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20 Local Drag Queens That Will Make You Say “Yassss Kween” Part 1

Filipino Drag Queens 1 - 20 Local Drag Queens That Will Make You Say “Yassss Kween” Part 1

Thanks to the popularity of the show RuPaul’s Drag Race, we were introduced to queens like Bianca del Rio, Alaska 5000, and Manila Luzon. They have captured everyone’s attention around the world, including the Philippines, that even straight men and women are now die-hard fans. While it’s great that this niche art form is getting the mainstream attention it deserves, there are still those that are not familiar with the local drag scene. And trust me, henny, it is thriving.

We tried to compile our 20 favorite local queens but the list kept growing the further we went down the drag rabbit hole. We ended up with around 40 so we decided to create two lists. Here’s the first 20:

1. Astrid Mercury

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How did you get started in drag?

I remember I started doing drag by watching RuPaul’s Drag Race, which my high school friend introduced me to. [I did it] kapag may event lang sa school and sa cheering squad. I mastered drag makeup first before anything else, since madali lang naman mabili yung wig and costumes. Makeup kasi takes a lot of trial and error. Kung ano yung magsu-suit sa mukha mo, the process, and also the final look.

How would you describe your drag aesthetic?

My drag aesthetic is very fishy [being so feminine that you can pass off as a cisgender woman] and modern glamour.

What do you enjoy the most out of doing drag?

Everything. Doing my mug [face], styling wigs kahit nakakawala ng pasensya, and performing on stage even if they don’t appreciate what you are doing. And lastly, inspiring those people who want to be a drag queen in the future.

2. Morbucks

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How did you get started in drag?

I did drag when I was in high school but it was pretty basic. I started to play with makeup again in 2018 and really kicked it off in 2019. I started watching Drag Cartel [a monthly drag show] in Nectar [a gay club] in March and joined in July.

How would you describe your drag aesthetic?

My drag name Morbucks comes from a character from The Powerpuff Girls. That spoiled kid villain. My drag is hyper-feminine. I draw a lot of inspiration from primadonnas, spoiled brats, and sugar babies.

What do you enjoy the most out of doing drag?

I’m genderfluid so I enjoy being able to transform to the other end of the spectrum. I think drag opens up a lot of conversations about gender, sex, and even confidence. I definitely feel more confident to talk about my beliefs knowing I already have people’s attention just by being in drag. I can be uptight and it’s hard for me to let loose and perform, but when you’re on stage it just comes naturally. Lastly, the process, especially when I get ready with my sisters. It’s so entertaining to watch everyone transform not just physically. Their whole energy changes, [too].

3. Travis Tea

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How did you get started in drag?

It actually started for a work thing. They asked us, for seven days, to do something we are passionate about or are interested in. I’ve always wanted to know if I’d look pretty as a girl so I decided a seven-day drag transformation challenge was in order. My colleagues donated tons of makeup they didn’t want anymore and so I started to experiment some more. And so Travis Tea became, not just a project, but an actual personality.

How would you describe your drag aesthetic?

It really is a travesty. It’s unconventional and chaotic, defiant even. It’s a lot of elements rolled into one—I’d often hear the word “layered” when I think of a costume. Too many things happening at once, most of the time unrelated things, and then forming this larger than life being. I think, at the moment, Travis Tea is a child’s drawing. A child’s drawing come to life. Or a child’s fears and dreams.

What do you enjoy the most out of doing drag?

I really enjoy kasi conceptualizing the look and putting together the costumes. But probably most of all—creating the story and transforming into the character.

4. Pura Luka Vega

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How did you get started in drag?

It’s by accident, really. I was a cosplayer before and I was fond of dressing up, anyway. One time, during a Halloween contest, a female competitor won in a male category. In short, she kicked my butt! She did an amazing cosplay of the Joker. So I decided to enter the female category as Marie Antoinette. I won the next year. Tapos I started competing for the Poison Wednesdays Drag Cartel, which was fun. I never really cared if I won. Eventually, I got to understand more what drag was all about. To be honest, it’s as if The Universe conspired for me to create Luka.

How would you describe your drag aesthetic?

I think Luka embodies that feeling when you don’t quite fit in and you know it, and that’s okay. Yung proud ka sa sarili mo even if social norms don’t quite agree with you. I was told to shave kasi if I wanted to become a drag queen. And I thought, if drag was like, whatever, “rules” are suspended, why shave? So I thought to myself “katawan ko to. I can do whatever I want.” Drag is being out of the box. Luka can be whoever they are. Ewan ko ba. Nalilito rin ako sa kanya pero it doesn’t matter. Mahal ko naman siya.

