A Joyous And Shimmery Camp John Heeey To Deja, The Queen Of The North

A Joyous And Shimmery Camp John Heeey To Deja, The Queen Of The North


Who is Deja? As a young creative, what drives her passion? What is the drag scene like up north?

When you expose yourself to a source of inspiration and get sucked into the vortex of creative pursuit, you are a sponge that absorbs everything. Some people watch teleseryes and daydream that someday they will sit on an actor’s chair. Some kids draw their feelings when words don’t hit the spot. Deja watches RuPaul’s Drag Race with eyes transfixed by the visual overload of over-the-top gay everything. “I was watching the lip-sync battle of the show before, and I was mesmerized by all the things going on: looks, makeup, hair, lip-sync skills,” she says. She’s gotten so obsessed with everything, so she started doing makeup and lip-sync performances with her friends in their classrooms. 

Like many drag artists having their start just recently, the pandemic forced them to pivot to online shows to satisfy the hunger for the art they love. And that was when Deja was fully realized: an exaggerated silhouette of a curvy woman that is “pussy, body, and cunt.” 

Deja uses her body as a performer to help her audience see music through sensual dance. She also enjoys using rap songs to show off her skills as a self-proclaimed stunt queen, and if the emotion is wanted and needed, an overflow that seeps through the stage is what her crowd will get. 

Challenges As A Young Drag Artist

Weekdays are spent in Pangasinan as a graduating student, while weekends are for her flourishing drag career in Baguio. It can be difficult for working students, especially when they must travel long hours between priorities of equal importance. Deja’s dedication to finishing her studies and honing her craft gives her the self-motivation and willpower to stay on track. “I love drag so much,” she asserts as though she taps herself on the back for reassurance and for doing exactly what she does. “Being a drag artist based in Baguio is really tough because the drag culture here is not really popular,” she continues. “But I feel like we’re getting there as they start to recognize us. We have a lot of amazing and talented queens that are underrated.”

What’s It Like Up North?

Each scene has its flavor and unique characteristics that carve and nourish its very soul. “Baguio drag is starting to get bigger,” says Deja. They’ve built a growing, vibrant queer community by working together and supporting each other. A home free from judgment, where the sisterhood gathers, and where everyone can feel safe, accepted, and celebrated is always the starting point of a thriving queer community. Planet G has become their space to carry out their fantasies and unite with friends and supporters.

Deja doesn’t miss the opportunity to pitch her kingdom up north: “Planet G is located at Legarda Road, Baguio City. So, next time you’re in the area, make sure that you visit our bar. We don’t just lip-sync; we also have special talents like fire dancing and candle swallowing. We have amazing dancers and stunt queens. We have alternative drag artists and impersonators.”

First times are always precious. Deja remembers being nervous the first time she performed at Planet G (PG). “The PG queens embraced me and felt at home right away. I will forever cherish that moment because that shaped me and my drag.” While on the topic of firsts, she recalls her first pride event that went straight to her treasure trove of profound memories. “It was my first time seeing our community gathered in one event and celebrate. It was also my first time joining a drag competition outside of Pangasinan, and it was so amazing because even though I was new, they made me feel like I was already part of the community.”

The new generation of drag artists is riding drag’s massive wave into a more mainstream shore. More social media savvy and collaborative, these young artists capture the attention of more audiences that helps the overall drag and queer community grow rich and prosper. 

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