From Drag Kings To Trans Queens, Manila Luzon Welcomes All To Drag Den Philippines

From Drag Kings To Trans Queens, Manila Luzon Welcomes All To Drag Den Philippines


This month’s MEGA Entertainment cover star and International Drag Superstar Manila Luzon talks about coming home and hosting the first-ever Drag Show Reality TV Competition in the Philippines. Read an except below.

Related: Homecoming Queen: How Manila Luzon Is Bringing Filipino Pride To The World Stage

The art of Drag is very much alive and thriving in the Philippines and Manila recognizes this. And so when she was tapped to host the very first Drag Queen Reality TV Competition in the Philippines by Cornerstone Entertainment, produced by CS StudiosProject 8 and WeTV Philippines, she all but said, “Yass Kween!”

“We’re really excited. The drag scene in the Philippines is one of the best drag scenes in the world. And most people have no idea here in the Philippines because it’s still kind of underground.”

Manila Luzon

“So, we’re gonna let them take a peek at what it’s like underground; like, right here in your own backyards. We have some of the most creative people here in the Philippines and they are doing some wonderful things with their drag, and we’re going to be able to showcase that and we’re building it kind of in the format of a pageant because you know how we love pageants down here, right? So, it’s basically a reality TV show and pageant for drag queens. We will be crowning our Filipino Drag Supreme.”

Rainbow nails by EXTRAORDINAIL, Doughnut rings by TROPIK BEATNIK, Coral Reef jewel ring and rainbow pop rocks by ODDITIES, Kislap earring by KATAW,

Drag Den is going to be the Philippines’ first ever reality TV drag pageant. I’m really excited because we have so many amazing Filipino drag queens and most people here in the Philippines don’t really have any clue that they’re right here doing some of the best drag in the world in their backyards. Drag is still kind of underground here, so I’m excited to bring the Filipino audience and let them see underground and see the scene that’s happening and to fall in love with these queens and to be inspired by their creativity, to be in awe of their beauty and their transformations, and so it’s going to be like a pageant,” Manila adds.

A Drag Competition and Beauty Pageant in one? Now that’s something we’re all intrigued and excited to see. And Manila and the Drag Den Philippines team combed and finessed the entire nation for only the finest Drag Queens of all colors, shapes and sizes. Because yes, inclusion is everything.

Good Morning Ellewat robe by CHICCO ASILO, Infiniti necklace by BAG OF GLITTERS, Multi-Colored Diamond necklace by LUNA BY DRAKE DUSTIN, Champagne nail set by EXTRAORDINAIL

“We have a big range. We opened it up. There’s a lot of ideas of what drag is supposed to be especially from people, but there’s so many different kinds of drags. So, we opened up the auditions to not only drag queens but drag kings, trans drag performers, biological women who do drag called AFAB—assigned female at birth—drag queens, and we found drag artists that really made me even rethink like what I consider drag. So, we have queens that are the most beautiful women and we have queens that are maybe not the most beautiful women but there’s still something about them that is almost more appealing because they are completely different. So, we have a big range of queens.”

And from thousands that auditioned, only a selected few were chosen as finalists.

Homo-Foliage Couture by GERALD FAROFALDANE; Melt earrings, wire chain necklace, Rocky Snake set in gold all by MAZEE; 8 Strand Seed Pearl Necklace, Flat Omega Choker Chain all by SUKI JEWELRY; Dried ombre nails by EXTRAORDINAIL

“We are going to have, I believe, eight. We’ve narrowed it down from like a thousand people—so many people auditioned! And thanks, TikTok, for being the social app which we were able to help hold auditions for. We even had to ask TikTok followers to help us decide on who we’re gonna have in the competition, and we and narrowed it down. Honey, if we could’ve had all of them, that would’ve been sickening, but that would’ve been a very long pageant—and pageants are already long enough. So, yeah, we had to narrow it down. So, hopefully, we’ll be able to see more in the future,” Manila crosses her fingers.

Read about how drag helped Manila Luzon come out and find love in MEGA’s December 2021 issue now available on ReadlyMagzter, Press Reader and Zinio

Creative direction JEB FRONDA
Art direction JANN PASCUA
Photography assistants ERWIN BOTIN and PIERRE GUEVARRA
Shot on location at AVIGNON CLINIC, BGC
Shoot coordination KZ FRANCISCO and MJ ALMERO

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