What do you enjoy the most out of doing drag?

I guess I wanted to improve on the craft. I wanted to exaggerate the character even more and explore who she is. It became an escape na rin for me. Escape from the world I live in and escape from myself. It became a way for me to express my thoughts and feelings when words can’t.

5. Kim Diamonds

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How did you get started in drag?

I started seeing drag when I watched RuPaul’s Drag Race and Dragula. I was able to try it Halloween in 2018. I decided to try it because I see drag as a way for me to express my inner femininity and make those clothes and wear them myself. I’m a big fan of fashion and I design clothes as a hobby.

How would you describe your drag aesthetic?

I don’t have a specific drag aesthetic. I just want to express or do what I want, but making sure it is something that would make me remembered.

What do you enjoy the most out of doing drag?

What’s most interesting is I feel superior and extra. I can be someone else for a little while. It gives me something that I don’t get when I’m not in drag.

6. Collision Course

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How did you get started in drag?

I started drag at the launch of Lady Gaga’s Artpop in 2013. She really is my main inspiration in life because of her music and advocacies and music, but I also admire other blonde singers like Madonna and Hannah Montana.

How would you describe your drag aesthetic?

I would describe my drag as fun, majestic, and large. I’m your average MILF.

What do you enjoy the most out of doing drag?

Being an inspiration to others who may have doubted themselves with their own artistry because of the people who drag them down. I related to that when I first started drag. In this world full of hate, at least the young queens know that there is one person who believes in their glittering talent.

7. Ghulli Ghush

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How did you get started in drag?

It was 2012 or 2013 in college, when I started doing drag without knowing what it’s all about. It was just for fun, dressing up as a woman and impersonating Lady Gaga. Later on, I met several kweens in the metro and worked with them. Early last year, Ghulli Ghush was born.

How would you describe your drag aesthetic?

Drag is an art. It’s about expressing your inner self. I will make sure that my makeup is on fleek, my hair is good, and my look is stunning before I go out on stage. I am glam, flexibility, and versatility. Doing it as a profession is like just any other regular job. You live with pressure, blood, sweat, and tears. It’s a continuous learning process of transforming yourself, knowing who and what you are, what you can do during a performance, and what you can contribute to your audience.

What do you enjoy the most out of doing drag?

Aside from the transformation process, the makeup, the hair, and the outfit, what satisfies me is when someone compliments me on my performance. Plus the unexpected tip they give. I also enjoy the applause and the smiles on the audience’s faces.

8. Dee Dee Holliday

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How did you get started in drag?

I’ve always been fascinated by drag queens as a child. I would sneak into my mom’s closet to try on her shoes and dresses. It’s because of this movie called To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar. Then 10 years ago, my ex-boyfriend pushed me to audition at a bar in Malate after he saw me doing the entire “Single Ladies” routine, fiercely. The rest is history.

How would you describe your drag aesthetic?

Old Hollywood Glam with a touch of MILF. Always a lady, never trashy.

What do you enjoy the most out of doing drag?

I get to be who I want to be. I get to entertain people. I get to inspire young kids who want to express themselves creatively. Most importantly, I get to be happy. The applause is just priceless.

9. Lady Gagita

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How did you get started in drag?

My fetus drag started in 2009 when I began doing music video parodies on Youtube. Then my proper drag started in 2012 when I started doing shows in gay clubs here in Manila.

How would you describe your drag aesthetic?

I’m more of an impersonation assassin. I always want to do it on point. Detail by detail.

What do you enjoy the most out of doing drag?

I love traveling sobra. Buti na lang yung pagda-drag queen ko nadadala ako kahit saan.

10. Lili Addams

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How did you get started in drag?

I’ve always wanted to try drag and express my art through it, but I was always scared. But finally, on Halloween 2017, I tried it out and it was the best feeling ever. Ever since I did it regularly. I even competed in Nectar’s Poison Wednesday’s Drag Cartel competition which helped me gain more confidence.

How would you describe your drag aesthetic?

My aesthetic is very glam, bright, and mostly pink. I like anything girly and anything that makes me show my body. I don’t like wearing too much, too. I take a lot of inspiration from Bratz dolls!

