Philippines Leading the Trail for Greater Inclusion in Pageantry
The Miss Universe Organization’s recent push for greater inclusion in its competition is sparking a ripple effect in the world of pageantry. In addition to welcoming participants of all body types, sexual orientations, and gender identities, age qualifications have been eliminated, allowing older and even married women to participate.
As a powerhouse in the pageantry world, the Philippines is leading the charge for similar developments in male pageantry. A few months ago, a new male pageant, King of the World-Philippines, was launched with the aim of attracting a wider demographic of Filipino men. The competition, open to participants aged 18 to 35, is the brainchild of events and pageant organizer Meg Perez, who stated, “Real kings don’t have to fit the young and good-looking mold all the time. It takes maturity to rule a kingdom, so who we’re looking for is not the typical heartthrob, but somebody who embodies the maturity and dignity of a true Filipino. Maturity can come at any point in a man’s life.”
With a staggering half a million peso prize package for the eventual winner, King of the World-Philippines has garnered strong support from the pageant community, as evidenced by the large number of individuals who have screened for the competition to become official candidates. “Wala akong issue sa pera, lalo na sa prizes. Bayad agad ang mga bata the moment they are declared winners. Ayoko sa lahat yung nagagawan ng issue yung pageants na kesyo hindi nagbibigay ng premyo, whatsoever. Hindi kami ganoon. Ayokong magkarron ng chismis kagaya ng ibang pageants,” Perez assured.
Meanwhile, award-winning male pageant guru Carlo Morris Galang announced on social media that he is seeking potential country directors to field participants in a new international competition called King of the Universe, which, like King of the World-Philippines, boasts a wider age range for participants (28 to 48).
As the two competitions fall under the same brand category, pageant aficionados are sensing some competition between the searches for “universal” and “world” kings. “Definitely, ito ay isang malaking competition,” Perez admitted. “Nasa organizers na yan kung paano nila ima-market o ide-deliver ang kanilang pageants. Basta ako, I will make sure that King of the World will be the biggest.”
The inaugural King of the World-Philippines finals are scheduled for January 28, 2024, while King of the Universe 2024 is set to crown its winners in June 2024.