After a long 10-year run of continuous placements in the Miss Universe pageant, should Filipino pageant fans be worried that our luck might be thinning out?
In just 10 years the Philippines has scored 2 Miss Universe titles, 4 runner-up wins and 4 semifinalist placements. As the proverbial saying goes “what goes up, must come down”. Has the Philippines used up its pageant luck in the last decade? What does this mean for our coming pageant queens and MU reps? That is exactly what we are going to be talking about in today’s blogpost.
Change is constant and nothing is permanent. The Philippines has enjoyed a renaissance in pageantry in the last decade winning one title after the other from different international pageants: Miss Universe, Miss Earth, Miss International, Miss Supranational, Miss World, etc… To think that this will not change anytime soon is naivety. As we know, there is a changing landscape in the Miss Universe pageant that we are seeing reshaping what it means to win the title. Let’s enumerate the changes we are seeing so far in the pageant that could affect how the Philippines’ chances are affected.
- Focus on Speaking Ability – with the pronouncement that the Miss Universe is looking for a spokesperson, everyone has to calibrate how they are selecting a national winner. This was quite clear in the latest edition of the pageant. No less than 5 instances where a semifinalist has to speak during the finals. This implies that a candidate has to have a strong command of the English language to be noticed in the competition. Fluency in English is now a strong requirement to be able to win the title.
- More Business-like/ Financially-driven MUOrg – this is so far one of the stark changes we’ve seen in the pageant over the last three years. Older franchises are dropped in favor of new pageant orgs that can offer higher franchise fees. This means that newer organizations are more aggressive to prove their merit. Anyone who can bring in more money to the organization is potentially given a positive spotlight. Does it have a bearing on the pageant scoring? Definitely not. But any positive spotlight can be worked to an advantage if the org and the pageant girl know how to play the game.
- Opening of Other Pageant Markets in Asia – after the MU pageant held in Bangkok in 2018, the MU found another cash cow country in terms of business opportunity and expansion. Vietnam is also opening in terms of opportunities for hosting. Both countries could offer other business opportunities such as endorsements and sponsorships. Even Indonesia’s annual hiring of the MU winner for an energy drink brings in revenue to the pageant. The Philippines has been able to bring in a Filipino swimsuit and skincare sponsor in the 2019 edition of the pageant. And with Nepal aiming to hold the Miss Universe 2022 edition, the field is getting more and more populated…
- Philippines’ Winning Record Creating “Crown Envy” – the Philippines has to be the winning-est country in the last 10 years of the Miss Universe pageant. That too glossy a record has definitely attracted a bevy of haters and envy fans questioning is the MUOrg is favoring the Philippines too much? In the interest of fairness, any pageant organization would start to diminish the chances of winning for that particular country just to preserve the delicate status quo.
With all of these factors in mind, a Filipina’s chances of winning the MU title has increased in terms of difficulty. No less than a tall, facially strong, physically proportioned and fit, advocacy-driven, impeccably dressed, determined and articulate Filipina has to be selected to represent the country in Miss Universe. In short, a Filipina rep has to cover all of these bases to be able to say her placement is warranted and earned – and perhaps for her not to be denied a spot in the semis.
The change in the direction of the wind means that a sailor has to adjust his sails. That is exactly what the Philippines have to do. How long do you think can the Philippines sustain winning in Miss Universe if we don’t recalibrate to the whims and wants of the organization? With how the country has performed in the past decade, the changing of the tides to favor new emerging markets could spell that the Philippines being the apple of the MU eye is over. Thailand, Vietnam, Puerto Rico, Colombia and other pageant crazy countries are emerging to take over. If we are to maintain our supremacy in the competition, then the Philippines have to be one step ahead of the competition.