What do you enjoy the most out of doing drag?

That I can be my 100% authentic self. Drag is like my superpower and it allows me to be myself. Plus, I love looking beautiful and performing on stage so that’s why I love doing drag!

11. Vinas Deluxe

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How did you get started in drag?

I started drag as a hobby by playing with makeup at home and posting it online. Somebody commented on my post and asked me if I wanted to audition in one of the nightclubs in Cubao. That’s the beginning of my career as a drag queen.

How would you describe your drag aesthetic?

I love being comedic and making people have fun while I’m performing. I like impersonating artists. I don’t plan my acts and performances because I want it to be organic onstage. I am a Beyonce fan so a lot of my drag is probably inspired by her.

What do you enjoy the most out of doing drag?

Before ako umakyat sa stage I always pray na sana mag-enjoy ako sa ipe-perform ko more than mag-enjoy ang taong nanonood sa akin. I always want to enjoy my performances first so that I can transfer the vibes through my act to the audience. Bonus na lang yung marinig mo yung sigawan nila at palakpakan. I also enjoy mingling and drinking with people when I am in drag because there’s nothing holding me back and I can say and do whatever I want without offending.

12. Eva Le Queen

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How did you get started in drag?

I started by joining a drag competition in Singapore. I had friends who were drag queens then and they asked me to give it a try. The rest is history. It was love at first drag, I guess.

How would you describe your drag aesthetic?

I’m usually conceptual. My drag naman kasi is about telling stories rather than entertaining. My looks usually depend on the story I’m telling when I perform. So I can be a sexy McDonald giving out burgers during that “baklang hamburger” issue, or a bejeweled queen wearing a toilet seat doing a slow love song. Pero no matter the outfit, I guess I always paint myself the same. My mug is almost always unclockable [so good no one can say anything bad about it] and fish. When I transform, I have this thing in my head to be unearthly beautiful.

What do you enjoy the most out of doing drag?

I guess it’s when I do numbers that send a message to my audience. I believe kasi na as a drag artist, I have the platform to use it for something more. To inspire young kids to embrace who they are. To not be afraid to love. Or to fight for whatever cause. My drag allows me to do that. Of the Nectarines [the regular drag queens at Nectar], they say na I’m the Political Queen. I once performed “I Dreamed a Dream” from Les Miserables. If you know the lyrics, you would know how it relates to the LGBTQ struggles. I also dedicated that to Jennifer Laude and Jessa Remiendo, the two transwomen who were brutally murdered. During the UP Pride, in the heat of the Gretchen Diez issue, I performed Ariana Grande’s “Dangerous Woman” wearing a toilet seat. I’ve also performed numbers about depression, body image issues, corruption, traffic in EDSA, and more.

13. Turing Quinto

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How did you get started in drag?

I’ve been doing drag professionally for more than two years now, but I’ve been doing it since college at CEU because I am a Performing Arts major and there were a lot of times where we (or I ) have to be in drag. Also because my late professor and mentor then, Jef-Henson Dee, was also a drag queen.

How would you describe your drag aesthetic?

I would describe my aesthetic as fierce and convenient. I am a performance queen. so I am more interested in transcending the message of my songs to the people than looking good and glamorous. Having said that, I always opt for convenience when it comes to costumes and wigs. If I know that wearing high heels will hamper my dancing, I’ll go for low heels or sneakers. Also, short hair wigs have already become a brand of me at O Bar. Because again, I always choose them over long wigs so it will not distract me when performing.

What do you enjoy the most out of doing drag?

I think acceptance and validation are what I enjoy most in doing drag. I struggled a lot before when I was still doing film and theater mostly because of my size and me being feminine. In doing drag, people now applaud me for always slaying every performance despite my size. It felt so good showing and proving them that you don’t have to be thin to be a drag queen. You just have to accept yourself, be good in your craft, be confident and kind, and to always slay.

14. Precious Paula Nicole

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How did you get started in drag?

Eight years ago nung magbi-birthday ako. I wanted to do something different to celebrate. So I asked my friend Aira if mabibigyan nila ako ng spot that night sa O Bar. Akala ng mga owners naga-audition ako. So kinausap nila ako na ite-train nila ako to be a regular performer ng O Bar.

How would you describe your drag aesthetic?

Creative and colorful. I’m a chameleon.

What do you enjoy the most out of doing drag?

