Catriona Gray has been recently crowned as Miss Universe 2018 and is openly passionate and articulate about her advocacy. It was her heart for giving that brought her to pageantry a couple of years back and it was the intensity of her passion that won over not just the Filipinos but also the universe.
While other countries religiously patronize sports and entertainment events like the Super Bowl and the World Cup, Filipinos are highly devoted to a different competition, beauty pageants. Despite its appeal fading nearly everywhere else, Filipinos’ love for the art of pageantry remains. Every year, it is almost as if the world seems to pause for Filipinos, huddling together to watch the glitz and sparkle of the Miss Universe competition. Office-based or home-based professionals, remote staff and virtual assistants, white or blue collared employees and even the common folks by the busy streets of the country, everybody tunes in to watch and support their queen, their representative, their identity win the crown.
Philippines holds several titles, throughout history, the country has garnered the top crown four times and has placed on the top five for several consecutive times without a fail since 2010. It is said that to excel in what you do, you must love what you do, may it be for passion, work, and even studies. The Philippines and pageantry is a shining example. The country’s love affair with its beauty pageant is long and needless to say, passionate. It dates all the way back to the 1908 Manila Carnival (organized to celebrate Philippines-US relations to exhibit provincial achievements in commerce and agriculture) in which a contest was held in search of the Carnival Queen. This quickly became one of the most anticipated events and was the budding stage of the Philippines’ relationship with the world.
The love for beauty pageants and beauty queens has a lot of factors, it is something that Filipinos are good at. Filipina beauty queens can attest to this, Pia Wurtzbach (Miss Universe 2015) had to try and win the local crown before finally succeeding. Catriona had to fail to win another crown before finally achieving her dreams. This says a lot about the Filipino community, they never fail to try; it allows Filipinos a sense of not only being capable and at par, sharing the stage with the rest of the world, but even a sense of victory, a feeling withheld from us for a great part of the history.
Even today, the Philippines is considered as an under developing country, a third-world country some might say. Filipinos never had the limelight to succeed in life in contrast to other neighboring countries, always the staff but never their own bosses. Seeing situations with a silver lining as Catriona Gray said, Filipinos are always making the best out of everything stark. Working two to three jobs, being Filipino virtual assistants, working remotely to earn more. Everything to make meets end hence watching and having a Filipina beauty queen to represent and succeed in a global platform is a huge hope for many and might be the best Christmas gift the Filipino could ever receive this 2018.