Jonas Gaffud Leaves Aces & Queens—Here Are The Beauty Queens He's Trained
It's the end of an era.
Jonas Gaffud, co-founder of Aces & Queens, one of the Philippines' premier beauty queen training camps, has announced his departure from the company. Citing his reason for leaving, he says he wants to explore other opportunities.
Since Shamcey Supsup introduced us to her tsunami walk in 2011, Pia Wurtzbach impressed judges with her winning Q&A answer in 2015, and Kylie Verzosa wowed us with her winning speech in 2016, it's always been Jonas behind all these queens' most stunning moments onstage.
He's been in the business for almost two decades after all, and for all those years, it's been his deepest passion and most selfless mission to help aspiring beauty queens represent the Philippines with pride and grace.
Training young women to be the best at everything from poise and posture to quick-witted Q&A skills in the face of pressure, Jonas has earned the well-deserved moniker "Queen-Maker," making him one of the most—if not the most—sought-after beauty queen coach there ever was in pageant-crazed Philippines.
As word of Jonas' skill spread over time, his services expanded to help his queens' male counterparts, too; male models and celebrities in the making were taught how to sweep auditions, project themselves with confidence, and work a crowd.
However, all of that has now come to a close with Jonas bidding farewell to Aces & Queens, a venture which he founded with his friends that he never dreamed would reach the heights it has.
"As much as I would love to continue training girls as head of Aces and Queens, I believe it is time for me to leave the group to pursue other endeavors. As such, I will focus on developing and sustaining advocacies which are close to our hearts: education of children, and raising funds for their causes, LGBTQIA rights & awareness, tourism for the Philippines and women empowerment," he wrote on Facebook, to break the news.
The Queens who have touched so many people’s lives through their humble beginnings. Miss Universe finalsts @onlyvenusraj (2010) and @hhennie.official (2018) showed the Universe that no matter what, you can conquer your fears and make an impact in the international stage. ?????????? #missuniverse #philippines #vietnam
And despite the assumed competitiveness between pageant training camps, Jonas humbly gave a shoutout to his former challengers.
"I salute how the camps brought out the best in the Filipina. No one can take that away from them—their hardwork and dedication," he continued.
Likewise, he went on to thank everyone who continues to contribute to the vibrancy of pageant life year after year, including makeup artists, hairstylists, designers, and mentors of queens-to-be.
"Let’s support our queens. We are Team Philippines after all. Mabuhay at maraming salamat," Jonas ended.
He continues to work with Mercator Artist and Model Management, Empire.ph, and Empire Studios.
Since beginning a career in beauty pageants in 2011, Jonas has trained titleholders including Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray, Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach, Miss International 2016 Kylie Verzosa, and Miss World 2013 Megan Young, as well as other beauty queens like Miss Universe 2010 4th Runner Up Venus Raj, Miss Universe 2011 3rd Runner Up Shamcey Supsup, Miss Universe Philippines 2016 Maxine Medina, Miss Intercontinental 2017 1st Runner Up Katarina Rodriguez, and Miss International 2018 1st Runner Up Ahtisa Manalo.
As a look back at all Jonas has achieved with his queens, scroll through the gallery below:
Photos from @jonasempire.ph @catriona_gray @ahtisa @meganbata @piawurtzbach @kylieverzosa @maxine_medina @onlyvenusraj @supsupshamcey