The Culture of Beauty Pageants in the Philippines

With the announcement of the winners of the Bb. Pilipinas Beauty Pageant 2014 last Sunday, the Philippines is once again looking forward to having winners in international beauty pageants. This is not at all surprising considering how well our candidates have been faring for many years in competitions like this. The national beauty pageant however and the tremendous interest of Filipinos in it is but a mere reflection of the culture of beauty pageants that has rooted in our country.

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Starting Them Young

From the various “Little Miss” contests held in noon time TV shows to the numerous small-scale beauty pageants held in every barangay, barrio, city, municipality, or province, it is pretty obvious how enamored we are with beauty pageants. Many mothers will do anything to “train” their young daughters to become future beauty queens. From the walk, the talk, the dress, the talent, and of course the physical appearance, it is not uncommon for hopeful mothers to spend to attain “perfection” of the beauty queen aura. Neither is it uncommon for mothers to train their daughters themselves.

Male candidates walking the ramp
Male candidates walking the ramp


Female candidates sashayed on the ramp like experienced beauty pageant candidates
Female candidates sashayed on the ramp like experienced beauty pageant candidates


A Beauty Pageant for Every Occasion

For every occasion held in local communities, there is bound to be a beauty pageant incorporated in there somewhere. This is quite understandable since beauty pageants can really rake in crowds which is usually sought in public events. Beauty pageants are also commonly utilized in fundraising activities and school celebrations. The wisdom of holding beauty pageants is especially evident in fundraising activities since most families will back up their candidates by buying tickets. Thus, a beauty pageant serves the dual purpose of raising funds and providing entertainment.

A local beauty pageant featuring young male and female teens for a cause
A local beauty pageant featuring young male and female teens for a cause

Impressive Record of Winnings

The Philippines holds an impressive record when it comes to winning in international pageants. Our country has won in all the Big Four International Pageants namely the Miss Universe, Miss World, Miss International, and Miss Earth. As of this time, the Philippines has 2 Miss Universe winners, 1 in Miss World, 5 in Miss International, and 1 in Miss Earth. For the past 4 years, the Philippine candidate has been included among the runners-up in the Miss Universe. We have a total of 9 major winners and 73 candidates who competed impressively by placing among the top.

My Say

I believe that the culture of beauty pageants in the Philippines is so deeply ingrained that removing it will somehow render Filipino life incomplete. I have no particular aversion to beauty pageants and in fact enjoy watching them. There was a time in my younger days that I would stay up watching beauty pageants up to the conclusion. The one portion that can make me cringe at times is the question and answer because it really makes me very uncomfortable to see and hear perfectly beautiful candidates crack at the pressure. I have to say that this is one instance that education can be a reliable asset but then nerves can still get the upper hand sometimes.

10 Comment

  1. Like you, I also had a phase where I’d stay up to finish the whole pageant, but now I just watch the Q&A part, and wait for the results or anywhere else. I also agree with you that removing beauty pageants from our culture, would feel incomplete.

  2. Start young depends on the parent. There are kids that are really beauty, talented and brain but can get into beauty pageant at an early age or not at all because their parents are not so supportive or just don’t want to get involve in this beauty pageant stuff.

  3. There are so many beautififul women in your country! I always admire them, because they have the flawless skin in the world. Here, in the States, beauty pageants are extremely popular and they have converted in a profitable business.

  4. Start them young, as what you’ve said and parents must guide their passion to excel especially the fluency in English language. Nevertheless, a constant training, etc…in molding them to become beauty queens someday.

  5. True! Beauty pageants have been a huge part of putting Filipinos in the map of the world and we are all so into it that it has already became part of our culture. That said, i hope those who won in the BB. Pilipinas bags as much as crowns and titles as they can. 😀

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