Decoding the Nuances of Alternative Drag

Decoding the Nuances of Alternative Drag


Tales from the Crypt of Slaytina featuring Sintax, Iyah Ohara, and Marga Rita, the winner of Floorshow Drag Supermonster

Drag was born to twist, break, and make fun of what is conventional. What happens when it becomes the standard? Art will always rebel against the typical, pushing it further into wilder territories. Alternative drag gives birth to different expressions that explore other perceptions of beauty, fashion, and performance. 

It’s time to meet the final set of competitors who joined the recent Crypt Floorshow Drag Supermonster alt-drag contest, including Marga Rita, who emerged as the grand winner.

RELATED: Venturing Into The Creative Landscape of Alternative Drag

alternative drag

“Alt is art in the highest form. It requires creativity to the highest level.”

Marga Rita

Tell us how you got started in drag

Marga Rita: “It was in 2016 when I auditioned for Showtime’s Next Tough Model. That was when I discovered RuPaul’s Drag Race because one of the staff asked us to pull inspiration from the show. Since then, I always pictured myself on stage, strutting the runway and serving different looks. It took me years to compose myself and started doing drag. Marga Rita was born at Nectar’s Drag Cartel last November 24, 2022. That was my very first time in drag, first time going out in drag, first time in Nectar, and first time in Cartel. It was fun, but that was when I realized my journey wouldn’t be as easy as I imagined. Yes, the road is very rough to the point that I almost quit, but quitting is not for Marga Rita. I now focus on my strengths and let people enjoy them.”

Sintax: “Like many drag queens, I started during the pandemic in May 2020. I was only a fan of RuPaul’s Drag Race; then, I got inspired by local drag queens. I began practicing in my bedroom and posting pictures and videos online. Given the pandemic, I viewed it as an opportunity to improve my makeup skills and grasp the essence of being a drag queen.”

Iyah Ohara: “I started doing drag when I was 17 years old. Sumali ako sa pageant, at ayun, may isang bar sa Baguio na nakakita ako ng mga drag performances. Naaliw ako kaya nag-try ako. Napalapit ako sa pagiging drag artist. Marami ako natutunan. Maraming gastos pero worth it naman.”

iyah ohara

“Alternative drag is an experience and an evocative performance with a fresh and engrossing take on queer expression.”

Iyah Ohara

Who or what are your biggest inspirations when it comes to your drag?

Marga Rita: “Sasha Velour was the very first queen that I looked up to. I just love her creativity and uniqueness. I want to possess the power that she has when she’s performing. Now, I am very inspired by our local alternative queens, such as Slaytina, Gersana, and Malayaugh. I love them so much!”

Sintax: “I’m a devoted admirer of Sasha Velour, Aquaria, and Yvie Oddly. Their artistry truly inspires me. Here in the Philippines, I find constant inspiration from queens like Slaytina, Gersana Pilipina, ØV CÜNT, Mrs. Tan, and many more.” 

Iyah Ohara:Isa sa mga nag-inspire na drag artist ay si Evah Destruction. Sobrang naaliw ako sa mga performances niya. Sa kanya ko natutunan ang pagiging alternative drag. Halos gusto kong gayahin lahat ng movements niya.

Describe your drag. What influenced your approach to your drag?

Marga Rita: “Marga Rita is a package. She’s not a dancer, but she can sing. She will give you face, body, and looks. Before, I wanted to look like Valentina: very Latina with curls. But now, I don’t wanna limit my makeup to just a pretty face. I wanna let people know that whatever makeup is on my face, Marga Rita is a queen!”

Sintax: “I adopted the name Sintax for my drag persona after being inspired by the Boulet Brothers’ Dragula. The show consistently emphasizes that drag is art and art is subjective. Their unique approach and the presence of ghouls and monsters motivated me to elevate my own drag style and approach.”

What is alternative drag?

Marga Rita: “It is disgusting, and that’s why it’s interesting. It’s disgusting in a way that everyone will like it. Everyone will love it. Everyone will be craving for more. Alt is art in the highest form. It requires creativity to the highest level.”

Sintax: “It’s a form of drag performance that breaks away from the norms. It involves diverse, creative expressions that challenge gender norms, push artistic limits, and play with unconventional styles. Performers blend elements like glamour, punk, goth, fetish, horror, and surrealism to authentically showcase their individuality and creativity.”

Iyah Ohara: “For me, it’s allowing performers to express their queerness in a way they often can’t in their everyday lives. It’s also an experience and an evocative performance with a fresh and engrossing take on queer expression.”

alternative drag

“Alt-drag involves diverse, creative expressions that challenge gender norms, push artistic limits, and play with unconventional styles.”


Tell us about the inspiration or the story behind your performance at Crypt of Slaytina

Marga Rita: “It was about a girl who was raped and killed. Her soul returned to let everyone know her story. For my music, I decided to go with ‘Anino Sa Baba (Mayro’n Akong Nakita)’ by Mei Teves. I made it very emotional and high energy.”

Sintax: “My performance was centered around advocating for justice for the queer community, which has always been treated poorly by the system due to our SOGIE. I used the case of Jennifer Laude as an example because I strongly believe that Pemberton did not deserve to be released, and people needed to remember. My performance was dedicated to her, to you, and to all of us. We are alive, and we are still breathing.

Iyah Ohara: “It was my first time to join a pure alternative drag competition kaya sobrang pinaghandaan ko. About my performance, ‘Pity Party’ ‘yung song na pinakaunang performance ko in Planet G in Baguio.”


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