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10 Ru Badge-worthy moments from Drag Race Philippines

8 min readStill having the Drag Race PH hangover? Here are some of the defining and most memorable moments of the season. Don’t worry, this list isn’t as long as Xilo’s monologues.
Profile picture of Mharla Francesca SantianoProfile picture of Kurt Alec Mira

Published over 1 year ago on October 15, 2022

by Mharla Francesca Santiano, Kurt Alec Mira

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Artwork by Kurt Alec Mira/TomasinoWeb

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This article contains spoilers.

Mabu-hey! The first season of *Drag Race Philippines (DRPH) *has ended, and it left us with a guaranteed spot on Twitter's trending topics every week, snippets of friendships and family that beat any *teleserye, *and memes we could only wish foreign audiences can understand and laugh at.

In a deeper sense, the reality competition series opened the art of drag to a more mainstream audience, opening more conversations about gender expression, its possibilities, and our very own drag industry.

*Drag Race PH *did not fail to show our country's very own drag extravaganza realness, and along with it were the defining, funniest, and most memorable moments of the season. Let's take a look.

1. Popping off the charts with “Pop Off Ate”

Photo from @CorazonFilipina/Twitter

Photo from @CorazonFilipina/Twitter

Following the two-episode premiere of the season, the third episode Pop Off Ate left the internet gagged. The "maxi challenge" of the episode was a girl group performance, dividing the remaining competing queens into two. They were tasked to come up with their own group name, verses, and choreography. Winning group Flexbomb Girls produced a potential Grammy-winning performance, delivering iconic verses of drag queens TuringMarina Summers, and more.

Pink Pussy Energy, even though declared as the bottom group, did not fail to leave a mark as their version of the song also entered iTunes PH's top 10. Both songs garnered five million views on TikTokdominated the iTunes chart, and became the awaited performance at Globe's G Music Fest last month.

The episode only proved our drag queens' range of talents --- from uncanny impersonations to rapping their own life stories in iTunes-charting bops.

2. What’s on your mind? Tiyanak

Screengrab from WOWPresents/YouTube

Screengrab from WOWPresents/YouTube

In the same episode, the runway category was Shake, Rattle, and Rampa where the queens strode with looks inspired by Philippine folklore and horror legends. As tensions grew among the losing team, DRPH host Paolo Ballesteros asked the queens who they think should go home that week. Drag queen Xilhouete said it should be Gigi Era, in which she also commented on how her presentation should be more polished.

Gigi Era returned the comment, saying that it should be Xilhouete, with an unexpected reason delivered so seriously, making the judges laugh. In Xilhouete's runway look, she was holding a mechanical *tiyanak as she served as its mother. But for Gigi, it's "When I think of tiyanak..." *You know what comes next.

Netizens laughed along as it reminded them of Cady's Halloween costume in "Mean Girls (2004)," a niche moment we've all gone through during group works at school, and was even referenced six episodes later.

3. Lady Morgana representing every probinsyana queen

Screengrab from Drag Race Philippines

Screengrab from Drag Race Philippines

Yes, this isn't exactly a moment, but a series of Ru Badge-worthy moments that left us in awe.

It's a fact when we say that drag in Metro Manila, as compared to other provinces, is open to more opportunities. For instance, drag shows are more prominent in bourgeois districts such as Ortigas and Bonifacio Global City. Lady Morgana, the only *probinsyana *queen from Davao, gave us a glimpse into the struggles of many queens from the provinces.

At first, one might say that her looks were simple or just average, which resulted in her being at the bottom, as compared to the runway looks of Marina Summers, Viñas DeLuxe, or Minty Fresh. Still being creative, albeit the lack of resources, she mentioned in one episode how she had to buy her dress in an *ukay-ukay *and improvise her runway looks. But despite being at the bottom almost consecutively, she sent home two other queens --- one of which was Turing, another fan-favorite.

With the positive vibes she brought in the "werk room", she received the Miss Congeniality title for the first-ever DRPH. And since she now frequently guests at several events, she now has the resources to further shine and show her creativity. Just look at her ru-veal in the finale.

Indeed, dalaygon, with feelings!

4. The gravity inside the popcorn

Screengrabbed from Drag Race Philippines

Screengrabbed from Drag Race Philippines

DRPH: Untucked also aired with the main season, but only shows the scenes of the queens in the "werk room" while the judges deliberate. The seventh episode of Untucked was an emotional rollercoaster as it showed drag queens Eva Le Queen breaking down from harsh critiques, Precious Paula Nicole crying over a video greeting from family, and Viñas DeLuxe getting drunk to drown out the pain from her fractured foot.

As some queens were rehearsing to possibly lip sync later on, Viñas was seen bringing up issues among the other queens, and "butting in" to a conversation between Marina Summers and Brigiding. Marina asks why, and Viñas drunkenly responds, "because of the gravity inside the popcorn." The randomness of her response was immediately sold to the viewers, even prompting fancams and fanart.

