Jiggly Caliente truly is Drag Race Royalty.
She competed on RuPaul’s Drag Race twice and has become a fan favorite because of her personality. Caliente, a Fil-Am, is now a permanent judge on Drag Race Philippines, which is currently looking for the first Drag Race Superstar from the country.
The first season’s cast includes Brigiding, Corazon, Eva Le Queen, Gigi Era, Lady Morgana, Marina Summers, Minty Fresh, Precious Paula Nicole, Prince, Turing, Vinas DeLuxe, and Xilhouete.
As someone who has been exposed to the drag culture both in the US and the Philippines, we asked Caliente what she discovered about local queens while judging the show.
Caliente shares, “they are more dramatic than the Americans. First episode kaagad, away, diyos ko. That’s never happened before. Usually, you wait until episode four. Not the Philippines. First episode pa lang, away kaagad. Ang galing.”
The fight she is talking about happened in the first episode when Marina Summers and Xilhouete had a confrontation about an original song that the former released last year.
Caliente jokes, “‘Yung issue nila has nothing to do with Drag Race. Dinala pa nila. May baon pa sila. That is one thing I love about Filipino queens. Ang daming baon. Gusto lang nila mag-away.”
The scene was tense, but cattiness is part of the show’s appeal. Who can forget Mystique telling Morgan McMichaels, “B****, I am from Chicago” or Shangela’s sugar daddy monologue? We’re three episodes in on Drag Race Philippines and we’ve already seen confrontations between Marina and Xilhouete, Turing and Corazon, and Minty and Brigiding #baliw.
As any Drag Race fan knows, nothing is personal. At the end of the day, they’re all sisters.
“Pwede sila magokrayan, magbardagulan but still be able to be a sisterhood. Nagtutulungan sila, close pa rin sila lahat. That is one thing I’m very surprised with. But pleasantly surprised,” Caliente shared.
I also noted how fun Drag Race Philippines is compared to other franchises. I believe the phrase I used was, “iba talaga ang baklaan ng Filipino queens.” If you’ve seen the second episode mini-challenge with the palosebo, you know what I’m talking about.
Caliente added, “That part of the Filipino culture is so beautiful to see. Kahit malala ang okrayan, below the belt, you could still laugh. You laugh with each other. Reading in the Philippines is different. Because there is that mutual respect and you know that these are just jokes. That’s why we do the “chariz” or “charot,” that part of it is why the jokes are so much easier to land and the story to go and everybody to laugh with each other, not at each other.”
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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