What a fitting way to end Drag Den Philippines.
After nearly two months of dragdagulan, we finally have the very first winner of Drag Den Philippines. What started as a competition quickly became a celebration of the local drag scene. Manila Luzon’s drag series, which was also a love letter to the art form and livelihood, was a show unlike any other, both in premise and execution. Filipino drag got its due diligence with the show.
It only felt fitting that this barrier-breaking competition ended on a high note with Maria Christina, Shewarma, and Naia battling it out to be the queen on top. As we hope for a greenlighting of season two (fingers crossed), let’s take a look at some of the standout moments of the finale of Drag Den.
PURA LUKA VEGA’S JESUS COUTURE
Since the show started, the comparisons between Pura Luka Vega and Jesus have been abundant. So, after spending the whole season referencing it, it was a lovely sight to see them embrace that with their finale look. From the dress, curly-haired wig, and crown, Puka gave it all.
NAIA’S REDEMPTION ARCH
In the realm alternate reality television, weekly eliminations are standard, but not for Drag Den. Since all the queens compete in every episode, we get to see what they have to offer and their growth. True enough, that’s exactly what Naia did. From being at the bottom after episode one, Naia consistently showed us who she is as she marched to the beat of her drum.
As she said during her Q&A portion, growth is the trait that the next Drag Supreme should have. And Naia has that in spades. You never know what you are going to get from her because she always does things through her unique lens. She fought her way to the top against a fierce group of queens in a moment we can all be proud of.
THE FULL COMMITMENT TO THE PAGEANT
Manila Luzon always says that Drag Den takes inspiration from Filipino pageants. So, it feels fitting that the finale gave us the full pageant fantasy. It started with the top three queens flexing their final national costume. Then, it was off to swimwear where they lip-synced to Sarah Geronimo’s Kilometro. Long gowns were up next before the dreaded Q&A segment. All three queens gave it their best with MC selling whatever she wore on stage, Shewarma taking our breath away with her phoenix-inspired long gown, and Naia coming through with her art-inspired looks.
THE DRAG LEGENDS BEING INVITED
Mama Letlet, Mama Pie, and Mama Bobby being there to crown the first Drag Supreme!! This made me cry. Respect to the mothers who paved the way! I love this show so much #DragDenPH #DragDenFinale #TeamNAIA pic.twitter.com/4SoYj9cf1b— Mackie (@mackierolls) January 26, 2023
While Drag Den crowned one of the most exciting young voices in Filipino drag today, the show made sure to also pay homage to those who came before and paved the way. Right before the final announcement, Manila invited Pinoy drag legends Mama Letlet, Mama Pie, and Mama Bobby to walk the runway and asked them to give their blessing to the first winner. It was a moment of respect, as well as a reminder of where local drag came from and where it’s going.
THE OTHER QUEENS SERVING AS JUDGES
What’s a finale without a twist, right? It wasn’t just Manila and Nicole who determined who would win Drag Den, but the other queens, too. And to make it even better, the scores from the past seven episodes were discarded with the non-top queens’ scores making up 60% of the final grade. During deliberations, the queens weren’t shy about saying what they liked and didn’t about MC, Shewarma, and Naia. But we feel they made the right decision in the end.