It Showtime’s Kuya Escort Ion Perez and Vice Ganda recently made headlines as they allegedly confirmed their relationship status.
The revelation was said to have taken place during Vice Ganda’s weekly late-night program, Gandang Gabi, Vice (GGV).
This gives rise to the question: Who is Ion Perez?
In September 2018, Ion was introduced on the Miss Q & A segment of It’s Showtime to replace of Greg Hawkins.
Ion, whose real name is Benigno Perez, won the Mister Universe Tourism pageant in May 2018.
However, Ion was replaced when he said that he would resign as a titleholder.
Brata Kartasasmita of Indonesia became the replacement of Ion in August 2018.
Here are six things you may not know about Ion Perez:
1. Ion is a 27-year-old model who hails from Concepcion, Tarlac.
He has 14 siblings. Ion is the eleventh child in the family. His father works as a jeepney driver while his mother is a kakanin vendor.
2. Growing up, Ion was bullied in school because of his physical appearance.
“Napaka-pangit po. Maitim po siya tapos noong lumalaki na siya, nag-ayos na siya ng katawan. Ayun pumogi na," his mother recalled during an interview aired on Rated K.
3. Ion's ultimate dream is to become a pilot.
However, he was not able to graduate in college because he did not attend his classes due to his peers. It was only when his father passed away that he realized his shortcomings.
4. Ion was a cast member of the 2018 Metro Manila Film Fest entry Fantastica.
Vice Ganda top-billed this movie along with Dingdong Dantes.
Ate Girl Jackque Gonzaga and Greg Hawkins were also part of this MMFF 2019 entry.
5. Vice Ganda has publicly expressed his love for Ion.
The hunk model received an inspiring message from Vice Ganda when the former appeared in a recent episode of Magandang Buhay.
"Nandito lang kami para palakpakan ka at suportahan ka sa mga gagawin mo. God bless you. At ipagpatuloy mo lang ang pagiging mabait mo kasi mahal na mahal ka ng Showtime. Ako rin, mahal na mahal kita. Congratulations and God bless you,” said Vice Ganda in the video message.
6. Ion has a three-year-old son.
"May 3-year-old na anak na po akong lalaki," disclosed Ion in an interview published by Tempo in July 2018.
He revealed that his son is living with his former partner.
“Nakikita ko lamang ang anak ko kapag hinihiram ko siya sa mama niya. Nangyari po yun dala na rin ng pagiging mapusok ko noon,” admitted Ion.
Despite this setup, Ion said about his son:
“Hindi man kami nagkikita madalas pero hindi ko talaga pinapabayaan ang anak ko.”