6 Reasons Why the Best Filipino Pageant Fans Can also be The Worst

I first listed and posted Reasons why the Filipinos are the Best Pageant Fans several months ago. However despite being that, we are also vulnerable to the pitfalls of our own shortcomings.
I urge everyone to read this with an open mind, with reflective/ pensive thought. It will not be easy to read (or in my case to write) these as we are all guilty of one or some of it (yes you and I). Here are the six characteristics that Filipino pageant fans’ best traits could be overshadowed by their worst traits.

Quick to Judgement –  at times Pinoy pageant fans tends to make judgement without knowing all facts first or without making thorough investigations. We are far more inclined to believe what others say because it is easier that way. Sometimes we do not take context into consideration and only judge by the content. We don’t bother to ask tough questions like: why does she say that? What is her perspective on it? Where is she coming from?
Mob Mentality – just because one says a person is a hypocrite/ dumb/ narrow-sighted/ unfit everyone is easy to say the same thing and jump into the bandwagon. Worst of this is how we are quick to make viral other people’s mistakes on social media without taking clear facts first. Worst of it is how we insult other nationalities without realizing that we are just as guilty of flaws as they are.
Egoists (When Pinoy Pride Goes Wrong) – ever heard of the old adage “gracious in defeat, humble in victory“? We seem to get the first part right but not the second. This is most evident when arguing with other nationalities with less crowns as the Philippines. We seem to forget that there was a time that we haven’t gotten any major titles in the past. Life is a wheel, we may have passed the bottom and are now back on top…but we have to remember that what goes up has to come down. 

Labeled for Life – case in point the matter of Mariel de Leon on the Reproductive Health issue where the country is running out of contraceptives (except for condoms). People are easy to bash her because of her previous ideology on Mocha Uson being fit (or unfit) for a 6-figure salary by the government. People tend to forget the issue was not about Mocha but RH. Then the case of Pia Wurtzbach being on the curvy side when she won Miss Universe Philippines. Of course we all know how she was called a “pig” only to be on top shape come MU. People change and evolve, that simple fact is easily forgotten by most of us.
“Them Vs Us” Mentality
– this is the proverbial “if you are not with us, then you must be against us”. For a number of Filipinos, there is no gray area, it’s simply black and white. This is very evident during the national pageants where fan groups seem to delineate those that support their girl against those who doesn’t. And if you happen to support more than one, then you must be a “spy”.
Crab Mentality – one of our worst traits as a people. We maybe the ones who would exult our reps to the highest of pedestals but we are also the same ones who would bring her down if she doesn’t suit our taste/ preferences/ ideologies. It should be a simple matter to support anyone that carries the Philippine flag or the Philippine sash because that person/s is a representation of us, collectively as a people.   

While no pageant fan can claim to be perfect, it certainly helps to know our own dark side and decide which side do we choose to be. These are all very hard pills to swallow, but we have to know both our good and bad sides to know how to balance.
This blogpost is not meant to insult or invalidate Filipino pageant fan’s contributions to pageantry, far from that. This post is to serve as a reminder that despite our good sides, we also fall prey to our own bad sides… that sometimes our worst enemies are our own selves.


Why the Filipinos are Among the Most Important Pageant Fans in the World

In our guesting with CNN Philippines’ On the Record: Winning the Crown special, one of the things that the panel have discussed was how the Filipino pageant fans are the best pageant fans there is, if not most spoiled fans in pageantry even. Come to think of it, we are spoiled because we are the best pageant fans…. and why is that? Here are some of my thoughts.

The Filipino pageant fans are:
1. Global Citizens – with the Filipino Diaspora to the four corners of the world, there is a Pinoy pageant fan anywhere you go. There is what you can call the ‘Kabayan’ spirit that exists in most Filipinos abroad, that kinship of sorts anywhere you might possibly be. Geographically diverse/dispersed, that is one of the advantage of the Filipino because there will always be people who will cheer for Miss Philippines in any pageant anywhere she goes.
2. Marketing Machines – the Filipinos are arguably the one nationality whose appetite for social media outlets is the most voracious. Our presence virtually online eclipses any other nationality. And that is huge machinery for marketing and PR thru word of mouth promotions. If the Pinoy fans unite and come together, we can make anyone the trending topic on any social media platform: Facebook, Instagram and Twitter (the SocMed Trifecta), even on lesser known Mobstar.
3. Solid Block Voters – we call this the ‘Bayanihan spirit’ that innate urge to help one another simply due to their Filipino roots. And we can do this on a massive scale being global citizens that we are. Just look at how the pageant fans supported Pia Wurtzbach thru online voting or how Filipinos rallied for Catriona Gray on Mobstar (it actually took 2 countries voting for a candidate plus and endorsement of a movie star for Mongolia to beat Catriona via the Mobstar voting). These are proof enough that the Pinoy fans are not to be trifled with.
4. Fair Supporters – bring any pageant to the Philippines and there is a fair chance that other candidates will get support from Filipino fans. In the recently held Miss Universe pageant, you can see that support given to girls from Sierra Leone, Venezuela, Malaysia, Haiti, etc… Each of the girls is given fair share of cheers and applause, all the candidates have to do is to be nice to the fans.

While there is a danger for Filipino fans to be overly boastful and rude, a vast majority are actually passionate and well-mannered. It is my hope that such power and influence isn’t abused. Nevertheless, it would be a huge mistake to ignore such a crowd.
The Philippines is one of the biggest consumer-market of pageants in the world, if not possibly the biggest and loudest both as live audience and online. Those are possibly the main reasons why international pageants love the Philippines so much. It is no wonder that the Miss Universe pageant offered the pageant to be hosted once more in the Philippines this 2017 edition… a pageant loss that the Miss World just let pass. This is perhaps the reason why international pageants could not afford to ignore Philippine reps, because aside from the fact that they come in prepared and ready, they are also backed by the best pageant fans in the world.

