Drag Race Philippines Season 1 winner Precious Paula Nicole alongside Viñas Deluxe and Brigiding are excited for their first major concert dubbed "Divine Divas: The Ultimate Drag Experience" which will be staged at the New Frontier Theater, Araneta City, Cubao on Feb. 10.
While this won't be the first time they will be performing on a big stage, the queens announced that there will be several "firsts" in the upcoming show.
"Maraming pasabog! May mga ipapakita kami na first time sa concert namin. We have a musical number created by the one and only Vince De Jesus. And for the first time, we will perform our first original song," said Vinas Deluxe, during an exclusive interview with the trio in Quezon City recently. Details about their debut single remains a top secret.
Brigiding added: "Excited kami dahil bago itong gagawin namin. Maghihilahan kami para maibigay namin 'yung best sa role namin." (We are excited because this is new for us to do. We will pull together so that we can give the best in our role.)
The queens said that they are also grateful for producers Ice Seguerra and partner Liza Dino-Seguerra who are helping them out in choosing the songs for the show. Award-winning actress Sylvia Sanchez is also co-producing the pre-Valentine concert.
Prior, the queens said that they discussed it among themselves if they were really ready to do a major concert. "Nag-open forum muna kami when it was offered to us. Sabi namin kaya ba natin ito? Remember it's a big show. Finally we decided to give it a go. " said Precious.
Friendship never ends
During the interview, the queens looked back at the days when they were holding online shows at the height of pandemic.
"Noong pandemic gumagawa kami ng mga concert sa Zoom since sarado ang mga bar. Kami nagbebenta ng tickets, kami naghahanap ng sponsors, ng mga tao. Kami rin ang DJ. Three-women show kami pati sa music, sa costumes. Ngayon heto na ang produkto ng aming mga pangarap. Sa tutoong stage na ito," said Precious, who has been in the drag industry for 12 years.
(During the pandemic we did concerts on Zoom since the bars were closed. We are selling tickets, we are looking for sponsors, people. We are also the DJ. We are a three-woman show in music and costumes. Now here is the product of our dreams. In this real stage.)
Vinas also traced how she reconnected with Brigiding on Facebook.
"Nagpost siya ng comment about make-up. Sinagot ko sya at nagkamabutihan kami ng loob. Nagkalandian ng konti. Then she invited me sa O'Bar. Pagdating ko sa O'Bar sabi niya hello mga mama. Manliligaw ko nga pala. So nakalibre ako ng entrance nun. Pagpasok ko andun na si Precious. After that day, gusto ko na maging drag queen. Tinanong nila ako kung sino ang gusto kong gayahin sabi ko si Beyonce. After one year, nakapasok na ako ng O'Bar at doon na nag start ang friendship namin. Pero naging mas close kami noong pandemic," said Vinas.
(She posted a comment about make-up. I answered her and we felt better. Teased a little. Then she invited me to O'Bar. When I arrived at O'Bar I told them hello momshie. I want you to meet my boyfriend. So I got free entrance. When I entered, Precious was there. After that day, I wanted to be a drag queen. They asked me who I wanted to imitate and I said Beyonce. After one year, I entered O'Bar and that's where our friendship started. But we became closer during the pandemic.)
When it was pointed out that the group's name Divine Divas was almost similar to Zsa Zsa Padilla's Divine Diva moniker, Vinas said: "Inspiration din namin siya. Hindi naman namin alam na magiging sikat ang Divine Divas at libangan lang namin ito noon. Since Divine na yung tawag nila sa amin tinuloy na namin yung Divine Divas."
(She is also our inspiration. We didn't know that Divine Divas would become popular and it was just a hobby for us. Since they called us Divine, we continued with Divine Divas.)
Modesty aside, the group admitted that they earned well via online shows during lockdown. Some of their fans were overseas Filipino workers and they paid in dollars.
"Minsan mas malaki pa yung kinikita namin doon kesa sa live show. Karamihan sa mga nanonood sa amin noon mga bagong fans. Nakakatuwa dahil pinapadalhan nila kami ng food. Nagugulat na lang kami. Hindi na namin kailangan bumili ng pagkain," Vinas added.
(Sometimes we earn more there than the live show. Most of those who watched us before were new fans. It's funny because they send us food. We were just surprised. We don't need to buy food anymore.)
