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Baguio takes the Crown: Deja Wins Drag Den Season 2

Baguio-based drag queen Deja was hailed as the new winner of Drag Den Season 2 last March 7th, 2023.

Out of the ten drag queens from different parts of the country, Baguio’s Deja, Laguna’s Mrs. Tan, and Bacolod’s Moi were the top three finalists of the season. In the final episode, each candidate was given the chance to sell themselves to the judges one last time.

During the course of the season, Deja showcased what Baguio drag is and showcased the culture of Cordillera by incorporating it into her looks. In the semi-finals, each queen was asked to channel a Filipino female icon and answer questions on current issues in the Q&A portion. While others paid homage to Pia Wurtzbach, Hidilyn Diaz, and other female icons, Deja paid homage to the Philippines’ oldest tattoo artist, Apo Whang Od.

Deja sparkled in her custom tribal tattoo ensemble in collaboration with Lhee Whel Tokia, a Baguio-based designer.

On Instagram, she explained more about her look. She explained “While her cultural heritage is now recognized by the country and the world, this took decades of persistence for Apo Whang-od, resisting the forces of modernization and general disinterest that renders her ethnic art form obsolete. For an artist like me, she is a symbol of perseverance and bravery, of fighting for your identity and what you believe in.”

**Photo credits: Deja on Instagram**

 

Their final performance was judged based on the following criteria: 20% for national costume, 25% for dragdagulan – a lip-sync performance by the queens, 15% for the long gown presentation, 10% for the question-and-answer portion, and 30% for their overall performance for the entire season. The Drag Cartel judged the final episode including the show’s host and “Drag Lord”  Manila Luzon, “Drag Runner” Nicole Cordoves, and “Drag Dealer” Sassa Gurl.

“For me, being drag supreme, it’s a big responsibility. Kailangan mo maging voice to others, and you need to represent hindi lang ‘yung sarili mo pero the Drag Den brand talaga. I want to represent baby drag queens out there na wala masyadong spotlight,” Deja stated during her conferssionals.

After their national costume runway, the three finalists battled in the “dragdagulan” showdown, where they showcased their lip-syncing abilities to the song “Miss Manila” by Angeline Quinto.

At the end of the episode, Deja won as the new drag supreme, succeeding after the first winner of the season, Naia. She will receive a cash prize of 1 million pesos.

As the first Baguio drag queen to represent the city and win a Reality Competition on TV, Deja showed what Baguio drag is all about. Her victory became a milestone and opened the doors for other queens to showcase their charisma, uniqueness, nerve, and talent and make their mark on a broader platform.

**Photo credits: Drag Den Philippines**

~Adrian Paul Andiso~

 

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