Info

Filipino American Expat in Singapore

Television has managed to fuck us.

I can’t find a better way to explain it. We waited 42 years to experience a moment like this. You know, when the camera zooms in on Miss Philippines as she is crowned the winner of a pageant that is so embedded in Filipino pop culture.

The original selling point of Miss Universe, in my opinion, are traditions and production values. Parading around in a swimsuit may seem outdated (there are male beauty pageants, don’t forget)… but compared with the other shitty content out there… strutting your body on television is okay especially if you worked hard for it.

The idea of a honest mistake such as announcing the wrong winner at that pivotal moment can be a traumatic experience. People see it happen to the ladies on-screen: Miss Colombia, Miss Philippines. But how about the viewers who have invested time and latched emotions onto this pageant.

We wanted a piece of that magic when Miss Philippines gets to be announced as Miss Universe. Bringing us back to the sentimental 70s glamour that we heard and read about many times. Gloria Diaz in 1969, Margie Moran in 1973. Something that goes down generations, eh?

For some in my generation, we have wanted this so badly since Venus Raj mesmerised us in 2010 edition. We wanted to look at Pia and be with her at the exact moment she triumphs. Considering through these years what it takes to beat the odds– with strings here and there. We want that fucking moment!

Earlier during the telecast of Miss Universe 2015… we were all robbed of the entertainment value. SAD. Which makes it upsetting. The whole production was beautiful up until that point. The stage was huge, the host was great. Suddenly, Pia was robbed, Miss Colombia was robbed. The pageant turned into a circus. This wasn’t your neighbourhood pageant, this was THE pageant. Honest mistake really… While the “I have to apologise” line was said, the camera was showing the host next to a crowned Miss Colombia.

Could have zoomed in on Steve Harvey.

Someone could do more than wave at Miss Colombia to remove the crown. Many opportunities to go up on stage and escort Miss Colombia off.

GOSH. unReal. Some ratings prick is cracking his knuckles in satisfaction.

unreal

I guess some people were entertained. Those who wanted to “spice” up a pageant. But I wasn’t one of them. I was a damn sucker for tradition and it was ruined for me and millions of others.

word.png

The thought of it being potentially a publicity stunt made my stomach churn. Have we reached that point? Things to ponder on:

  • Why did they not protect Miss Colombia from the humiliation? They let her stand there and the camera angle kept Miss Colombia in-frame, reality-show style. REALITY SHOW… a woman’s dreams of celebrating her country being shattered on television. It was like an episode of unReal.
  • Why were some high-profile judges more keen on taking video of the humiliation than placing their phones down and *gasping*… as would be the most natural thing to do at that moment? Some quick to share it on social media. They already had their phones up and recording the moment the host was about to break the bad news.

What potentially troubles me is an obsession with effective publicity, marketing, and public relations over the original content. It’s like buried underneath champagne bottles and sugary words is the evil flip side of public relations… one full of deceit in order to serve a greater business purpose. Better ratings. More buzz on social media. More numbers. More advertisers. More money. At the expense of why we, the viewers, are watching this in the first place.

While we are finally able to celebrate a victory we have longed for, there are two takeaways. Both painful.

  1. This is a sharp reminder of where we should consider placing our pride.
  2. We got fucked by television this morning. Like seriously.
tumblr_lcu04s4V0O1qa1xnko1_500

The events today remind me of Madonna’s “American Life” video.

Pia, darling, we love you for being sweet and regal. Hope you get to be a Bond girl.

Miss Colombia… the feels! OMG. Really, seriously. You were gorgeous, that stage was yours too.

To the Filipino designers who did the gowns and national costumes… FINALLY… our own work on full display. ❤

MUO, whether intentional or not, mishandled or not, whatever… don’t turn into a circus please. Learn from this? I’m sure next year’s edition will be even more electrifying… hopefully not at someone’s expense.

Another thing that this whole spectacle exposed? The other attitudes behind-the-scenes. 🙂

My personal opinions do not reflect the views of any employers past and present.