His eyes adjust to the blinding spotlight like the sudden approach of an early morning sun and saw contrast of darkness against it. Fixed luminous points glow to his direction, dancing and cheering everytime he enters the stage as if they are one with him. He convinced himself that those aren’t stars but the entire NORSU crowd screaming his victory.
Coming from the humble island of Siargao, the nineteen-year old Jomar Rey Adtoon still coudn’t believe the greatest plot twist he had this year.
“It was like a roller coaster ride,” he said while reminiscing his pageant journey with the trace of a smile still eteched on his face.
Born on the year 1999, in the ninth of October, the freshman student from the College of Nursing, Pharmacy and Allied Health Sciences (CNPAHS) admitted he had no plans in joining Mr. NORSU way back, despite his history in joining pageants.
He spent his elementary and high school years studying in Surigao Elementary School and Surigao National High School. His senior high school years were very well spent in STI College in Surigao. An institution that has been of a great help in molding his character as well as his confidence.
His first pageant was Mr. STI Surigao followed by Mr. AGCIS in the year 2017 where he was crowned as the winner in both pageants.
Aside from all the ups in pageantry, he also experienced the rock bottom.
Way back in 2017, after winning the Mr. STI Surigao, he was then told to compete for the Regional level. As a student bringing the enormous banner of Science and Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) strand under the academic track, bringing home the bacon was expected from him and making the entire STI Surigao proud was his goal. But life didn’t work that way. He was hit head first with failure and disappointment.
“Acquiring an achievement really comes with a price,” he stated.
Despite his severe despondency during such times, he picked himself up and continued with life carrying his experiences with him and the lessons he have learned as he moved on to his college life.
Nursing wasn’t really his first choice nor his second. He wanted to be a veterinarian but his mom convinced him to render himself in helping actual people rather than animals.
As a freshman student still adjusting from the new environment he was in, joining Mr. NORSU wasn’t in his list. But the encouragements and support he got from his professors and friends fueled him to join the pageant.
“I accepted the challenge because it’s for my own personal development,” he said as his lips curved into a thin smile as if to show he have made a great decision.
When asked about his early struggles, he then answered without hesitating, “Belittling myself.”
Competing with eight charming and elegant males from different colleges, Jomar Rey seized every moment during the pageant night despite his growing anxiety as the announcement of minor and major awards were told.
A sudden nostalgia then flashed on his mind. He was the sixth contender during the regional pageant for Mr. STI where he failed to win the crown.
“Will history repeats itself now that I embody the same number?” It was a question he sought answer for himself.
Bagging the “Best Speaker” award and Mr. NOSRU 2019, Jomar Rey Adtoon achieved the success he had never imagined by not letting anyone even his self-doubt bring him down.
In accordance to this, now that he finally got his crown of glory, he is determined to accomplish his advocacy, “Love and Respect for One’s Self and For The Others.”
“Not only are you empowering yourself by accepting your flaws and imperfections, hence your uniqueness as an individual but also empowering your fellowmen by accepting their unique attributes and respecting them as well,” said Jomar.
Indeed, although it is a cliche, loving yourself must come first before anything else.
The Mr. NORSU 2019 believes that divisiveness due to judgments and comparison should not be tolerated and that an appreciative mind and heart are great assets in achieving peace and harmony.
By Jenevelle Banono
THE NORSUnian VOL XXXVI ISSUE NO 19-23
November 5-December 7, 2018