For drag superstar Manila Luzon, Filipino drag queens are the most beautiful in the world.
“There is nothing like the beauty of these queens,” Manila said at a press conference for upcoming reality show Drag Den Philippines on Thursday, November 4.
“Anywhere around the world you won’t find any queens more beautiful than the Filipino drag artists, so you guys have something to look at and aspire to because these queens are gorgeous,” she said.
Manila is currently in Manila to host Drag Den Philippines, which opened for auditions in August. The show, Manila said previously, is meant to turn the spotlight on the local drag scene.
The RuPaul’s Drag Race star said that she “had such a time watching all of their audition reels and it’s sad that they can’t all be on the show.”
“We appreciated everyone who auditioned, we see you, and we hope that you audition next season, if there is next season,” she said, adding that her fingers and legs are crossed for a season 2.
She also said that the audition reels they received – from drag queens, drag kings, trans drag performers, cis women doing drag, and young and old artists – made her “reevaluate what is considered drag.”
“The creativity of these Filipinos is off the charts,” she said.
For Manila, Drag Den Philippines is not just a RuPaul’s Drag Race knock-off, but “a show that is for Filipinos, by Filipinos.”
“We are creating a show very unique to the Philippines, and we are showcasing what the Philippines really has to offer, what we have to originally offer,” she said.
More to the point, she said that Filipinos, not foreigners, will benefit from the profits: “We’re keeping most of the proceeds here in the Philippines and not exporting it to another country.”
Ultimately, she is excited to give local drag artists the airtime they deserve.
“What I’m most excited about is for the Filipino audience to meet these talented local queens who have been here this whole time, and you might not have even known that they were here,” she said. “So I’m really excited for the exposure that these queens are going to get, and I’m really excited for the love and adoration that the audience at home will have for them.”
It’s not the first time Manila has expressed her admiration for Filipino drag queens. In a June press conference, she praised the work ethic of Filipino drag artists, having seen them perform at popular gay night club O Bar on one of her visits to Manila.
“These girls would come in early to the club, they would rehearse all day long and then they would put on show after show after show all night until the wee hours of the morning. That is dedication,” she said.
Despite never having won a season, Manila is one of RuPaul’s Drag Race‘s most famous alumna. She first appeared on the show’s third season, where she finished as runner-up to Raja. She also appeared on the show’s first All-Stars season, and on All-Stars 4, where she was prematurely eliminated by competitor Naomi Smalls.
After her Drag Race stints, she has been invited as a guest on the show several times. She has also released a number of EPs and an album, and was 19th on Vulture‘s list of the most powerful drag queens in America. – Rappler.com