On beauty contest and santacruzan

This is a Blog i have writen for a Dutch Pinoy magazine Tribe1946

Believe it or not, in the Philippines, beauty contest is already a significant part of the Filipino culture. It has become a mainstay of Filipino existence, a symbol of national identity and a source of enjoyment and pride.

I myself always feel so excited every time I got the chance to watch international beauty contests and just like everybody else wish for my country’s representative to bring home the crown or at least land in the
finals. But the Philippines has been most successful in international competitions producing two Miss Universe, Gloria Diaz<1969> , Margie Moran <1974>, three Miss International Gemma Cruz<1964>, Melanie Marquez<1979> and Precious Lara Quigman,2005>, not to mention 14 runner up places and
ranking number one having the most Miss Photogenic Awards. All over the world, beauty competitions are common place but the Philippines is a country with most number of pageants. We have three Binibining Pilipinas, one Mutyang Pilipinas and five Miss Philippines that are crowned every year to represent the country in international competitions. This is not even counting so many “Miss What-Ever” or  the other “Miss Gay” proclaimed and paraded in every town fiestas or just anywhere around the globe where
Filipinos have settled home. Here in Holland alone, where close to 17,000 Filipinos are living has more than ten Miss and Mrs.Pinays and Little Miss Philippines chosen yearly.

The title of being a Beauty Queen corresponds to popularity, admiration and respect and that is the reason why a lot of determined young ladies aspire to be one. Part of Philippine culture are Fiestas and Santacruzan or Flores de Mayo and most celebrations are in the month of May and no festivity is completed without a beauty contest. A beauty contest is a competition mainly though not always entirely,  on the physical beauty of its contestants and often incorporate personality, talent and answering questions with wit and
intelligence as criteria. To understand the importance and craziness of beauty pageant in the Philippine society, I think we need to examine it’s history. It looks back to the 300 years of Spanish occupation. Within
Spanish culture, it was a common place for beautiful Espanolas and Mestizas to be paraded on main street avenues during   Santacruzan. The most beautiful daughters of aristocratic families are dressed up with lavish costumes and ternos and crowns parading with handsome consortes. They end up
to the house of the Hermana Mayor and sumptuous foods like lechons are serve and pabitins are done to generally celebrates the joy of life and femininity. From this elaborate beginnings develop the modern day beautypageant. Anyway, do beauty contest really serve a purpose in today’s society? Does this perform a relevant function in our community? Time and again, beauty contest have been criticized for the weight they place on the physical attributes of a woman. Most now feel that it is morally degrading, and sexist, even. But what many neglect to see is that beauty pageant actually deserve a higher purpose. I think it is a way for beautiful and ambitious young woman who aspire to ascend to the top of their career ladder and serve as role models. I support upcoming girls not because I am in the beauty industry but because I like them to pursue their goals which is very important to me. I feel everyone should have a chance to aim for their dreams. I have mine and was once a beauty queen too!

Jitty Vasquez Dela Cruz

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