Opportunity Losses of the Miss World Pageant in the Philippines

The Miss Universe pageant has just been finished and I just couldn’t help but wonder if the Miss World organization is thinking of the opportunities they lost had they crowned the Filipina bet last December. We can agree by now that the Miss Universe staging in manila has to be the best pageant (from arrivals, to their provincial visits, to pre-pageant activities to finals) in years. We wonder if this would have been the same treatment Filipinos could have served if the Miss World pageant is held in the Philippines.

Had it been that a second Filipina Miss World was crowned last December, it would have made it easier to have the pageant brought to Philippine shores. Here are the three biggest opportunity losses that the Miss World would have gained:
1. Hosting the MW pageant in the Philippines – had it been that the Miss World org crowned Catriona Gray as Miss World, the hosting in the Philippines would have been more possible. With the recently held Miss Universe pageant in Manila, the MW would have been treated to a wondrous pre-pageant activity and coronation show. The country boasts of 7,107 islands that would have made the pageant proud and exciting to visit for the girls. The candidates would have been treated like royalty and the pageant would have held a strong foothold in the country.
2. A World-Class Production and Show – the Filipinos just love a good show, much more if it is a great one. It may have been easier to bring in talents from abroad, talents that are well-known like Bruno Mars or Nicole Scherzinger. Or since the MW is more traditional in approach, the Philippine Madrigal Singer or the Bayanihan & Ramon Ubusan Dance Troupes would have provided a local flair to the event.
3. The Global Reach & Following of the Filipino Fans – I believe that the Miss World has passed up a huge opportunity in terms of how the Philippines could have promoted the pageant on a global scale that Filipinos around the world would have made possible. I believe this is the biggest loss and the most lasting one.

Water under the bridge, some could say that but it would be a question that could haunt the MWOrg in years to come.

* photos credit to owners

Top 5 Reasons why the Philippines is a Miss Universe Country

Ever wonder why the Philippines is such a Miss Universe country? Why Filipinos all over the world would travel to any host country just to watch the pageant live? Why despite different timezones, Filipinos would wake up at god-forsaken hours just to watch the pageant live via television or even streaming? What make the Miss Universe pageant so addictive to Filipinos that they love the pageant so much?

Well here are just several reasons why Filipinos have deep seeded connections with this pageant.
1. The Glamour – this is undeniably one of the biggest reasons why the Miss Universe is the most followed competition by the majority of pageant fans. Who could ever forget how the MUOrg eleveated the simple candidate profile pictorial to the glamshot that everybody eagerly anticipates? Or how the website is updated with countless candidate pictures in their evening gowns and swimsuits aside from their glamshots? Or how about the lavish traditional (and even non-traditional and modern) national costumes that we see the ladies prep for? Not to mention the gowns and opening dresses that provide all the glamour to the pageant. These are what keeps every pageant fan glued to their laptops and computers awaiting the next salvo of photos and who among the girls had the best photos or the most number of likes/ shares in Facebook.
2. The MU Entertainment Factor – undeniably, the pageant is one of the most awaited entertainment showcases on television. It has all the glitz & glamour of a fashion show, the competitiveness of a TV reality show, the showmanship of an awards show and the musicality of a Broadway show, all combined in one tight package. There is drama and excitement in its live telecast and you can feel the energy jump through your TV screens… and every Filipino pageant fan is a lover of all that flair, the pomp and pageantry. The multitudes of festivals and fiestas dotting the country is proof of that.

3. The Philippines and the US have a shared history together – if you don’t believe Miss Universe Pia Wurtzbach’s top 5 Q&A then just go back to the country’s history. The kinship of these two countries forged a tight bond like its other former territories. This is much like the Miss World has a special bond to former British colonies like India, Australia and several other commonwealth kin. The MU has been generous to former territories like the Philippines and Puerto Rico. The Philippines is one of the colonies of the US in the early 20th century. It is said that aside from education and the love of basketball, the US brought the beauty pageant culture in the country. In fact, the Carnival Queen one of the first beauty pageant in the Philippines was a celebration of the two countries’ friendship.
4. The Philippines is one of the ‘Winning-est’ Countries in Miss Universe – the Philippines is currently ranked in the top 5 most wins and this is why the pageant is followed by a lot of Pinoy fans. With 3 crowns, 9 runners up and 8 semifinalists, the Filipinos enjoy how our reps are successful in the pageant. Knowing that our girls have a shot at winning the title allows more pageant fans to be in love with the pageant. It is one of the pageants where the winners are always deserving (yes, there were object-able winners in the past, but they were never undeserving of the title). And this is why Filipinos continue to flock around their TV screens to watch this annual beauty Olympics, and now Pinoys can watch it live in Manila on January 30th.
5. Fan treatment by the MUOrg – in the cases that I have covered the pageant live, I have seen how fans are treated as important by the MUOrg. They would allow fans to take videos, snap pics and even take selfies with the girls. Add to that is the statement by the MU president herself that the best pageant fans in the world are Filipinos. You would really feel that you are a VIP in the pageant when you can have selfies with Paula Shugart, Lu Sierra, Shawn McClain and the rest of the MU officials and personnel… not to mention the fact that the Miss Universe allows pageant fans to be as loud in their cheers for their favorite ladies during the finals night. This is arguably one of the top reasons why the Miss Universe is loved by Filipinos.
Care to add more?