Pageantry Thriving Amidst Crisis Pageant Industry Embracing Change
Samantha Thea D. Abiera
The arena is filled with pounding hearts, blinding lights, and thunderous applause and yells from the crowd as gorgeous and confident Filipinas emerge off the stage, ready to bring home the crown--this was the state of beauty pageants prior to the pandemic. Everything changed when the crisis hit, it did not only challenge the event organizers, but also the determination of the contenders to do most of the work by themselves.
PAGEANTRY IN THE NEW NORMAL
“The restrictions brought about by the new normal made it [the preparations] a little difficult, we had to take swab tests every time there’s an activity, but eventually, we got used to it, shared Ann Roxal Palmares, Miss World Philippines-Iloilo City 2021.
Palmares took home the award for Best in National Costume with her batch-inspired dress from La Paz during the competition. In an interview with the Augustinian, she talked about her preparations for the epidemic and the difficulties she had along the way.
“The preparations were difficult during this pandemic, especially since we were limited with time and resources. In pageantry, you usually have to build your own team, and having one is not enough, at least for me. It is just something that would help us politically in the pageant, but when it comes to more concrete and specific training, you need someone you can trust from your pasarela, styling, make-up, Q&A, or question and answer, photoshoot, personality development, etc,” explained Palmares.
PASSION AND PURPOSE The challenges brought about by the crisis did not become a hindrance to Miss Philippines Earth Water 2021, Rocel Songano. Instead, it motivated her even more to join pageantry as the event has not only helped her as a person, but it has also become her stepping stone in taking action to change the world through her advocacy which is the preservation of the Iloilo River. She also shared how she struggled to identify what her purpose was.
“I really asked and prayed to God [about it], and there was a sudden magical moment where I felt like he placed his hands on me and equipped me with all that I needed saying that I can do it.” Expressed Songano.
The week after the experience, she received a message inviting her to join Miss Philippines Earth 2021, that was then she realized that the purpose she was searching for was in pageantry.
VOICE FOR THE VOICELESS
There is more to pageantry than the glitz and glam. People perceive the event as a showcase of beautiful, confident, and intelligent women from various cities and provinces, but for Iloilo City’s Aliwan Festival Digital Queen 2021 representative, Coleen Beatrix Alcarde, the competition paved the way for the voice of the voiceless to be heard. She emphasized the relevance of the competition even amidst the crisis by stating, “The pageants right now are our way of really bringing our voices out there and I am grateful to be part of it and the wonderful women who are really striving to make a difference in the world. Maybe someday that difference that they introduce in the world to society will become a norm and be very helpful for us.” said Alcarde.
Even to this day, misogyny and gender stereotypes exist. People perceive women as weak and soft and that they’re only good for being a housewife and keeping the family in pack— but there is more to women that just how the society views them as pageantry has paved the way to prove them wrong. Pageantry is not just inspiring and motivating women to feel confident on stage but it has also become an avenue wherein, they can utilize their voices to make a change in the world through advocating on social issues that are not taken much attention by the people of power.
In the midst of the global crisis, the pageantry continues to strive to put its mission into action through the empowered women behind the success of every event.
Published: April 25, 2022