Drag Race Philippines premieres today

Published August 17, 2022, 7:27 AM

by Annalyn S. Jusay

The host, the judges and the 12 Queens of Drag Race Philippines Season 1 (Annalyn Jusay)

The word is out: today is the premiere of Drag Race Philippines Season 1 on Discovery+, HBO Go and  WOW Presents Plus. The companion series, Drag Race Philippines: Untucked, which shows deleted footage, behind the scenes, and key moments from the show, starts streaming on Aug. 19.

Having attended the viewing party in XYLO BGC Tuesday night (Aug. 17), we daresay don’t miss this reality show for anything. The costumes, the challenges, the laughs, and sometimes, the drama, will leave you hooked and in awe.

The viewing party introduced the 12 Queens one by one. They sashayed through the stage and the crowd in their highly-embellished, thematic gowns. Of course, they were also fully made up and elaborately coiffed by their glam team. One of them will be eliminated in the first episode if the contestant fails to excel in the challenges.

Drag Race Philippines makes her-story as the first global franchise to have two trans women on the seat as permanent judges. They are Fil-Am drag performer and actress Jiggly Caliente and TV personality KaladKaren, who first gained fame impersonating Karen Davila.

Caliente, who competed in the fourth season of RuPaul’s Drag Race and the sixth season of RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars, had this to say: “I am so proud of each and every one of these girls. The girls are so talented, so amazing, and they’re also beautiful human beings. I am so glad that World of Wonder decided to put their eyes on the Philippines and showcase our drag culture that is really world-class.”

For her part, Kaladkaren also applauded the 12 Queens participating in the competition. ” They deserve to be seen in the world stage, they deserve this platform. This is their time to take the space in the whole drag and LGBTQ community in the world. The girls gave their best to showcase their talent and be who they are.”

Asked what makes a good drag queen, Caliente said it’s in “being original, having conviction and having a strong point of view.”

Kaladkaren, meanwhile, said that “a good drag queen should have a purpose. Kasi doon magmumula lahat ng kanyang gagawin. Her creativity, her talent, her message to the people. Having purpose helps the queen find her true self.”

Aside from the two trans women, the other judges are veteran singer Pops Fernandez, top designer Rajo Laurel and ace photographer BJ Pascual. The series’ host is Paolo Ballesteros.