Jerrick Luy is just getting started and we’re here for it
This year’s Mr. and Ms. Chinatown Philippines delves more on the importance of mental health amid the COVID-19 pandemic. And Jerrick Luy is pumped up to further discuss its importance and hopefully shed more light on its significance; no matter what may be the result of the pageant afterwards. After all, discussions on mental health should go beyond the glitz and glamour of beauty pageants.
Albeit to be held virtually due to COVID-19 and in response to the government’s mandate to suspend mass gatherings, this year’s Mr. and Ms. Chinatown Philippines will be quite like the same from their previous stints. But this time, far from the crowd and with the absence of the screams and shouts of the candidate’s fans.
However, despite the drastic changes, the 25-year-old AB Mass Communication graduate from Ateneo de Davao University is still very much willing to embrace the new normal set-up just to get things started and amplify his advocacies with the help of the biggest and most prestigious annual pageant for Filipino-Chinese community in the Philippines.
In an interview, the freelance host and model admitted that he has never joined a beauty pageant before. The closest he got to such was in 2019 when he joined, and later won the Oroderm Beauties, which for him is more like a modelling pageant. But nevertheless, Jerrick considered the said feat as his stepping stone in the pageantry.
“I've never given too much thoughts about it to be honest, but since I do modeling, the option has always been there. As someone who's got insecurities to work on, I've never really considered joining one, up until now!” Jerrick expressed when asked if he has always wanted to join pageants. He added, “This is a huge leap for me albeit the whole competition is online.”
Aside from doing freelance jobs such as graphic designing and copywriting, Jerrick also focuses his attention to baking and starting his online videogame streaming.
In preparation for this pageant, he shared that he has upped his skin care routine by drinking lots of water and sleeping early.
“As far as everything else is concerned, the organizers have taken well care of us – me and the other candidates – in terms of giving us the appropriate trainings and orientations to keep us mentally prepared for anything that may come our way,” he said.
In an exclusive interview with The Middle Mag PH, Jerrick talked to us about this nerve-wracking yet exciting journey for Mr. and Ms. Chinatown Philippines 2020, the importance of mental health, the misconceptions or stereotypes against the Filipino-Chinese community and more.
How has this pandemic changed your perspective in life?
Big time! Definitely puts things in perspective on how much we should value a lot of things like our relationship with friends and family that we usually take for granted. Financially of course, this pandemic has taught us to save up even more because we can't ever tell when another crisis like this might befall us in the future. And I think the most important one is awareness for one's mental health. We don't usually pay too much attention to it since we're so used to everything being okay, but this pandemic definitely made a 180° turn on that. Being Mentally healthy is just as important as being physically fit and I for one have strived for mental health awareness with the people around me.
How do you cope in these trying times?
It's hard, everything is so different and this new norm has impacted our lives so much it's not easy to recover from it. Personally I do whatever I can to get through a day, like I mentioned, I try to be productive whenever I can, like finishing a book, or completing a movie or trying to learn something new! But on instances that I don't feel like doing anything at all, I give myself time for that too. I guess it's my way of telling myself that with everything that's been happening around the world, it's also a good time to give myself a break from everything and just rest and relax.
Congratulations on becoming one of the contestants of Mr. and Ms. Chinatown! Best of luck in representing the Fil-Chi community of Mindanao. What made you decide to join this prestigious pageant?
First of all, thank you! I wasn't entirely even sure I’d get in but here we are! As someone who's got a lot to work on self-wise, this is a huge leap for me albeit the whole competition is online. What pushed me to join is their advocacy for mental health awareness and being able to influence other people to stand tall despite everything that has happened. I realized that this is the perfect opportunity for me to use my voice and platform to help people who are fighting battles they shouldn’t be fighting alone. If anything, we all should help each other get through this, and we will.
Any mantra or lucky charms pre-pageant or during pageant?
I guess talking to my parents about everything that has and will happen to me has always been my lucky charm. They keep me grounded and always give me advice that I'm more than happy to receive. I consider myself the luckiest in the world for having parents as supportive as mine, and whatever happens, I'm just beyond thankful and happy that I get to go through this with them.
How can the Fil-Chi community in Mindanao support you in this endeavor?
I'm already so thankful and overwhelmed with the support I've received just after being revealed as a candidate for MMCP 2020, the messages and words of encouragement I've received honestly helps me keep up. Anything from liking/sharing my MMCP 2020 photos or giving me a follow on my social media accounts will be a huge help that I will definitely appreciate!
Since this year’s Mr. and Ms. Chinatown delves more on the importance of Mental Health, how do you keep your mental health in check now amid the pandemic?
Honestly? Whatever I can. It's different for everyone, there's not one pattern for you to follow in terms of keeping your mental health in check so do whatever you can that you think will help. Like for me, reading a book, bingeing that latest TV series or even playing videogames help me get through the day and if that doesn’t work, I’m lucky enough to have friends who I can talk to whenever about anything. I guess having a support system for yourself helps a lot bigtime.
What are the common stigma that you want to break about Mental Health? And why?
A LOT. But the most important one for me is the fact that even today, a number of people still think that mental health isn't something to be worried about. I could care less about people with that mindset really, who I'm really worried for are those who seek help from such people only to be shrugged off and told "Don’t worry too much about it" "You're just overthinking this" "You're fine" "It's not even a problem". People need to know that mental health is a sensitive issue and should not be taken lightly. If you're wondering what and what not to do, researching about it is a huge step forward. We need to help each other out, now more than ever.
Any misconceptions or stereotypes that you want to break about being a Fil-Chi
Being Chinoy comes with a lot of things, stereotypes included. I for one, when people find out I'm Chinese (which they don't realize at first glance), the usual line would be "you must be good at math" and believe me when I tell you this, I’m not. Some may view this as something minute but on a bigger picture, this statement alone puts the community in a box where everyone expects them to excel at what they do (including math), which isn't too bad in its sense but puts unnecessary pressure. This also isolates the Fil-Chi community as people whose sole purpose in life is to be a doctor, engineer or any other revered profession and anything else would be less desirable which for me hinders a person’s creative side.