding of the top Ripplers at the Love Gala on May 11, 2019. Get your tickets here.

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