Marina and Viñas confirmed in their social media accounts that they have already made amends. Viñas also apologized, and explained why she behaved that way. Marina also took the chance to remind audiences not to "glamorize poor drunk behaviors," and to "drink responsibly." This was a prime example of public figures using their platforms to educate, not only about political issues, but also issues that can be mundane, like drinking. Both queens showed professionalism and accountability at their finest, while still keeping audiences entertained.

5. “Manok ba daddy mo?”

Screengrabbed from Drag Race Philippines

Screengrabbed from Drag Race Philippines

In the second episode of Untucked*, *it was jam-packed with shady assumptions, the queens questioning Brigiding's "brand," and bringing up past catfights. Viewers frowned upon the behavior of certain queens, but the tension was balanced out with the most randomly innocent question from Viñas.

As the TV screen in the "werk room" showed a childhood photo of drag queen Corazon with her father, Viñas remembered that Corazon's runway look that week was inspired by the latter's father. Corazon confirmed this, and specifically mentioned the chicken wire material of her look, in which Viñas asked, "Manok ba 'yung daddy mo?"

Corazon wasn't seen to take offense, and laughed along, explaining that the wire reminded her of the equipment she saw in the construction sites her father used to work in. Viewers did not know that the little moment between Corazon and Viñas already served as a breather for the scenes to follow in that episode. Viñas also released merch with that memorable remark, with Twitter users also immortalizing the statement's essence even two episodes later.

6. GMA, Tampalpuke, and Belo’s rights

Screengrab from Drag Race Philippines

Screengrab from Drag Race Philippines

Of course, Drag Race will never be complete without its iconic Snatch Game challenge. Although *DRPH's *Snatch Game was longer than usual, we've enjoyed countless banters and witty answers from the eight remaining queens. Standouts were Marina Summers as the former president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo (GMA), Eva Le Queen as Rufa Mae Quinto, and Xilhouete as Vicky Belo.

Definitely, no one would forget Marina Summers as GMA. Channelling GMA's most infamous look, her knowledge of the former president's parlance and scandals contributed a lot to her improv and political wit despite having the lack of experience in comedy. After the episode aired, she even published a YouTube video saying another GMA line: "I am sorry."

And who would stop laughing at Eva Le Queen's portrayal of the country's Comedy Princess, Rufa Mae? There's no doubt that impersonating Rufa Mae might not be as difficult as the others, but Eva's wit in answering "Tampalpuke," which translates to "flounder fish" in English, was one for the books.

While Xilo's impersonation of Vicki Belo seemed challenging, the way she said, "Right?" using Belo's mannerisms is what made her effective in portraying the celebrity doctor. Days after the episode aired, Belo herself posted a TikTok video of her congratulating the queen for her Ru badge.

7. Brigiding and Minty Fresh showdown

Screengrabbed from Drag Race Philippines

Screengrabbed from Drag Race Philippines

Drag Race is nothing without its rivalries, feuds, and showdowns. If RuPaul's Drag Race has Coco Montrese and Alyssa Edwards, Minty Fresh met an unexpected rival in Brigiding. While waiting backstage in the second episode of Untucked, Minty Fresh and Brigiding found themselves in a heated argument. When the 30-year-old member of the Divine Divas tried to resurface Minty Fresh's unfinished business with Marina Summers, the two-time Ru Badge holder called her out, which ended with Minty Fresh calling Brigiding, "Baliw!"

But this wasn't the last time we saw them together. Among the contestants, Brigiding is the only one consistent in being in the "safe zone," which as a Drag Race fan, is a dangerous place to be for the competing queens. Fate was not in favor of Minty Fresh, either, despite winning two "maxi challenges." Both queens had a fair share of terrible critiques.

As a result, they landed at the bottom thrice in the competition. To make things more exciting, Brigiding and Minty Fresh faced each other twice to lip sync for their lives. Their first showdown happened during the *Snatch Game *episode, where Mama Pao surprised everyone by giving the *double shantay *to the two queens. Two episodes later, they met again and ultimately, Brigiding received Mama Pao's sashay away.

8. Rajo Laurel’s critique gets critiqued

Screengrab from Drag Race Philippines

Screengrab from Drag Race Philippines

During the ball episode where the queens were tasked to create two runway looks, netizens were not pleased with certain comments of Filipino designer Rajo Laurel. Before Laurel's comments, drag queen Eva Le Queen expressed in her confessional interview how she was excited to listen to the judge's critiques. However, her excitement crumbled when Laurel called her second runway look "trash," an "atrocity," and even attributed its elements to a "mortal sin."

Twitter users expressed how Laurel's judging was "disrespectful," "hateful," and "inconsistent." RuPaul's Drag Raceformer contestant Jasmine Kennedy also defended Eva's look, declaring it as "a lot better than anything that came out of sewing challenges this year." Another Twitter user also said that the contestants of the season can easily compete in the international seasons of Drag Racebecause "nothing will ever faze them now."

