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MANILA, Philippines – It was a celebration of Filipino ingenuity when RuPaul’s Drag Race: UK vs. The World posted the teaser of Marina Summers, its first-ever Filipina contestant in the early hours of Friday, February 9.
Marina Summers sported a pre-colonial Philippines-inspired look during her entrance – making it clear to the other contestants that she would be a force to be reckoned with. Her iconic introduction served as another reminder of the sheer talent of Filipina drag queens.
So, let’s look back on the Pinay queens who have made the motherland proud as they represented – and will represent – the Philippines in international drag reality shows.
Marina Summers is the latest Filipina queen to step on the international drag stage as she is set to compete in the second season of RuPaul’s Drag Race: UK vs. The World. While the hit reality show is still set premiere on Saturday, February 10 (Manila time), the Filipina drag queen has already garnered much excitement from both local and international drag enthusiasts with her teaser video.
“It’s time to give these colonizers the chop,” she said in the clip as she drew a bolo from her side, eliciting cheers from fellow contestants.
I’m back to defend the MOTHERLAND! ✊🏽🇵🇭— Marina Summers (@marinaxsummers) February 9, 2024
From the Pearl of The Orient Seas to the WORLD! Simulan na ang himagsikan! Time to put these colonizers on the chopping block! ⚔️🌎#TeamPhilippines #MarinaSummers #TeamMarinaSummers #TeamMarina #DragRaceUK #dragrace pic.twitter.com/O7P6hpbM74
Kiki Coe is a Filipina-Canadian drag queen based in Ottawa. She ranked 6th overall on season 4 of Canada’s Drag Race, which concluded in January. In 2021, she was also a finalist on season 1 Call Me Mother, a Canadian drag competition for rising drag queens.
Beyond competing in the Canadian drag scene, Kiki Coe is also a costume designer.
Hailing from Edmonton, Alberta, Melinda Verga was also a contestant on season 4 of Canada’s Drag Race alongside her fellow Filipina-Canadian queen Kiki Coe. She finished in 5th place.
Aura Mayari was a contestant on the 15th season of RuPaul’s Drag Race, which ran from January to April 2023.
“The origin of my drag name.… I’m proud of being Filipino. Aura came from a Philippine gay lingo that can be used to describe somebody who’s overacting, overly confident, always trying to get attention, someone who’s horny, or someone who’s flirty. So that’s kinda like my drag,” she said in her introduction video.
Hailing from Nashville, Tennessee, Aura Mayari finished in 11th place out of 16 contestants.
In 2022, Kimmy Couture finished in joint-third place alongside Miss Fiercalicious on the third season of Canada’s Drag Race. She was one of the first transgender women to compete on the show.
Maxie was the first Filipina contestant on season 2 of the drag singing show Queen of the Universe in 2022. She stepped down from the show due to medical reasons, putting her in 5th place overall.
Stephanie Prince first appeared on the second season of Canada’s Drag Race in 2021 – finishing in 10th place. Just a year later, in 2022, she competed in Canada’s Drag Race: Canada vs. the World, and placed 8th overall.
Kyne was a contestant on the first season of Canada’s Drag Race in 2020. While she was eliminated early on in the show, she is widely known online as “TikTok’s math-teaching drag queen,” as she would regularly post math tutorials, as well as the intersections of math and music, on her TikTok page wearing full-on drag.
JAJA was the lone Filipina drag queen in the first season of Thailand’s Drag Race, which first aired in 2018. She finished her run in joint-5th place, sharing the spot with Thai drag queen Amadiva after a double-elimination.
Outside of competing in drag shows, JAJA is also a makeup artist.
Hong Kong-based Filipina drag queen Mocha Diva was a contestant on Drag Race Thailand season 2. She ranked 10th place overall after winning a total of two challenges throughout her run on the show.
Rock M. Sakura
Vietnamese-Filipina drag queen Rock M. Sakura made her RuPaul’s Drag Race debut on the show’s 12th season. She was eliminated in the 4th episode – finishing in 12th place overall.
For the 15th anniversary of RuPaul’s Drag Race, the Vietnamese-Filipina performer shared that she was first a fan of the show before going on to become a contestant and “[becoming] part of [its] legacy.”
Filipina-American drag queen Vivienne Pinay competed on the 5th season of RuPaul’s Drag Race in 2013. She finished in joint-10th place after facing a double elimination with Honey Mahogany.
Phi Phi O’Hara/Jaremi
Jaremi, who was known by his drag name of Phi Phi O’Hara, was a contestant on season 4 of RuPaul’s Drag Race, where he was a runner-up alongside Chad Michaels. He later joined RuPaul’s Drag Race: All Stars season 2 and ranked 7th overall.
However, he no longer associates with the name Phi Phi O’Hara and has retired from drag. He now regularly streams his gameplay on Twitch and posts makeup looks.
Filipina-American drag queen Jiggly Caliente competed on season 4 of RuPaul’s Drag Race in 2011 alongside Jaremi. She managed to finish the show in 8th place. She was also a contestant on season 6 of RuPaul’s Drag Race: All Stars in 2021, placing 12th on the show.
Now, the drag queen, who is from New York, is a regular judge on Drag Race Philippines, the Filipino iteration of RuPaul’s Drag Race.
Filipino-American drag queen Manila Luzon began making her mark in the international drag scene in 2011, where she competed in RuPaul’s Drag Race season 3. After finishing as runner-up on the show, she later returned for the first and fourth seasons of RuPaul’s Drag Race: All Stars in 2012 and 2018, respectively.
Manila Luzon now stands as the host, head, judge, and executive producer of the Filipino drag reality show Drag Den, which just kicked off its second season on January 18.
Ongina was the first-ever Filipina-American contestant to appear on the first season of RuPaul’s Drag Race in 2009. In 2020, she made a comeback on RuPaul’s stage for the fifth season of RuPaul’s Drag Race: All Stars, wrapping up her stint in 9th place. – Rappler.com