The winner of the first Ginoong Pilipinas Dubai (Best Filipino Role Model), Ralph Bann Ingreso, is hoping his latest victory will open more avenues for a career in modelling.
"I had been modelling in the Philippines, so it would be great if I could continue that here," Ingreso tells tabloid!, his first media interview after the win.
The 31-year-old sales executive bested 14 other candidates on Friday night to win the male pageant at a packed Boracay Club at the Asiana Hotel in Deira. The pageant, the first of its kind in the UAE, was aimed at singling out the Filipino overseas worker with the most "glamour, wit and talent", displaying "the true embodiment of a gentleman", according to organisers.
In search for greener pastures, Ingreso had migrated to Qatar in 2007, before returning to the Philippines in 2009 to concentrate on his modelling career. He landed several assignments before the Filipino movie Dubai, starring Aga Muhlach, and a documentary on National Geographic enticed him to move to the UAE eight months ago.
"I was inspired by the glamour of Dubai," says Ingreso, who impressed the judges and the crowd with his stage presence and eloquence.
Does this mean life is back to normal? Not quite, he says. "I had a talk with the organisers and they might have an exclusive modelling contract for me. Although nothing is final yet, so let's wait and see," he says. "I am confident that with the right people, I can make it."
Repeating his winning answer at the pageant's Q&A portion, Ingreso says he doesn't have any disappointments in life: "Everything that happened to me is charged to experience," he says.
"I'd like to explore the modelling scene in Dubai and represent Filipinos here," he adds.
And with the title, how does he plan on showing that he is the "Best Filipino Role Model"?
"I'll stick to the values instilled in me as a child: Being respectful to elders, being hospitable and being competent in everything I do," he says.