Meet the queens of the Cebu drag scene, Kat Phischeur and Nicole Pardaux. Plus! Drag Race Philippines top four finalist Eva Le Queen talks about her first Sinulog experience.
There’s no denying that the behemoth that is RuPaul’s Drag Race has impacted queer artists everywhere, inspiring them to come out of their shells and brave the world armed with glitter, wigs, and heels. By making the show accessible to many, it became a powerful wave that changed the landscape of queer expression, creativity, and nightlife.
It was significantly evident in our local scene when even those outside our community were on the drag bandwagon when Drag Race Philippines and Drag Den premiered last year. “Drag shows on mainstream media have tremendously helped the drag scene here in Cebu,” says Kat Phischeur. “Before airing, drag shows in Cebu were almost non-existent. It launched so many drag queens that brought exciting opportunities and created quite an exciting and thriving drag scene in the city.”
We now have drag queens as LGBTQIA+ icons to look up to and uplift the community. “I am grateful for these shows because they have catapulted the drag scene in the Philippines. Now, Pinay queens are getting recognized for our charisma, uniqueness, nerve, and talent with a touch of flavor,” says Nicole Pardaux. As the queer spirit and passion for the art of drag get broader, the stage gets bigger and brighter.
An Introduction To The Drag Queens Of Cebu
Kat Phischeur is a drag queen that was born during the pandemic. She used those times to explore drag with the inclination to change the landscape of drag in Cebu. “Quite ambitious coming from a baby queen with no experience at all, but when you’re passionate, you’ll move mountains,” she says. Pischeur formed a community for Cebuana drag queens to meet each other, eventually becoming a platform for them and newer queens to showcase their art. “It led to countless opportunities that birthed a new era of Cebu drag where drag shows are more accessible in the city.”
Nicole Pardaux describes herself as Cebu’s favorite MILF. “A classy yet feisty queen who’s ready to conquer the universe together with her twins,” she says cheekily. Pardaux wants to show the universe what BisDrag is all about: a touch of classic and contemporary drag and a mixture of glamor from the past and the creativity of the future.
The biggest festival in the country is more than just a religious event, but an expressive way of celebrating magnificent culture and traditions. “It embodies the faith and devotion of the Cebuanos for the Sto. Niño. It also showcases the world-class talent of Cebuanos,” stresses Pardaux. Phischeur underlines the (possibly) first-ever drag-centered show of the festival in which she says, “In the years before, you’d only hear of raves with international DJs. Now, we have a drag show as an option with an amazing lineup of queens.”
Kris Sangalang (Kris Nuevo Events Management) and Jayce Calingasan (JaycEventz) added more flavors and colors to the glorious revels of Sinulog with Drag Sinulog, a spectacular show headlined by three Drag Race Philippines season one sisters: Minty Fresh, Lady Morgana, and Eva Le Queen; and featured six queens from Cebu: Kat Phischeur, Nicole Pardaux, Ledda Marmalade, Letina, Morpha, and Akiko Brown.
The Lowdown According To Eva Le Queen
“It was truly a celebration of Filipino Queer and Drag Excellence! The two-hour show was attended by an astounding audience that surprisingly sold out at the last minute in spite of other concerts and events also being held around the city. The producer of my Singapore show, who also came to watch, describes the experience as ‘very impressive’ and ‘of a different level.’ It was a proud moment for me to know that drag is being embraced and celebrated not just in Manila but everywhere.”
“Unlike Manila, Cebu does not have an established LGBTQ+ turf bar like O Bar, Nectar, or Club 690. And that is why I was really pleasantly surprised that in spite of it, the beauty and talent of the Cebuano Queens are of this caliber! Nicole Pardaux, one of the most sought-after queens, had only been doing drag for a year but could definitely werk a stage and serve MILF realness. Letina gagged the audience with pyrotechnics! And some queens brought in a full prod with queer backup dancers that had the audience floored all night. All I can say is, Cebu Drag has been underrated, and it’s been an absolute pleasure to share the stage with these amazing queens.”
“It was my first ever Sinulog experience, and it is as colorful and exciting as I imagined it to be! I guess what really makes it so festive and bright other than the colorful displays, is the vibrant and infectious energy and warmth of the Cebuanos. It was really the people I enjoyed most during Sinulog.”