Kevin Lao, a 27-year-old businessman and model, was crowned winner of Mr. Chinatown Philippines 2022. Kevin’s victory was a result of his dedication, hard work, and perseverance throughout the competition. Despite being an introvert and inexperienced in photoshoots, he pushed himself to improve his confidence and skills. Today, let’s look at how Kevin’s win goes beyond personal achievement to be an inspiration for others to pursue their goals with a growth mindset.
The Impact of Culture and Upbringing on Kevin’s Success
Kevin expresses his pride in having both Chinese and Filipino cultures as part of his identity. Growing up in a Chinoy household, Kevin shares that his family is not very vocal with their affection but rather shows it through actions. He explains that his parents have always emphasized stability as a value, which sometimes leads him to play it safe. For example, when he was a basketball varsity player in high school, and his grades began to suffer, his parents would advise him to prioritize his education. Kevin’s parents own a garments company and have specific plans for their children, but they also allow them to be themselves. They still allow their children to explore, including Kevin’s run in MMCP.
Navigating Identity: His Journey as a Chinoy in College and Beyond
Kevin Lao reflects on his college experience and how this exposure opened him up to the greater non-Chinoy community. Despite being a basketball player in high school, his parents always reminded him to focus on business. Kevin ended up in a business track and his sister gave him an ultimatum. He explains, “Siguro just to give a backstory back nung high school kasi hindi talaga ako ma aral. Gusto ko lang pumasa, makatawid lang and madalas napapatawag yung parents sa guidance center namin so I mean it’s not the proudest moment but yun kasi ako nung high school then in college I think it was one of my sisters na until now I still remember they told , she told me, na mahal na yung tuition sa college. So kailangan tumino na ako.”
Kevin then took his college education seriously and appreciated the business principles and logic he learned. This knowledge helped him in his corporate career which he is now happy to be part of. Kevin was initially hesitant to join MMCP, but he felt that it was now or never, especially with his upcoming marriage. He still wanted to grow and believed that joining MMCP would enhance his communication skills and confidence in presenting himself. He also wanted to experience being in the spotlight and fulfill his curiosity since some of his friends joined before. He found the experience memorable, saying, “So I want to also experience being in the spotlight as well. With the experience, I would say it’s fulfilling. But at the same time, for me, it’s very difficult kasi I’m not really used to being in front of the camera and at the same time, sobrang bago sa akin yung mga pasarela yung maglalakad ka kailangan may poise ka.”
Success through Small Good Habits: His Approach to Winning Mr. Chinatown
Kevin puts 100% effort into whatever he does and throughout the journey, his goal was to improve himself, and winning was not his main objective. He believes success is built on small good habits over time and it was proven by his winning Mr. Chinatown. Kevin wants to maintain his lifestyle and not let winning change him. He also feels that being responsible is essential for being an influencer and a blessing to influence others positively. He notes that being a modern Chinoy or Genxin is mixing traditional and modern things while not forgetting one’s roots and culture. As such, Kevin encourages others to not let their limitations confine them but to use them as motivation to improve themselves.
His Message of Perseverance and Resilience
Kevin shares that he uses himself as an example for inspiration to others. Despite being an introvert, he grew through the competition in hopes to inspire others to also leave their comfort zones. He leaves with this sentiment, “Just try. And as they say, the real glory is not in every failing, but rising up whenever you fail.”