In the Philippines, the making of “Miss”

Aux Philippines, la fabrique des «Miss»

MANILA — Rodgil Flores takes a look severe on her little troupe of young women in bikinis knocking himself out to take the pose in one of the studios lined with mirrors which will make the “Miss” beauty contest that the Philippines has made a specialty.

Perched about 17 cm high heels, the apprentice beauty queens are dancing on long strides, a difficult exercise, but essential to be able to evolve as well in a natural way on the day of the contest.

“For the crown. For the country”, is the motto of the studio Kagandahang Flores (Flores Beauty) that Rodgil Flores, 50, was founded in 1996. It was the first of the beauty boot camp — “training camp with the beauty” — who flourished from the Philippines.

With the coronation in December 2018 as Miss Universe Miss Philippines, Catriona Gray, the country has won this title for the fourth time.

Catriona Gray, as the Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach crowned Miss Universe in 2015, were trained in this type of “camps”.

Beauty contests are extremely popular in the archipelago. The more than 100 million people see it as an opportunity to forget a little the poverty, the natural disasters and the endemic corruption that plague the country.

Win a title of Miss can open wide the doors to the advertising, film or fashion shows.

“The increasing number of “training camps” has made the Philippines a real factory to the candidates for the beauty contest. This has made it possible to raise the level of training,” explains Rodgil Flores to the AFP.

Aux Philippines, la fabrique des «Miss»

The training is conducted six days per week, and sessions often last until midnight. It includes the years of the “duck walk” (walking in duck).

AFP, Noel Celis

A line of efficient production

The “camps” of Manila are a line of efficient production. From the circuit local beauty contests, students refine their know-how to aim high.

The Miss Philippines 2019, Melba Ann Macasaet, aged 25 years, took a leave of absence without pay from his job as a pharmacist in the public service to come in Rodgil Flores. It took him two weeks and many false steps in order to master the specialty of the studio, the duck walk (walking in a duck).

“I have participated in competitions since the age of 15 years,” she says, “I believe that every participant in a competition dream of being able to try to do that”.

The training is conducted six days per week, and sessions often last until midnight. In addition to the exercises of duck walk, it includes gymnastic sessions, makeup lessons and of course the more traditional to learn to answer concisely with complex issues. The last Miss Universe contest, participants were interviewed on the movement #MeToo, the legalization of marijuana or the refugee crisis in the world.

Each year, some 200 students flocked to the studio of Rodgil Flores. The training is free of charge for the citizens of the country, recruited in general in the beauty contest provincial. The costs are covered by donations from the beauty sector, and many volunteers come to help shape what they hope to see one day crowned.

Aux Philippines, la fabrique des «Miss»

Rodgil Flores with his troop of apprentices “Miss”

AFP, Noel Celis

“Lovers of the beauty contest”

“We gain nothing but we do this because we are passionate about beauty contests,” said Arnold Mercado, director and coach at Aces & Queens, another great training camp in the Philippines.

51 years old, he gave up the post of engineer in an oil company that he had served 28 years to devote full time to the training of the Miss. Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach, and Catriona Gray are among those he has advised.

Prior to the development of training camps in Manila, the candidate philippines the titles of Miss Universe and Miss World were sent to studios in Venezuela and Colombia, two countries also often successful. This was weighing heavy financially to the country, where 21 % of the population lives on less than two dollars per day and obtaining a visa would not necessarily self-evident.

Beauty contests are of particular significance to the Philippines, where competitions comparable have been held for hundreds of years in villages and cities, highlights Ric Galvez, coordinator of a specialist internet site based in the Philippines.

The beauty queens have a special status in the Philippines and take public positions on issues of national interest.

Catriona Gray, a graduate in musicology, having studied in the United States, was expressed during the contest in favour of the medical use of marijuana. Deputies have considered that this supported a project of legalization in the Philippines drug to cannabis.

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