Five times Marina Summers showed the world the best of Philippine culture

Marina, who was the runner-up in the inaugural season of Drag Race Philippines, made it to the UK edition’s final four.

For the past two months, Marina Summers has been making headlines for her remarkable journey on RuPaul’s Drag Race UK vs. the World

The 27-year-old is the only Asian representative in the show’s season and is the first drag queen to represent the Philippines in an international edition of the Emmy Award-winning series.

Despite not making it to the final lip sync battle, we can all agree that she sashayed her way to everyone’s hearts and made legions of new drag race fans along the way.

More than the finals appearance, though, Marina’s efforts to showcase the best of Philippine culture and talent throughout the world and beyond the hallowed walls of drag race has surely inspired a new generation of talented drag artists to follow in her footsteps.

Here are some of her most memorable looks in Drag Race UK vs. the World which scream “Pinoy Pride.”

1. Bangus-inspired terno

Marina Summers wearing a bangus-inspired Axel Que terno.
All photos from Drag Race UK BBC’s Instagram account

In episode five the runway category was “When I Glow Up,” where the queens were tasked to wear an updated version of a previous look. Marina showcased a “redemption look” of the bangus terno she wore in the first runway of Drag Race Philippines season one.

Marina more than redeemed herself as she set the runway aglow with what is arguably her best look of the season—Axel Que’s shining, shimmering, splendid bangus-inspired terno (because Pinoys love bangus!).

RuPaul was so impressed with Marina’s look that she famously said: “You were born to be on stage; you were born to do drag. You have represented, not only the Philippines but [also] Drag in such a way that it makes us all proud [of] you.”

2. Yakan pre-wedding look

Marina wearing a traditional Yakan wedding look by Zamboangeño designer Erich Miñoza.

Episode 7 saw Marina shining the spotlight on a lesser known but no less vibrant aspect of Philippine culture—Yakan weaving—with her traditional Yakan wedding look by Zamboangeño designer Erich Miñoza.

The Yakans are indigenous inhabitants of the island province of Basilan. Their weavers are considered some of the finest not only in the Philippines but in Southeast Asia. Yakan weaves are known for their meticulous, intricate, and colorful designs that reflect a culture that is just as rich and layered.

In the episode, Marina said: “From Luzon, to Visayas and now Mindanao. I meant it when I say I wanted to represent the entire country.”

3. Cordillera rice farmer

The drag queen wearing an ensemble by Roman Sebastian made with traditional textiles from the Cordilleras.

For the first-ever runway of the season, Marina honored her roots having grown up in Cagayan Valley by sporting an ensemble inspired by the Banaue Rice Terraces. Her outfit, made by fashion designer Roman Sebastian, made use of indigenous textiles from the Cordilleras.

The Bambang, Nueva Vizcaya native complemented the look with a basket containing palay and a palayok-inspired hairstyle created by wig stylist Margaux Bertrand.

In the episode, Marina wittily said to RuPaul: “They don’t only serve rice, they also serve looks.”

4. A dose of Philippine pop culture

The second episode saw the contestants coming up with three “sickening looks” for the Happy Ending Ball, featuring the categories Lady Prince Charming, She-vil Queen, and Drag to Riches Eleganza.

For this challenge, the Pinoy drag royalty paid tribute to the origin of her name—the 2004 ABS-CBN series Marina starring Claudine Barretto.

For the first look, Marina showcased Ehrran Montoya’s mesmerizing “Lady Prince Charming,” named after the protagonist of the hit primetime show.

Then came the Leeroy New-designed costume for the She-vil Queen category which is a tribute to Dugong, one of Philippine television’s most notorious (and chuckle-worthy) villain. New made the costume using multiple layers of fabric and had a silicon finish to give the illusion of wet skin.

The last look was made by Marina herself, a lovely blue velvet mermaid ensemble that’s impressive considering it’s her first time sewing a gown.

5. A nod to Philippine pageantry—and volcanoes

Marina dons her version of Catriona Gray’s winning gown also by designer Mak Tumang.

For the third episode, Marina donned her version of 2018 Miss Universe Catriona Gray’s winning lava gown. The dress was made by Mak Tumang, the same fashion designer who made Catriona’s now-iconic evening gown.

Marina set the runway ablaze, unveiling the fiery gown as she stripped off her structured volcano-inspired outer dress by Job Dacon. Completing the look was a custom headpiece by jewelry designer Manny Halasan.

On the gown, Marina quipped during the episode: “This look is inspired by the Philippines because we have a lot of active volcanoes. Come on, education!”

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