- July 25, 2021 13:31
Tamaraw student-drag queen Celeste urged the Far Eastern University (FEU) drag community’s empowerment, bearing her victory in The Drag Star, launched and live-streamed via FEU Studios last December 15.
Celeste first donned the crown in the Coronation Night at Mads Manila in Sampaloc, a night before the official premiere.
The first-ever Drag Star shared her triumphant moments in an interview with FEU Advocate.
“Hindi lang kaming lima, madami pa ‘yan … Dapat nabibigyan ng exposure ‘yung [FEU] drag queens (We are not just five, there are many … Drag queens should be given exposure),” she said.
Celeste also hopes that FEU drag queens get the chance to showcase their talents at University events.
The winner stressed that drag queens make a life out of performing and should be recognized.
“So go out and support drag in itself kasi it really helps a lot of people (So go out and support drag in itself because it really helps a lot of people),” she encouraged.
Meanwhile, The Drag Show director Charles Jhancy Peregrina of Draga Production expressed the production’s aims to provide a platform for Tamaraw drag queens.
“We wanted to establish the advocacy of each and every queens,” he shared.
The show also marked FEU's first student-run drag pageant.
“Sobrang rare kasi na student-led ‘yung gagawa ng drag show for the drag community itself (It is very rare that students lead and make a drag show for the drag community itself),” Peregrina claimed.
Despite being accepted, Celeste believes that the LGBTQIA+ community is said to be not visible enough in the University.
“We boast a lot sa pagiging acceptable natin … So it’s better when we do it talaga (We boast a lot when it comes to being acceptable … So it's better when we do really do it,” Celeste added.
The Drag Star winner calls upon the FEU community to normalize the art of drag.
“I do feel like lacking tayo sa gano’n (I feel like we are lacking that)” she argued.
In addition, Peregrina wanted to break the stigma against drag pageants that they assume a person's labels.
“FEU drag queens will have their free space when it comes to telling their own pronouns, telling their own preference when it comes to their own SOGIE,” he explained.
The journey for The Drag Star title consisted of a three-part elimination round before the top three’s final question and answer.
All five contestants staged a Christmas lip sync performance, presented a ‘Kumukuti-kuti-stars Eleganza Extravaganza’ runway look, and exchanged wit in the question and answer portion.
Celeste’s winning answer commented on the effectiveness of televised drag shows to highlight the LGBTQIA+ community, justifying such platforms that expose queer talent.
“We can see the struggles of our sisters … and their experiences as a queer people,” she stated.
Moreover, Miss Carry followed as the First Runner Up and claimed Best Advocacy, Best Runway Outfit, and Best Lip Sync.
Letisha Jasmine won as Second Runner Up and Miss Congeniality.
Falling out of the Top 3 were Zeta along with People's Choice Award Missy Rider.
Before returning for a second season, Draga Production wants to push through in a more planned and systematic way, sustaining their need for a studio and streaming platform as graduating students.
“We’re open for the idea of season two. But I guess for now, we should focus on what is happening right now on the state of the drag community,” Peregrino said.
Meanwhile, Celeste shared her plans on joining contests, including Drag Cartel in Nectar Nightclub.
“What’s next for me is really unknown but I’m not closing my door on drag in this moment,” she added.
Celeste is a third-year BS Psychology student who has been doing drag for at least a month now and does it whenever she wants to go out and express herself.
She also advocates for sustainable fashion and the regulation of fast fashion.
The Drag Star is a drag pageant produced by Draga Production from the FEU Department of Communication as a requirement for their production class.
- Mark Vincent A. Durano
(Photo by Euxim Valonzo-Garcia/FEU Advocate)