Putting on makeup, learning new songs , and sharing happiness and inspiration sa mga humahanga samin.

15. O-A (read as Odasha)

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How did you get started in drag?

It all started in high school when my friends and I would dress up and play pretend that we were in America’s Next Top Model. Eventually, my interest shifted to RuPaul’s Drag Race, which inspired me to start dressing up in actual drag.

How would you describe your drag aesthetic?

My drag aesthetic depends on my mood. Sometimes it’s campy, sometimes it’s glam, other times I do cosplay. O-A is a very “versatile” queen.

What do you enjoy the most out of doing drag?

I actually don’t enjoy drag. Charot! What I enjoy most in doing drag is when I get to dress up however I want. For me, drag gave me the freedom to embrace different kinds of fashion choices and styles. Aside from that, I also enjoy inspiring other people to get into the world of drag. When I won Drag Cartel All Stars 2, I’ve had several people come up to me and tell me that I was able to inspire them to try out drag for themselves.

16. Andy Crocker

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How did you get started in drag?

I started in 2010 for a school performance in FEU. The following year, I started working in small bars in Cubao and Malate as my sideline.

How would you describe your drag aesthetic?

Your friendly neighborhood colorful lady. The spectrum is my playground, pop culture and nostalgia are my ace. Every performance is an intimate experience for you to say “I had fun that night.” Vibrant, nostalgic, pop culture, and your local Disney Princess.

What do you enjoy the most out of doing drag?

The transformation, the art, the confidence it brings to my personality, the courage to bring to life my childhood fantasies, and bringing smiles to people’s faces.

17. Marina Summers

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How did you get started in drag?

I was first introduced to drag in 2017 when I started going to Nectar. I wasn’t doing drag back then, but I also started watching RuPaul’s Drag Race. A year later, I was working for Lifestyle Network Global and I got the chance to use that platform to introduce drag to our market. We featured the Nectarines. That really opened my eyes to the drag culture in the Philippines. In 2019, with the help of friends, I debuted my drag persona Marina Summers in Poison Wednesday’s Drag Cartel. After winning the competition, I started getting bookings. Now, I regularly perform in Nectar during Fridays and Saturdays.

How would you describe your drag aesthetic?

My drag aesthetic is pretty much inspired by my love for the beach. Tropical, tanned, body, Latina bombshell. Those are some keywords to describe my aesthetic.

What do you enjoy the most out of doing drag?

Aside from dressing up and being this whole Latina and tropical queen fantasy, I get to meet young kids like me who aren’t afraid to change the world with their drag. The fact that you get to break the norms with the help of drag, in terms of expressing not only your gender but your whole being in general, is revolutionary. Seeing that there are a lot of us out there gives me hope and joy to continue what I do.

18. Peabo

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How did you get started in drag?

Since I entered showbizness. Charot! I’m a host and MC for Panty Monsters and Nectar’s Poison Wednesdays. Then Detox of RuPaul’s Drag Race went here, to our beautiful islands, our beloved country the Philippines. Nectar’s David Dennis asked me if I can host the show in drag and I said yes.

How would you describe your drag aesthetic?

Chill, relaxed, effortless, beautiful.

What do you enjoy the most out of doing drag?

Being under the spotlight, and giving happiness and inspiration to everyone.

19. MC Black

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How did you get started in drag?

I started doing drag back in my college days when Malate was still alive. Living up to my hopes of becoming a drag queen, I performed in different bars around the metro until I found O Bar where I have been for the past five years.

How would you describe your drag aesthetic?

My aesthetic is based on theatricality and authenticity. I’m known to be the drama queen because most of my repertoire includes show tunes from musicals. I’m also known for reinventing storytelling through the form of drag performances.

What do you enjoy the most out of doing drag?

I enjoy volunteering for different organizations teaching theater for the youth around the Philippines. During the day, I teach theater and performance in one of the colleges in Manila.

20. Baby Vivora

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How did you get started in drag?

It started last 2017 when I joined the lip sync battle of Drag Cartel at Nectar and I won.

How would you describe your drag aesthetic?

Gorgeous but stupid.

What do you enjoy the most out of doing drag?

When I started doing drag I found myself more. I gained a lot of confidence.

Did we miss any drag queens? Share your favorites below and we’ll include them in part two!

The post 20 Local Drag Queens That Will Make You Say “Yassss Kween” Part 1 appeared first on When In Manila.

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