As 'RuPaul’s Drag Race' alum Manila Luzon launches new reality TV show, here are 6 other Filipino drag queens to know

South China Morning Post

Posted at Aug 03 2021 09:10 PM

As 'RuPaul’s Drag Race' alum Manila Luzon launches new reality TV show, here are 6 other Filipino drag queens to know 1
Photos from the Instagram accounts of @morbucksssss, @eva_lequeen, and marinaxsummers

Thanks to the smashing success of RuPaul’s Drag Race, the world of drag has managed to sashay out of the shadows and into the public consciousness.


In July, Filipino-American Drag Race alum Manila Luzon announced that she will be hosting Drag Den, a reality TV series showcasing drag culture in the Philippines – and the first drag queen competition series of its kind in the country.

The concept of drag in RuPaul’s hit series can be traced back to 19th century New York City, but the Philippines has its own gender-bending history too. During pre-colonial times, babaylans or shamans occupied important positions in society. Most of them were women – or people who were assigned male at birth, but who chose a feminine gender expression. (Bakla can be used to describe this group, although there’s been debate among the Filipino LGBTQ+ community as to whether the term is derogatory or not.)

Although the Spanish and American occupations quashed the country’s shamanistic traditions, drag burlesque performances also emerged during that time, according to Scout magazine. Fast forward to the 1960s, and drag began to enter the Philippine mainstream: think films and beauty pageants.

Drag might have been pigeonholed as nothing but a comedy act in the 2000s, but the Filipino drag queens of today have gone above and beyond to show that drag is not just about fancy clothes and make-up, lip-synch performances and funny antics. In the process, they’ve transformed from gay bar performers to outspoken influencers with an ever-expanding audience.

Read on to discover some of the best-known Filipino drag queens who are stepping up in their glittering heels, impressing with their fierce artistry and raising the rainbow banner for the LGBTQ+ community.

Eva Le Queen

As 'RuPaul’s Drag Race' alum Manila Luzon launches new reality TV show, here are 6 other Filipino drag queens to know 2
Eva Le Queen. Photo: @eva_lequeen/Instagram

Eva Le Queen is a former corporate project manager and HR consultant who founded Drag Playhouse PH, a local drag entertainment company that aims to provide a platform for drag artists as well as more authentic drag-related content for Filipinos.
In an interview with Lifestyle Inquirer, Le Queen said: “In the past, local drag queens and performers could only be seen inside nightclubs and LGBTQ+ establishments, and a lot of enthusiasts and artists don’t have access to such places, especially minors and those living in the provinces.” That’s why her focus has shifted to “hosting and co-producing online shows and parties. In doing so, I’m able to gather people and provide platforms for other drag artists to be seen and perform.”

Dee Dee Marie Holliday

As 'RuPaul’s Drag Race' alum Manila Luzon launches new reality TV show, here are 6 other Filipino drag queens to know 3
Dee Dee Marie Holiday. Photo: @deedeeholliday/Instagram

Working in a financial firm by day, Dee Dee Marie Holliday undergoes a fabulous transformation by night. Her interest in drag started after seeing the American comedy film To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar, according to Lifestyle Inquirer. She considers drag an effective means to confront masculinity and misogyny.

“It takes a lot of courage to come out dressed to the nines in broad daylight, to face the harsh world of discrimination, just to express our artistry and who we are,” she told Manila Bulletin. “Drag queens are at the forefront of the fight for equality.”

Brigiding “Gigi” Aricheta

As 'RuPaul’s Drag Race' alum Manila Luzon launches new reality TV show, here are 6 other Filipino drag queens to know 4
Birgiding “Gigi” Aricheta. Photo: @brigiding/Instagram

The “drag daughter” of Holliday, Aricheta might be new to the drag circuit, but she is currently one of its most talked-about names. Not only does she have over 15,000 Instagram followers, she is also signed to one of the Philippines’ biggest creative agencies, Cornerstone Entertainment. She views drag as a form of political expression as well as a creative art, she once explained in an interview with Metro Style.
Aricheta, who uses both he and she pronouns, is known for her bold and extravagant looks onstage, hoping to encourage viewers to “express the many layers of life” with their fashion choices too.

Prince Marell

As 'RuPaul’s Drag Race' alum Manila Luzon launches new reality TV show, here are 6 other Filipino drag queens to know 5
Prince Marell. Photo: @princemarell/Instagram

Marell is one of the co-founders of Drag Playhouse PH. Her TikTok make-up transformation video set to Lil Nas X’s Montero (Call Me By Your Name) went viral back in April for serving up the ultimate dark queen look with heavy jewellery, a big red wig and stunning make-up. Aside from doing drag, she manages her own make-up and merch line.

Marina Summers

As 'RuPaul’s Drag Race' alum Manila Luzon launches new reality TV show, here are 6 other Filipino drag queens to know 6
Marina Summers. Photo: @marinaxsummers/Instagram


Another co-founder of Drag Playhouse PH, Marina Summers’ drag persona is an extension of her love for the beach, which she finds soothing, she told Village Pipol.
Before she stepped into the spotlight, Summers created content about the LGBTQ+ community while working as a TV producer for ABS-CBN, where she was able to feature Filipino drag queens. She began performing in 2019 and recently released her debut single I Have Arrived on Spotify and iTunes.

Vinas Deluxe

As 'RuPaul’s Drag Race' alum Manila Luzon launches new reality TV show, here are 6 other Filipino drag queens to know 7
Vinas Deluxe. Photo: @vinasdeluxe/Instagram

Vinas Deluxe wears many hats as drag artist, events host, vlogger, comedian and CEO of Deluxe Wigs. She recently performed alongside Filipino singer-actress Nadine Lustre in a virtual concert that honoured drag queens and aimed to raise funds to help displaced elderly gay communities.
And that’s just the beginning. Other Filipino drag queens you might want to follow on Instagram, stat, include:

Pura Luka Vega

As 'RuPaul’s Drag Race' alum Manila Luzon launches new reality TV show, here are 6 other Filipino drag queens to know 8
Pura Luka Vega. Photo: @puralukavega/Instagram

Andy Crocker


Lady Gagita

MC Black

O-A

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by O-A (@odashaflop)

Precious Paula Nicole

Morbucks

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Raphael A. (@morbucksssss)

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