Each week, the girls of Drag Race Philippines compete in a series of fun and entertaining challenges that test their charisma, uniqueness, nerve, and talent. They’re all killing it, whether it’s the Pop Off Ate! challenge or OPM Divas: The Rusical, so we wouldn’t be surprised if a number of fans would like to try drag.
We asked Jiggly Caliente, a Fil-Am queen and a resident judge of Drag Race Philippines, for her tips for aspiring drag queens. We knew she was the perfect person to ask since she has been doing the art of drag for years, and has competed in RuPaul’s Drag Race twice, first in the fourth season in 2012 and then in the sixth season of All Stars in 2021.
“Don’t do it,” she jokes.
Turning serious, she adds, “It takes a lot of dedication. A lot of trial and error. Nobody gets it right right away. And if you do, you’re very f****** lucky.”
Caliente also notes that with the number of queens on Drag Race, both the original show in the US and its franchises across the world, baby queens (a term that refers to a new drag performer) tend to emulate someone else.
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The judge says, “I hope that instead of trying to emulate somebody else, they find their own voice with drag. Drag is art, art is subjective. You customize drag to who you are. You could sense that with the Filipino queens. They’re all so different. Look at me, Manila, and Ongina. The only thing we have in common is that we’re three Filipinos. Our style, our point of view, and our attack on drag are completely different from each other. So I wish that more baby queens will do that for themselves instead of trying to look or be like somebody else that they saw on television.”
Drag Race has pushed the art to the mainstream and has shown that drag comes in many forms, shapes, and sizes. It has since welcomed trans queens (and even crowned Kylie Sonique Love in All Stars 6), cisgender women (Victoria Scone in season three of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK), straight men (Maddy Morphosis in season 14 of RuPaul’s Drag Race), and trans men (Gottmik in season 13).
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Whatever style aspiring Filipino drag queens take, Caliente knows they’re going to look fabulous.
She shared, “We’re just at a different wavelength as queens because our humor’s different, our fashion’s different, and our culture’s just so different. If we put that with drag, it just makes a more multifaceted queen.”
Drag Race Philippines streams on discovery+, HBO GO, and WOW Presents Plus every Wednesday. For the first time ever, the spin-off and after-show, Drag Race Philippines: Untucked streams every Friday.
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