MANILA -- Former Miss Philippines Earth Imelda Schweighart drew flak on social media on Monday after she publicly expressed her dislike for K-pop and argued that Filipino fans should embrace local music instead.
Schweighart, who is now a singer under the stage name Imelda, became a local trending topic on Twitter as Filipino netizens called her out for her now-deleted posts on Facebook.
Among them was human rights activist Francis Baraan IV, who stressed that being a fan of K-pop "doesn't make Pinoys less Pinoy."
"On the other hand, you hating K-pop doesn't make you more Pinoy -- that just makes you look like a xenophobic, elitist snob," he told the former beauty queen.
In other tweet, Baraan wrote: "You're half-Filipino, half-German. Your mom married a foreigner. Does that make your mom less Filipino?"
"Catriona (Gray) and Pia's (Wurtzbach) moms married foreigners, too," he added, referring to two of the Philippines' Miss Universe titleholders. "Does that make their moms less Filipino, too?"
Others debunked Schweighart's claims that the K-pop industry is selling "insecurity" and "not promoting self-love," citing their idols such as the boy band BTS as examples.
Another Filipino beauty queen was included by netizens in the conversation as they pointed out that one can be a K-pop fan and still show great love for the Philippines.
Winwyn Marquez, who is a proud fan of BTS, made history in 2017 as the first Filipino candidate and winner of the Reina Hispanoamericana pageant.
She recently topped the marine reservist training course under the Philippine Naval Reserve Command.
Meanwhile, some Twitter users told Schweighart that she did not have to bring Filipino K-pop fans down if all she wants is to promote her own music.
Former "Pinoy Big Brother" housemate Richard Juan made a statement that seemed to coincide with the controversy involving Schweighart, although he did not mention any specific name.
In a Twitter post, he wondered aloud why it is okay to have "deep-rooted American influence," but it is "not allowed" if it is Korean.