Drag Playhouse PH Drops "Manila Drag Icons" Music Video
Manila’s finest Drag Artists gathered to showcase Filipino Drag Excellence through this Pride Anthem Megamix
June 28, 2021, a historic day for the LGBTQIA+ liberation movement, marks the 52nd anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising. Coinciding with this date, Drag Playhouse PH (DPH), in partnership with Sony Music Philippines, dropped a music video featuring nine of the most sought-after and talented drag artists in Manila.
MANILA DRAG ICONS is a Pride Anthem Megamix featuring songs from different generations that have themes of empowerment and freedom by the LGBT community. Donning their custom, monochromatic looks to symbolize each color of the rainbow flag, to their sparkly and glamorous solos, Manila Drag Icons is a perfect fusion of high drag fashion, entertainment and music.
Taking inspiration from Denali of RPDR’s “Chicago Drag Excellence” and the promos for RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars, Filipino drag fans have long been yearning for our own version of RuPaul’s Drag Race. DPH gives a taste of what Filipino drag artists are capable of if only we are given the right opportunity and platform.
Studio628, Drag Playhouse’s creative agency, launched Manila Drag Icons as its first official project with Sony Music PH. DPH has been providing platforms and shows for fellow drag artists since the pandemic and was able to do exclusive drag-related contents and virtual events for several companies like MCA Universal, Warner Music PH, ABS-CBN (Iba 'Yan), and Facebook PH. From their humble beginnings as an Instagram account with #KeepDragAlive, they have grown into a full creative team with a network of drag talents and production crew who aim to bring exclusive and premier Filipino Drag to more people.
Its CEO, Eva Le Queen—together with co-founders Marina Summers, Prince Marell and OV Cunt—envisions a new era for Filipino Drag. For a long time, drag artists have been confined in the walls of clubs and bars, commonly identified as female impersonators. DPH believes that there is so much more to the rich and colorful world of Drag and should be given the right representation.
The pandemic has opened a world of possibilities for local drag outside the clubs. Director Yan Alabado emphasizes the importance of Drag talents producing or taking a major part in production of drag-related content and materials. It takes another drag artist to understand the lights, visuals, and elements that bring out the best of such an artform.
The stellar and diverse cast of drag queens and kings in Manila Drag Icons include the legendary Electrifying Amanda, who has been in the industry for 25 years. Also joining the lineup are two of the most sought-after and premier Drag performers, Vinas Deluxe, and Cornerstone’s signed talent, Brigiding. Added to the absolutely talented cast is trans woman and pole dancer, Miss Jade So. Drag King, Alpha Venti, completes this epic collaboration.
The video was shot in Shutterspace Studios, with Niko Francisco as director of Photography, plus overall direction and editing by Yan Alabado. “It is important for people to have something to aspire to be and believe that you can be more than what you are now,” says Eva Le Queen. Manila Drag Icons hopes to open up more doors for local drag artists and entertainers in the mainstream and give more opportunities for queer representation even beyond the Pride month.
Photos courtesy of Drag Playhouse PH