If you’re a fan of RuPaul’s Drag Race, it’s impossible to forget about Filipina queen Manila Luzon. The Minnesota-born performer is known for her impeccable creativity and undeniable talent on stage. After being a runner-up on season three, Manila was called back for season four of RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars—with her standout flair, we aren’t surprised!
With that said, watching Manila Luzon live would be an amazing experience, don't you think? Thankfully, The SM Store is bringing The Manila Luzon Show to our shores to give us a chance to see her perform. The drag queen will make an appearance on November 13 at 4 p.m. in SM City Cebu—click here for the deets—and you can expect her to sing, dance, and crack a few jokes during her performance. But before you watch her sashay on the runway IRL, here are some fun and interesting facts you might not know about this queen after our own heart.
1. Manila’s given name is Karl Philip Michael Westerberg.
She was born on August 10, 1981, and is currently 38 years old.
2. Her mother is Filipina, born in Manila, while her father is of German and Swedish descent, making her technically part Filipino!
Despite being born and raised in the US, her drag name is based on her Philippine mother’s roots.
3. Her signature black hair and blonde streak wasn’t always her look.
The iconic ‘do was suggested to her by a fellow drag queen before she was cast for Rupaul’s Drag Race season three.
4. She hates durian.
In an interview with Huffington Post, Manila recalls going to Singapore back in 2017 and trying durian for the first time. She says even though she tried to mask the scent and taste with mints, she still remembers its horrible odor.
5. Her fans call themselves Fanilas.
They playfully coined the words “fan” and “Manila”.
6. Manila used to work as a graphic designer before she became a full-time drag queen.
She used to illustrate book covers for Barnes & Noble's leather-bound series.
7. She first visited the Philippines when she was 13!
She recalls the horrible traffic and could never forget, you guessed it, the SM Mall!
8. Her Filipino gay icon is Lea Salonga.
Manila says she’d love to do a drag version of Lea as Mulan.
9. Her favorite Filipino food is chicken adobo and pancit.
She claims that her mom’s chicken adobo is unmatched.
10. She’s a huge supporter of the LGBTQIA+ community.
When asked about the community, Manila only says one thing, “[Filipina drag] queens are always the most beautiful!” We second that, Manila!