The women serve as a prime example of what a Filipina should be like. A woman who is proud of her country and cares for her fellow citizens.
The Philippines is a country that prides itself in its people and culture. However, internationally, it is known for the two Bs: boxing and beauty pageants. Boxing and beauty pageants are quite at the opposite ends of the spectrum, but the country takes both very seriously. I personally was very intrigued by how passionate Filipinos are while watching Ms. Universe on Sunday. Every time Ms. Philippines moved on or even showed up on the screen, you could hear screaming and cheering from our kababayans. Even my parents who aren't very interested in beauty competitions were on the edge of their seats. I even caught myself feeling the thrill I feel when I watch the Super Bowl when Steve Harvey would announce who would move on.
Beauty competitions in the Philippines date back to Spanish colonial times where a tradition called Santacruzan was celebrated. Santacruzan is a festival that celebrated Queen Helena and her son's search for the Holy Cross. The prettiest woman was chosen to be the Reina Elena and being her was something to be prideful about. Santacruzan is still celebrated today by Filipinos at home and abroad. I participated in Santacruzan when I was twelve and I remembered not being so enthusiastic about doing it. I kept a smile on my face throughout the day, since I knew it was important to my mom. Looking back on it, I wish I knew what an honor it was to participate in the festival.
During the early 1900s, the Philippines would host carnivals that promoted US-Philippines relations. The carnival would also have beauty competitions where the Carnival Queen would help promote the country to foreigners. The Carnival Queen became more popular than the carnival itself. Beauty pageant winners are a source of pride for their families. Their faces are plastered on the walls in the city the women grew up in. The women serve as a prime example of what a Filipina should be like. A woman who is proud of her country and cares for her fellow citizens
The Philippines has a lot to be proud of when it comes to international competitions. The Philippines has won 15 Big Four international beauty pageants throughout its reign, including Catriona Gray who won Miss Universe 2018. Little girls everywhere have strong powerful women to look up to.