Laurel took to social media and apologized, saying that his emotions took over, "hence the passion & intensity." Eva also confirmed in her tweet that Laurel reached out to patch things up. On Oct. 3, Laurel posted a photo of him having dinner with Eva, in which she reminded everyone that "at some point in life, you'll say things you will regret and not mean." Eva's grace in absorbing Laurel's critiques was inspiring, but as a judge, it is also worth noting that you can be constructive without being mean. You can point out the flaws, but you also need to point out how they can be improved after.

9. Xilhouete and Minty Fresh’s emotional lip sync

Screengrabbed from Drag Race Philippines

Screengrabbed from Drag Race Philippines

To the uninitiated, Xilhouete is a "drag mother" to Minty Fresh. Wanting to be a mentor and mom to young queens because she didn't get the chance to live with her mom, it was unsurprising that Xilo calls everyone nakshie, including Precious Paula Nicole who's older than her.

Being close to each other, we'd always see the duo being together in the "werk room." There also came a time when Xilo had to comfort Minty because of her sister's appearance in the lock-in taping of Drag Race Philippines during the height of the severing COVID-19 cases in the country.

That's why when they had to face off in the penultimate episode with Vernie Varga's "You'll Always Be My Number One," we knew how difficult it was for the mother-daughter queens. And when they both faced each other during the lip sync, we, even the judges, couldn't help but feel emotional. It was bittersweet, heartfelt, and probably one of the best lip sync battles in the pioneering season.

And just like what Marina Summers commented, we all felt that.

10. A precious heart wins the crown

Screengrab from Drag Race Philippines

Screengrab from Drag Race Philippines

Throughout the season, we've seen a glimpse of how Precious Paula Nicole takes care of her family.

In episode 3, Precious showcased herself as a mother with three tiyanaks as her runway look. Later on, she revealed how her runway presentation was dedicated to her late mother, which she wasn't able to visit before she passed. In an attempt to lighten the atmosphere, Mama Pao sarcastically asked, "Gusto mo ba siyang makausap ngayon? Ipa-contact natin kay Xilhouete." Since then, the show's viewers learned how much of a family-oriented queen Precious is.

In episode 8 where queens have to makeover their loved ones, Precious was surprised to see that her assigned loved one was her younger brother, John John. It was an emotional reunion for the two, accompanied by the warmest hug, and more of Precious' tears. In a scene where Precious was applying makeup on John John, Precious looked at the mirror and burst into tears, explaining that she saw her mother's face in John John's. She also thought that maybe her mother sent John John to the "werk room" so Precious wouldn't miss her too much.

Precious was unapologetically a family queen, and she was not afraid to show it. That also translated to her Divine sisters, Brigiding and Viñas DeLuxe. At a victory party a day after the finale, Brigiding and Viñas shared that when they got eliminated, they purposely left their materials for Precious to use. In an interview with* Inquirer*, Viñas also said that Precious was hesitant to audition at first, but they "scared" her, saying that she will be left alone when Viñas and Brigiding are touring. Throughout the season, their friendship can be seen in their confessional interviews, team-ups, and emotional group hugs when one had to go.

Precious opens her heart not only to family, but also to the community --- advocated for the Golden Gays*, *donated to former vice president Leni Robredo's Angat Buhay foundation for the victims of Typhoon Karding, and was even dubbed "queen of the people" when she shared snacks to children outside.

Now that she won the crown, the nickname couldn't be truer. Precious did not win the competition just because of her jaw-dropping reveals and charisma in the last lip-syncs. Her victory was also built from a support system that everyone needs, her strength to open her heart and story to the world, and her courage to take risks despite the struggles.

Just like what Eva Le Queen said in an interview, the love for drag is only a matter of access, which has started at the grassroots. That's why let's not forget that the first drag we've known has always been around us: the barangay pageants, fiestas, and of course, Santacruzan. While waiting for another season (hopefully), let's continue supporting all drag queens by watching their shows --- wherever they may be.

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Profile picture of Mharla Francesca Santiano

Mharla Francesca Santiano

Blogs Writer

Mharla Santiano is a Blogs Writer at TomasinoWeb. She loves writing about real life, and finds it both a fun and healing experience whenever she takes pieces of the world she’s moving in and puts them into pages like a novel. She has no favorite genre of movies, and simply watches anything she “vibes with,” but knows that The Parent Trap (1998) and Ponyo (2008) are her immovable favorites. She also finds herself writing movie reviews, making it a creative outlet whenever she fixates on one. And probably because she relates to it as well. She loves pink, pop music, and iced coffee.

Profile picture of Kurt Alec Mira

Kurt Alec Mira

Blogs Writer

Kurt Alec Mira is a Blogs Writer at TomasinoWeb. Contrary to popular belief, there’s nothing much about Kurt—except that he’s a D’Cream enthusiast and lover of all things matcha. For someone whose personality depends on the latest film or series he watched, he enjoys voicing out his fact-based opinions through social commentaries and pop culture reviews—ultimately writing for the organization. Kurt listens to many kinds of music, as evident in his library of playlists on Spotify. But among all genres, P-pop will always have a special place in his heart. If given the chance, he would love to interview Philomena Cunk and talk about her mate Paul. And one thing you should know about him? He listens to Skusta Clee in secret.

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