07 October 2008

2008 Amazing Beauties Philippines

They are not real ladies just like what you see parading in Miss Universe, Miss World, Miss Earth or Miss International.

You have heard it right. These are the contestants of the upcoming 2008 Amazing Beauties Philippines, a search designed for the transvestites and transsexuals.

Take another look at them in a news clip from the Philippines leading television network and know more about them in an article written by Dinna Chung.

Thank You, GMA 7 for this Video

By: Dinna Chung

WHAT is the essence of a woman? The logical answer is the ability to procreate and ensure the continuity of the human race. For some, being a woman is a state of mind.

Twenty-eight beauties recently competed in the fourth Amazing Philippine Beauties 2006. If beauty is the only requirement for being a female, then these beauties are definitely women.

The pageant actually features transsexuals, transgender people, transvestites and cross-dressers in a grand display of beauty and talent. The grand winner and her court are assured of slots in the Amazing Philippine Theatre Shows, which were inspired by the world-famous performances in Thailand. With the more popular performers in the shows getting as much as $100 in tips a night from tourists for photo-ops, the pageant is the most prestigious, one of its kind in the country. The grand winner will also compete in Thailand for the title of Miss International Queen next year.

Patricia Montecarlo, a statuesque former entertainer in Japan, bagged a number of special awards, including Best in Long Gown and Swimsuit, and was crowned Ms. Amazing Philippine Beauties 2006.

“I joined the pageant for the prestige,” said Montecarlo, who does bit roles in movies and has a furniture business.

The 25-year-old beauty said she started dressing up as a woman when she was 18 years old.

“My family is very supportive. I never had problems with acceptance,” she added.

Montecarlo did not need to join Ms. Amazing Philippine Beauties to compete in the Thailand pageant. A sponsor is actually paying her way to join and compete alongside the 2005 winner Armela Esguerra. This happened before she even signed up for the Philippine pageant.

“I really joined because it is very prestigious and recognized internationally,” said Montecarlo. “I want my business and career to be stable so I don’t have to work abroad anymore.”

Montecarlo is the typical Ms. Amazing Philippine Beauties contestant: beautiful, accomplished, articulate and talented. Most of the “girls” who joined the contest are college students or graduates. One of the semi-finalists is a third year Sociology student at the University of the Philippines. Their appearance is superior even by biological females’ standards. Most of them have careers and supportive families and boyfriends who love and accept them for what they are.

Amazing Philippine Theatre was established in 2001 to produce the “Amazing Philippine Show,” a theatrical variety show that features Chinese, Japanese, Filipino and Korean folk dances, song numbers, comedy acts, among others, performed by the most beautiful transvestites in the Philippines. Thailand pioneered variety shows featuring transvestites with Alcazar and Tiffany in Pattaya and Calypso and Mambo in Bangkok. These shows attract tourists from different parts of the world.

“The reason we put up this production is that we believe in the talent and skills of Filipino artists in acting, singing, dancing, stage production, lighting and costume design,” said Lee Jong Hyun, the theatre’s chairman.

The company employs 147 workers in various department housed within the Manila Film Center.

Lee said the company believes that the tourism industry will thrive even during these economically unpredictable times. In the past year, the shows have been watched by 280,000. Koreans are the shows’ biggest fans at 80 percent. Chinese, Japanese and local tourists also watch the shows.

The theatre has staged the pageant for the past four years in cooperation with the Pasay City Tourism and Cultural Development Office in an effort to attract tourists and allow transvestites and transgender people to realize their full potential.

“One of the objectives of the pageant is to uplift the way people look at gay beauty pageants,” said Lee. “We want society to accept transvestites and transgender people as productive individuals.