Dos and donts of being a pageant fan

Alexa Villano
Dos and donts of being a pageant fan

Rob Reyes

Filipino fans can be the best but they can also be the worst critics of beauty queens

And just like that, pageant season is again in full swing.

On April 4, the 40 candidates of the Binibining Pilipinas 2019 were introduced to the media. Among these ladies, 6 will be chosen to represent the country and wear crowns, including the coveted Miss Universe Philippines crown, which Catriona Gray won in December 2018. (READ: Waiting for a queen: Catriona Gray’s fans welcome her home)

With Bb Pilipinas about to crown a new set of winners, the fans are giving all their support to their chosen candidates. In my blog entry last year, I talked about my observations as a pageant reporter that Filipino fans can be the best fans but also the worst critics of a potential beauty queen. With that in mind, I wrote and compiled some reminders for pageant fans with the help of some friends who have been supporters themselves through the years.

1. Support, don’t bash. I decided to start with this tip because bashing is predominant among fans. While criticism is nothing new, the advent of social media, has made it quite toxic.

I applaud the many supporters of candidates who organize themselves and support the queens. But some fans have gone overboard and end up bashing the rival contestants. In last year’s pageant, a friend of mine who was supporting a candidate told me about one fan who walked up to her idol’s rival candidate and told her she would never win.

That rival candidate ended up in the Top 15.

Recently, Filipino fans also came to the defense of a candidate whose national costume was criticized for allegedly being a copycat of another country’s costume. The candidate addressed the issue and said that she hoped fans of both countries would stop exchanging tirades.


PHILIPPINE PRIDE.  Fans wait in streets of Manila and Ayala Ave. in Makati City to welcome  Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray on February 21, 2019. File photo by Alecs Ongcal/Rappler

2. Stop the comparison. This is easier said than done. After all, it’s still a beauty contest. But when I asked a friend why this needs to be kept in mind, he said, “This is where the bashing starts.”

One candidate might have the X-factor, another one may be tall, while another may have the overall package. So yes, people will always compare one person to the other. Maybe instead of comparing candidates, just highlight the girl’s positive qualities. Improve on the weaknesses and most of all, give CONSTRUCTIVE criticism.

QUEEN CAT. Fans line up the streets of Manila and Ayala Ave. in Makati City to welcome the homecoming of Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray on February 21, 2019. File photo by Alecs Ongcal/Rappler


3. Encourage, don’t discourage. As a fan, your words of encouragement are highly appreciated by the candidates, so cheer them on in every activity they have or organize get-togethers, which not only gives you the chance to know the candidate better, but also to gain friends.

4. Don’t be a freeloader. Candidates love being with supporters during fan meets, but don’t expect that everything will be free during meetups. A friend who organized a fan meet for a candidate shared that one time, some fans went to the event just because of free food and free tickets to the pageant.

Another time, he found out that a group of “fans” ordered food despite being late, when the others had already ordered. He simply told them that they had to pay for the food, since they only ordered according to the head count.

If you’re really a fan, always update yourself, ask questions, or clarify.

5. Know your limits. As a fan, you have to respect your candidate’s privacy. While it’s okay to be chummy, there are times when you have to step back and check if you’re already borderline stalking a candidate, or simply being a toxic person online.

For instance, when Catriona Gray kept a low profile during the Christmas season, a “fan” demanded her manager Esther Swan to tell him where Catriona was. The post went viral. Esther responded to him calmly, but he was rude and had an attitude very unbecoming of a fan.

VICKIE'S ANGELS. The fans hold up signs for candidate Vickie Rushton during the parade. Photo by Rob Reyes/Rappler

6. If you commit to watch a show through pageant admins who will pay for you first, be honest if you will go or not.

This may not be a new problem but I recently learned about this from some friends who are pageant administrators. During the Bb Pilipinas fashion show on May 29, two of my friends informed me that fans from their groups asked to secure tickets. But during the day itself, those who reserved tickets did not show up, citing various reasons.

What’s annoying is that the admins had to pay the tickets for reservation. Some of those who asked to reserve did not even bother to at least pay for the ticket.

The lesson here is if you think you cannot go, then don’t commit at all. Do not waste people’s time and money.

SUPPORT FOR AYA. Supporters of Aya Abesamis with mom, former beauty queen Desiree Verdadero-Abesamis hold a meet and greet after the Parade of Beauties last May 25. Photo courtesy of Jonathan Santos

7. Be grateful and respectful.  Fans need to be grateful that their candidate appreciates their support. If your candidate wins, be humble and celebrate. If she doesn’t, learn to respect the winner and accept defeat in grace, even if it hurts. There’s no point in being bitter.

Comedian Inday Garutay summed up everything that fans should remember as they support their candidates in this year’s Bb Pilipinas pageant. She said that beauty is subjective and that what might be beautiful to some may not be beautiful to others. She added that it would be best to keep quiet if you have nothing to say nice.

This part of the statement she made: “Bilog ang mundo. Paano pagdating ng Coronation Night at natalo ang bet ‘nyo at nanalo ‘yung nilalait ‘nyo  eh di nganga kayo? Kaya i-enjoy na lang natin ang pagsuporta sa mga bet natin…. It’s everybody’s ball game lahat sila may karapatan manalo. Good vibes lang tayo. Remember the winning answer of Queen Pia…? #ThinkB4UClick.” 

 (The world is round. What if on coronation night your candidate loses and the person you’ve been criticizing wins? So let’s just enjoy supporting our respective candidate…It’s everybody’s ball game. All of them have the right to win. Let’s just have good vibes.)

Now hopefully, we will have a good competition come coronation night on June 9. May the best lady win! –

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Alexa Villano

Alexa is one of Rappler's Lifestyle and Entertainment reporters, covering local entertainment news to a wide range of topics from beauty pageants to reality shows.