6:10:00 PM

“Leadership is not hitting the people over the head, such act is an assault, not leadership”

"I see Mister United Continents Philippines2016 as a door of opportunities for everyone and yet a combination of responsibility and accountability to the man who is lucky enough to bag the title. Hence, whether I win or lose, that doesn’t mean I will stop from whatever I started. I believe that the title itself may just be an advantage for someone but this will never be a requirement for someone who is passionate enough and well-driven to fulfill his advocacy. It is just matter of being sincere and passionate in whatever you do to help and inspire other people."

Tell us a little about yourself, your family background, education?

I am Mark Carluz Dela Cruz Guiuo A.K.A. Juan Ramon Ayala, a graduate of Bachelor of Arts in Development Communication in Central Luzon State University. I come from a family who values the culture of Ilocano from Pangasinan, Tagalog from Nueva Ecija and Ibanag from Isabela. I am a typical type of “probinsiyano”who is very competitive in all aspects and a believer of ‘”EDUCATION is the key to a successful life and a country”.  

How did you become interested in pageants? 

My mother and sisters join pageants so this is no longer a new stuff for me. We even support each other in every pageant that we join in. I believe, pageant has already been a passion for everyone in the family and even sometimes our bread and butter. I remember, my mother joined a pageant in our Town Fiesta because we had no money to buy food. We were actually in support with my mother as we walked through her journey, as Ginang Barangay. Luckily, my mother won and everyone was so happy and grateful. 

How does it feel to represent Nueva Ecija in Mister United Continents Philippines 2016?

Candidly speaking, I feel flattered and honored not because I am going to represent my hometown in this prestigious pageant but because this is such a great privilege and an opportunity that I can bring anywhere I go. I see this as more of a responsibility than anything else, because at the end of the day, you have to serve as a role model for everyone, not just by your good physical attributes but by your genuine individuality. I guess this is something that we need to put into consideration in every pageant nowadays.  We should now veer away from our old perception and notion that pageants are just for good looking guys or girls. I believe that pageants are for everyone; hence we should be given equal opportunity. 

Give three adjectives that your friends would use to describe you.

I guess, they would say that I am very hardworking, passionate and determined in everything that I do.

Tell us about one life-changing experience in your life. 

Well as for me, there is no specific life-changing experience that I have gone through as I always take all my experiences, whether bad or good, as lessons of my existence. The secret is, you just got to be optimistic no matter how cruel life would be. That every challenge that may come along your way, it has its own reason and a valid purpose. Again, just keep your faith in God as He would not give you one if you are unable to surpass it. 

Name three things that you would never do. 

One is to be an antagonist to someone who is about to reach his dreams. Second is to be a black sheep of my family and lastly is to be someone that I am really not. 

What do you like to do for fun?

Most of the time, I talk to different kinds of people as I get to learn a lot more from them. I love learning through experience rather than reading through books with full of theories. 

What would constitute a "perfect" evening for you? 

Well, it is very simple. A perfect evening for me is just soiree with my entire family. I’ve been living alone here in Manila for a long time and I really miss them. 

Tell us a little bit about the province of Nueva Ecija.

I would say, Guimba as a hometown is one of the first class municipalities of Nueva Ecija. According to the history, we are the mushroom capital of Nueva Ecija. But right now, we are also a great producer of rice in the markets and we are always on fire to venture different crops that can be produced through our big farms.In terms of communities, we are diverse as you can already find different people from different parts of the Philippines. We have Ilocano, Bisaya, Ibanag and Pangalatoc who are residing permanently in the hometown.I would say that we are different with other municipalities as most of the people in Guimba are very hardworking, especially our farmers. My hometown is very quiet and I guess this is the place where you can relax as there is no pollution. In terms of establishments, we are continually growing and developing. Hopefully, five years down the line, we can be one of the cities in Nueva Ecija.

How will you motivate others to practice sustainable living choices? 

Ilocanos are frugal and they spend their money wisely so as someone who has an Ilocano blood, I tend to be like that in some cases. In fact, at a very young age I learned how to save money for my future. I even engaged into different kinds of jobs just to earn money to buy the things that wanted versus spending the money that my parents gave me. So, it’s better to save than spend the money with non-sense stuff. 

How would you describe your advocacy to the judges? 

I see that most of our societal issues and problems nowadays are due to lack of awareness and proper education. Hence, I would like to put all the concerned people in the center of my advocacy to help promoting social awareness and proper education in our society. The vicious cycle of poverty in our country is timely and relevant. Those less fortunate people who are unable to get proper education and social awareness are deemed to be vulnerable, so I will do my best to continue what I have already started in my chosen field of Development Communication. 

Boxers or Briefs?

Both, depends on the situation. Sometimes, I wear boxers because it is more comfortable. Sometimes, I wear briefs because I feel more supported.

Blue or Pink?

Blue, it is cool and very refreshing.

Piolo Pascual or Derek Ramsay?

I would say both as they are both an epitome of manhood. 

Anne Curtis or Angel Locsin? 

I would say both as they are both gorgeous and “palaban”(fighter). 

Message to your supporters, friends and family? 
To all my supporters, 

From the bottom of my heart, I want to thank you all for all your support. Please join me in my prayers as I cross the journey of Mr. United Continents Philippines 2016. Winning is not always having the prizes and the titles. Sometimes winning is how you value and cherish the experience of being part of a competition and how this impacts you to be the best person you can possibly be. I hope that I will be able to inspire you to pursue your dreams with full of determination and passion. Always, remember to value all your experiences and learn from these as these will help you to be who you want to be. 
To my family and friends, the experience of being supported by you guys is more than anything else. Thank you for the unconditional love and support.

I am proud to be a Novo Ecijano!!!

Follow Mark's journey to Mister United Continents Philippines 2016 by liking his Facebook page: Mister United Continents Philippines - Guimba, Nueva Ecija

Good luck Mark, looking forward to see more of you as the competition draws near.

*Published 6:10PM, March 3,2016 PDT
Updated 8:57PM, March 15, PDT

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