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4 Factors Beauty Queen Maker Jonas Gaffud Looks For In Aspiring Pageant Candidates

Every beauty pageant contender is different and no one understands this better than the one and only Jonas Gaffud. We caught up with the sought-after pageant trainer and talent manager at Aquafina bottled water’s #BestBeginsNow launch in Glorietta. Together with fellow influencers and achievers in various fields, Jonas was on board to impart his own share of wisdom. When it comes to coaching and prepping the best beauty contenders in the country, Jonas is known for making memorable pageant victories possible together with his team, Aces & Queens. 


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The UP Diliman Geography graduate (who also has a Master’s degree in Environmental and Political Geography) didn’t foresee his future turning out quite like this. It all panned out just after he was ironically unable to get a job. “I applied to all government agencies I wanted to be in, but nobody accepted me. After that, I scouted a girl—she was recommended to me, because I was a beauty pageant fan. I trained her and it was my first foray into beauty pageants. Zorayda Andam won Ms. Universe Philippines in 2001. 

In a letter that he also read in a Magandang Buhay interview, Jonas’ first “queen," Zorayda, expressed her gratitude to Jonas for her triumphant year as a beauty candidate, an achievement she received with his help.


             “My dear Jonas,

The thought of you brings me back to pleasant memories of how I started my own journey to becoming a beauty queen. What I have considered a slight detour from my Law studies turned out to be one of my most momentous & life changing events. I could not thank you enough for recognizing my potential & for all your patience, time, blood, sweat & tears when I was once very raw & struggling to walk like a queen. With collaborative support from Nad & Direk Jeff. I am indeed honored to have been your very first trainee in your beauty boot camp as well as your first Bb. Pilipinas-Universe. For all we have gone through - from training in the halls of the UP Faculty Center, UP Vanguard Building & UP School of Economics to commuting together to get to pageant events; I am most proud of you for what you have achieved and for what you have become. I celebrate with you for fulfilling your dreams.  It is my prayer that God continue to grant the desires of your heart and that you continue to honor Him with your life & God given gifts.
I miss you dearly,




Jonas shared that the team that got together to train future beauty queens never planned on going legit—it was all for the love of beauty pageantry. “It’s just an informal group. Every year, we come together to train girls, we call it Aces & Queens. We don’t earn from it, it’s just our passion.” Known as a "beauty queen maker," Jonas has trained over 30 beauty queens in his 16 years with Aces & Queens, and has produced winners in Miss Universe, Miss World, and Miss International. With the wealth of knowledge he and his team have about pageantry, Jonas wrote a book called The Crown: Your Essential Guide to Becoming a Beauty Queen under ABS-CBN Publishing, sharing insider information on everything that makes a beauty queen. 


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READ: Unleash Your Inner Beauty Queen With Lessons From Queenmaker Jonas Gaffud


“So, these are the girls who decide to become my talents—not just as beauty queens—I also manage models, actors, and so on...” According to Jonas, he focuses on four very valuable things when it comes to assessing, selecting, and training a potential beauty pageant winner:


1. The Face 

“The face is very important. I don’t care if you’re 5’5", 5’4", or 5’10". The face matters. People really focus more on the face and intelligence.”



2. The Attitude

“Attitude is important, but of course you can act. Kung madali ka magdala, that’s okay also.”



Peace out jet lag! Just in time to start a brand new week ??

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3. Body/Height

“[When it comes to] body kasi there’s always a certain proportion that people are looking for. Kapag beauty queen, you have to be a bit bigger than models. I have experimented with girls who are bow-legged or pear-shaped. I have been able to train girls who had unproportioned body shapes according to standards and they still won.There’s always a technique to achieve that; how to hide the flaws and be styled.”



4. Maturity

“They should have a certain level of maturity first before they join. Parang mga artista 'yan e, when you become a showbiz personality or a beauty queen at a young age hindi mo pa alam ang responsibility involved, not unless you were trained to be very responsible since you were five years old."



“Yes, there will still be that kid in you. So, for the young ones, it’s better for them to graduate first, get a degree—finish school.”