The queens also said that they were thrilled to have established their own fan base called "debotos" following their successful stint in Drag Race Philippines Season 1. And thanks to their gigs and fans, they were able to transfer to a decent place to live.
"Nakabuo na kami ng fan base. Ang tawag namin sa kanila debotos. Para kaming kulto. Karamihan talaga sa kanila mga bagong fan ng drag community. Nakalipat na rin kami ng decent place na pwede kang makapag pahinga after a very long day. Pero hindi talaga namin carry ang magsama-sama sa isang palasyo," Precious added.
(We have developed a fan base. We call them devotees. We are like a cult. Most of them are actually new fans of the drag community. We have also moved to a decent place where you can rest after a very long day. But no. We don't live together.)
Journey to Drag Race PH
Of the three, only Vinas and Brigiding were initially interested in joining Drag Race Philippines.
"Kaming dalawa lang ni Brigiding ang nag audition. Sabi ko kay Precious sige huwag kang magaudition magto-tour kaming dalawa ni Brigiding. Sumali siya at siya pa ang nanalo," said Vinas.
Precious commented: "Nainggit talaga ako noon sabi ko ayoko maiwan sa bahay."
"And after Drag Race Philippines, nakapag tour kami sa province, sa Cebu, Pampanga, Laguna," said Brigiding.
The queens said that it has been one of their dreams to be part of Drag Race Philippines.
"Kasama talaga sa pangarap namin 'yung makasama sa Drag Race Philippines. Noong wala pang Drag Race Philippines, sabi ko noon paano kaya kung tayo ang magkakasama sa Drag Race Philippines? Napanood namin yung mga past episodes ng Drag Race at meron talagang mga friendship na nasira pero nagkaayos din naman. Until nagkaroon nga ng Drag Race Philippines. Sabi ko dapat tayong tatlo ang makapasok sa first season," recalled Brigiding.
While they have been close friends for years, the trio admitted that there have been times that their friendship was tested during the competition.
"May mga misunderstanding din. Nilagay kayo doon para mag compute sa isa't isa at ilabas ang mga good side and bad side ninyo or best and worst traits ninyo. Naapektuhan pala namin yung isa't isa na hindi naman namin sinasadya. But we realized na yung nangyari sa loob does not define who we are. Bumalik yung connection namin sa isa't isa at naging tighter kami," added Brigiding.
Precious added: "Nagusap-usap din kami after ng taping. Iyakan kami noon ng mga two hours. Naging mas solid talaga kami ngayon. Naging test talaga sa amin ang Drag Race. Minsan nawawala talaga kami sa focus at nare-realize din naman na bago tayo naging contestants, magkakaibigan tayo. Sa Drag Race Philippines, alam naman natin na iisa lang ang korona at iisa lang ang dapat manalo so may mga pagkakataon na dapat mas magaling ako kay ganito kasi competition naman talaga s'ya. By saying na gusto mong manalo, may mga nabibitawan kaming salita na hindi namin alam nakakasakit na pala kami. Na-solve na namin."
"Yung personal matters naman maliliit lang. Tungkol sa mga boylet lang naman," added Brigiding as the trio roared into laughter.
After the concert, the trio will focus on their online show called "Drag U & Me" with Kapamilya star Andrea Domingo for iWantTV.
Vinas is also set to release her single under Tarsier Records. Then she will also drop her revival song "Feeling Sexy Tonight." Says Vinas: "Excited ako dahil ang ganda ng video."
They revealed having suitors these days. But the queens said they are focused on their promising career as drag queens. On celebrity crush, Brigiding said she likes James Reid; Precious admires James Reid and Daniel Padilla; and Vinas has a big crush on Fabio ide.
"Parang naglalaro pa rin kami," said Precious.
Brigiding added: "Sana mai-tour namin ang concert sa ibang part ng PilipInas and hopefully abroad."
"It's hard to be a drag queen. Pero once na mabuo yung pangarap mo na maging drag queen, fulfilling naman. At pag marinig mo na yung may palakpakan ng tao, ang sarap din pala maging drag queen," said Vinas.
"Ang maganda sa amin ngayon, kapag na-book ang isa, kasama na ang dalawa. Ano man ang mangyari, we promise ourselves, walang iwanan," said the queens.
(The good thing about us now is that when one is booked, both are included. Whatever happens, we promise ourselves, we will not leave anyone behind.)