Awe-inspiring Wonders I Discovered in the Ballroom Community

Awe-inspiring Wonders I Discovered in the Ballroom Community


Haus of Marciano’s Bibbidi Bobbidi Ball opened my eyes to the Ballroom Community’s heart and absolute triumph

It’s one thing to involve yourself and discuss a swimming pool’s hue, design, and depth. It’s a totally different experience if you go beyond surface-level contact and allow yourself to dive into its waters. Immersion is a way to explore a subject’s many layers, unlock a deeper comprehension, and find new enjoyment and appreciation. My insight into ballroom was only through conversations and media consumption. I never had direct exposure to fully grasp its essence and understand its impact on the community. The Bibbidi Bobbidi Ball, an event presented by Haus of Marciano and hosted by Canter Marciano Mizrahi, changed that.

Haus of Marciano's Bibbidi Bobbidi Ball

First-time experiences are often unforgettable, with various emotions and feelings emerging; my first Ball was no different. I’ve ventured into countless scenarios in my many years as a queer creative, and jaded I am not. I still get an unbelievable rush prompting me to declare something like, “What is this life… this earth… this universe without queer sparkles!” on my Insta Story.

Jufel at Bibbidi Bobbidi Ball

Upon entering The Circle Events Place, one could easily absorb the palpable excitement. The Philippine ballroom community is still in its infancy, only officially welcomed in 2016 by Xyza with the Labyrinth Ball. The pandemic crippled our nation, but it started a revolution of queer reawakening. Ballroom was one of the cultural waves that hit the societal consciousness. 

Venus Revlon at Bibbidi Bobbidi Ball

Since the community is young, we have Kiki Balls. This is a minor scene where participants are at the stage of discovering themselves. The Haus of Marciano aims to create an accessible space where queer youth can express their talent and creativity while feeling a sense of family, encouragement, and safety.

Dominota at Bibbidi Bobbidi Ball

As soon as commentator Lakan Mizrahi started his rhythmic and intoxicating chants, which were also magical spells that ignited a burning desire to flow and glued a room full of vibrant individuals together, transcendence happened. Incredible things caught my attention at the Ball as my feet rose from the ground because of sheer delight.

Teddy Neverland at Bibbidi Bobbidi Ball

A profound sense of belonging and support

Chosen family is often tossed around when discussing the queer experience. Many of us grew up in a not-so-conducive environment that would allow us to be. That’s the thing with queer spaces; an unspoken love and respect is being shared just by being present. At the Ball, I felt an overflow of support and encouragement among each other, and it was beautiful. Whether you belong to a house or not, the ballroom scene doesn’t make anyone feel alone; in fact, quite the opposite. 

House of Dirty at the Bibbidi Bobbidi Ball

Diversity of Expression

“This is who I am. I am beautiful. I’m embracing my body, my color, my expression,” Xyza articulated exquisitely at a Ballroom 101 class a few months back. Categories operate as the central principle of a Ball where participants engage in different creative displays of their uniqueness and boldness. The Bibbidi Bobbidi Ball had 13 categories, showcasing a wide array of dance styles, Disney-themed garbs, and competitions: OTA Face, Team Runway, Best Dressed, Bizarre, OTA Realness, Baby Vogue, Lip-sync, OTA Oldway, OTA Newway, FF Vogue Femme, MF Vogue Femme, OTA Body, and Tag Team Sex Siren. 

Matilduh at Bibbidi Bobbidi Ball

Drag Race Philippines Season 2’s Matilduh was in attendance. She walked and won the Best Dressed category, and we said, “Duh-Serve!”

Competitive Spirit

In essence, a Ball is a competition. Filling a venue with passionate people in such a setting fosters a welcoming and encouraging community. Individual success is celebrated with trophies and praises, but mutual devotion and camaraderie easily trump the former. The pursuit of being better, the high-energy cheers of support, and the rise of inspirational individuals within the community were remarkable. 

At the Bibbidi Bobbidi Ball

It’s notable to mention Bibbidi Bobbidi Ball’s panel of judges: The Philippine trailblazer and mother of the House of Mizrahi Philippine chapter, Xyza PinkLady; Hong Kong trailblazer and mother of the Kiki Hose of Marciano, Holie Marciano; mother of the Kiki House of Dirty, Ozkurr Dirty; Legendary Season 3 cast member and father of the House of Revlon Philippine chapter, Nunoy Angels; Malaysia trailblazer and parent of the Kiki House of Neverland, Teddy Neverland; and mother of the Kiki House of Cleopatra, Dahlia Cleopatra.

at the Bibbidi Bobbidi Ball


The House of Marciano’s Bibbidi Bobbidi Ball partnered with NGOs and allotted time for them to discuss their advocacy. LoveYourSelf, The Red Whistle, HASH, and SAIL called upon the audience to champion HIV causes and reminded everyone of free testing, treatment, and PrEP. The ballroom scene’s origins in New York and the epidemic that brought devastating loss electrified the fight for greater awareness and support. The ballroom community has long been a safe space for people living with HIV and has helped with its deeply rooted resilience.

NAIA at Bibbidi Bobbidi Ball

We are living in a Queer Renaissance 

“What a time to be bakla,” I said on my Insta Story on my way home from the Bibbidi Bobbidi Ball. It was a clear afterglow statement following the joyful warmth of my first Ball experience. It wasn’t a sudden realization but more of a revitalization. Many Pinoy LGBTQIA+ youth and our allies are bravely finding their spotlight to display their true colors and, in turn, indicating a significant period of creativity and innovation that influences the world. The queer youth is emerging to transform the terrains of literature, music, film, and other art forms with perspectives not widely seen and appreciated before.

Photography by Kym Lao

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