Who do some Filipino pageant fans act so high and mighty, feeling entitled, and act like they are God’s gifts to pageantry? The Philippines’ success in pageants has bloated some of our egos and forgot what it feels to keep our feet on the ground.
While Filipino pageant fans have some of the best qualities any international pageant could want, but there is a dark side to our being the ‘best pageant fans in the world’… and that is we often think that because our reps are always winning, we are the best thing since sliced bread. For all our good qualities, we as a collective pageant fandom are our own worst enemies and could cause the downfall of our ladies.
OUR ATTITUDE ON SOCIAL MEDIA
Why is it that whenever there are live streaming on social media for pageants, one of the most visible whiners are us Filipinos? We complain that the camera is shaky, we complain that the buffering is too long, that the images are blurry, etc… And worse, we are always complaining that to the organizers how sh_tty their livestreams are. Whether it’s home grown Miss Earth or foreign-owned Miss Globe, some of the loudest whiners online tend to be Pinoy fans.Can’t we just be grateful for a live-streaming? The irony of that is that we also tend to be the ones begging for a live stream when there are no live streams available.
Add to that is how we like to tag pageant girls and orgs on social media on everything negative about them. Case in point how some fans called out the Miss Globe live streaming last year, that this year one of the organizers had called us out about it. It is no coincidence that even despite an exemplary performance by our rep, Filipino pageant fans’ negative attitude probably pulled her down in the eyes of the organizers and judges.
OUR ATTITUDE AGAINST PAGEANT ORGS & PEOPLES
And let’s not get started on how fans suddenly become pageant experts just by merely observing on social media. They become fashion experts even without knowing how the world of fashion works. They become expert trainers even without experience in training girls. These ‘fans’ would give their 2 cents of opinions as if theirs is the only opinion that matters.
Let’s take for example the recent episode of Cary Santiago on hi Facebook post. His mastery of his technique which is fabric manipulation is something unique to him, much like how Francis Libiran’s trademark is his architectural pieces and Michael Cinco’s dramatic flare and overly intricate beadwork. Let’s be clear here, fashion in pageants isn’t the barometer of global fashion. In fact, fashion in pageantry is actually lagging behind as mere followers of global fashion trends. Let’s take for example the fringe dress of Maxine Medina, that was forecasted to be on trend way back as early as 2014-2015; Stephanie del Valle’s and Catriona Gray’s pink colored gowns in December of 2016 were based on the 2016 color of the year – Rose Quartz – which was forecasted 12 months prior; the feathered gown of Rachel Peters was following the forecasted trend of ostrich and caribou feathers 6-12 months prior. Even Philippine fashion lags behind European fashion capitals in terms of being fashion forward. The Philippines, we follow fashion trends, we don’t make them. So it is futile to dictate that our girls should be wearing this or that, because Metro Manila lacks a fashion identity as compared to fashion capitals like Rome/ Milan, Paris, London, or even Tokyo, Hong Kong, Seoul and Singapore.
Unless pageant fans are financially investing on the ladies’s training, wardrobe and pageant preparations, we have to accept that we are just mere spectators and our opinions, valuable as feedback as they are, do not hold weight in the final decisions. The sooner that we accept that, the less we are to be entitled in our opinions.
OUR ATTITUDE AGAINST OUR OWN REPS
One of the most glaring negative character Filipino fans have is how easy is it for fans lately to dismiss a top 25/20 finish as a ‘loss’ in pageants. For the most part, the newest breed of Pinoy pageant fans grew up in the years that the Philippines are winning crowns. And they have thought that winning a title is easy and that if they missed making top 5 they they must be ‘losers’. These new breed of fans never understand what a real ‘clapper’ means, and that is to fail to make it to semis. These are the new breed of entitled fans, and they are most likely the toxic ones who think that the world, or the universe, owes them always a win. These entitled fans never learned that life does not simply gives you what you ask for and that you work hard for the success you yearn. And even for the most part, sometimes no matter how hard our reps train and work for a title, there are things that aren’t meant to be. Fans rarely see the difficulty that the girls go behind the scenes. And some Pinoy pageant fans are quick to judge and point out what was lacking from our representatives’ part, instead of being sensitive that they may be hurting on the loss as well. You can easily find comments saying ‘she was weak on this’, ‘she didn’t do that’, ‘her camp isn’t for this pageant’, etc… but rarely didn’t do much in terms of sending messages of support during the time our reps are competing.
The worst part is that we are all collectively guilty of partaking on the victories of our reps and rarely take part when our reps fail to win a crown. This is the classic, sawsaw kapag nananalo tapos hugas kamay naman pag natatalo.
It is difficult for us to say it but sometimes, Filipinos act like ingrates in the times that we are winning crowns, bringing home runner up titles and earning semifinal placements. Imagine how disappointed would we all be if and when we start missing making semis. When it would take 3-6 years to make a semifinal placement. When pageant orgs have moved on to other countries for fan support. It may be hard to fathom for this new generation of fans, but for the older and more seasoned pageant fans, we have gone through that time in the 80’s to the 2000’s where the only Alpha pageant crowns we have won were courtesy of Lara Quigaman and Karla Henry. Imagine having to win on 2 major crowns in a span of 3o years.
This is a wake up call to every Filipino pageant fan out there. Start accepting the fact that the Philippines is not the only pageant fandom that international pageants are courting. Just take a good look at our Asian neighbors. Thailand, Indonesia and Vietnam are creeping up on the territory that we once enjoyed. Unless Filipino pageant fans start acting more maturely, we are risking being the ‘best pageant fans in the world‘ to become the most toxic. Luckily for us, we are quick to learn and to adapt. Here are just some of the things you can actively do to step up and become the ‘only pageant fandom that matters‘:
1. Change your attitude. Start being less of an ingrate and start being more of a grateful proactive fan. This means being supportive of your girls without bringing others down.
2. Be involved! Start being active with your girls and their social causes. Ask your girls to be have a charity day of your own and involve everyone in her team and in your fan group to participate, donate or volunteer.
3. Don’t put others down even if they provoke you to go down and dirty with them. Block them and the noise they make on social media. Let’s focus on what our girls are doing and promote that.
4. Be gracious in defeat and humble in victory. Nobody likes a braggart.
5. When in doubt, always respond with kindness. That way you win people over to support our girls.
When we say that the Philippines has to re-calibrate this coming 2020, that means the Filipino pageant fandom as well. It means that we are as much as involved in building up our girls by being strategic with our message… and that is to say to everyone, “Look into our Filipina reps, these is what they do and who they are… these are the kind of winners you are looking for. These are the types of ladies that should win Miss _____________.“