Drag Den Finally Has A Birth Date

Drag Den Finally Has A Birth Date


Rod Singh, director of Drag Den, talks about the 100% Filipino-produced show set to premiere on December 8, 2022, on Prime Video.

Manila Luzon is the drag lord. On November 17, Prime Video Philippines dropped the highly anticipated cast reveal video of Drag Den that showed the Filipino-American queen sitting on a throne in a dimly lit set resembling a warehouse hideout. The eight queens who will fight for the crown to be the first Filipino Drag Supreme are O-A, Maria Cristina, Aries Night, Barbie-Q, Shewarma, Pura Luka Vega, Naia, and Lady Gagita. The video also revealed content creator and social media personality Sassa Gurl as the Drag Runner and Miss Grand International 2016 1st Runner Up Nicole Cordoves as the Drag Dealer.

It’s been 16 months since Drag Den was announced and we’re finally here. “There are things that happened beyond our control kasi. Una na dito ‘yung paghahanap ng bagong streaming platform. Second, we really took our time sa post-production. The thing with reality shows compared to narrative ay ‘yung huge number of possible edits,” Rod Singh explains. “An inclusion or deletion of a five-second clip could change the viewing experience and storyline kasi. With Antoinette Jadaone as one of my producers, sobrang blessed ako to have her from day zero hanggang post prod kasi hindi lang ako yung tumitingin. ’Yun na nga, we waited this long—gandahan na natin! Hindi lang naman yung Pinoy Drag ang ibabandera natin, but ‘yung 100% Pinoy-produced show din.”

The First Filipino Drag Reality Pageant

Beauty pageantry is deeply rooted in our culture as Filipinos and even more so as queer people. From the tiniest barangay fiestas to the biggest stages on Earth, we play an indispensable role in the pageant world. If not as one of the best competitors, as die-hard devotees, and as industry insiders like trainers and image makers. “Honestly, ang buhay ng mga bakla sa Pilipinas ay isang malaking pageant. Pagandahan, patalinuhan, pabonggahan kasi isang malaking kontes ang buhay natin. We think of our kind as a competition,” she says. Our gaits find purpose and gain confidence through the guise of pageantry. Suffice it to say it is part of our DNA. The show will highlight the beauty of our community and reinvigorate that sense of competition closer to our core and identity.

Glam, Grit, And Heart

“Maraming klase ng drag, at maraming klase ng glam. I think what makes Filipino drag unique ay dahil in reality, malawak ang taste natin sa drag,” Rod says on how she wants to cater to audiences with varying tastes in entertainment and glam.

There is madness that we often don’t see behind the extravaganza. Having joined Drag Cartel, a drag competition hosted by Paulo Castro, Peabo Orilla, and Mike Lavarez at Poison Wednesdays at Nectar Nightclub, Rod expounds, “Gusto ko kasi i-replicate ang experience ko as an aspiring drag queen joining drag contests before. Kakaiba kasi ang perspective ng mga tao pagdating sa drag dahil sa mga napapanood nila, so ako gusto ko mapanood nila yung nararanasan ng mga drag queens dito. Madumi at makalat ang drag. Madilaw ang ilaw kasi allergic mga bakla sa puting ilaw. Confined sa mga clubs ang drag dito, at higit sa lahat, matapang ang drag dahil irreverent ito.”

For all its sparkle and competitive spirit, a layer of sisterhood is sewn into Drag Den. “Swerte din na sobra sa puso ang mga queens namin. Napakadali kung tutuusin kung ang cast mo ay punong-puno ng puso, pero kung wala mismong puso ‘yung mata ng show, hinding-hindi ito macacapture eh,” she adds. When we care for something and love it dearly and truthfully, we create magic and meaningful success.

The Role Seems Correct

Who better suits the role of telling our stories than a proponent of LGBTQIA+ rights, femme empowerment, and trans energy? This is Rod’s lived experience. She walks in heels. She speaks the vernacular. She knows what lighting is best for drag queens. She wrote and directed Mamu; And A Mother Too (her directorial debut about selflessness, centered around a middle-aged transgender woman as she navigates the complex realities of life), which has garnered awards and adoration from audiences for its perspective, honesty, and warmth.

Drag Den is in good hands. Now, its success is in ours. Subscribe on Prime Video to watch the show made for and by Filipinos. Follow the queens. See them live and tip. And most of all, love them, too.

That wrecking ball in their video? It’s going to cause some damage! Bring it on, we’re ready.

CONTINUE READING: Drag Is For Everyone Regardless Of Gender Identity

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