What is wrong with Miss Laoag

Miss Laoag
“I am Miss Laoag from Isabela, and I am happy to succeed Miss Laoag from La Union.”

But first let me begin with what is right with Miss Laoag, lest I be accused of being a pessimist, a grinch, a KJ or KSP (No, dear friends, my lovely dog Lady Jaja Colleen has totally changed my worldview; this charming licker has taught me to find joy in the simplest of things, and so I have been thinking brightly these days).

Indeed, there are many things we are glad about the pageant, and first among them is its employment of world-class talents in its production team, foremost of them Randy Leaño, now Hawaii-based but who comes home every year to direct the grand spectacle; prodigiously talented Aian Raquel, the show’s creative consultant; and multi-awarded choreographer Rowell Tagatac. I am not only a friend to these three artistic mavericks; I am also a big fan. Should any university offer a Ph.D. in Beauty Pageant Production, these there must be given honorary degrees outright.

Another plus factor for Miss Laoag is its wide viewership. And organizers say there are now fewer viewers on site but more on television and on the Internet, especially this year when two rival cable television networks covered the event. “Are you going to Miss Laoag?” I have been asked this many times by a wide range of people—from my esteemed colleagues in the academe to tambays in my neighborhood. Surely, the event reaches a wide audience.

I did not go this year’s Miss Laoag. I would have wanted to see the magical, world-class stage they put up every year. Their set design has always proved to be a work of art that transports you to another place as good as, if not better than, the Miss Universe stage. I know that the organizers conceptualize the event many months before February, and that putting together the whole show is a product not only of talent and genius, but also of hard work and commitment.

Having said these, it should be clear that I am no longer, as I previously was, opposed to the holding of the beauty pageant as a fiesta activity. It does not matter to me anymore that millions are spent to stage the event. If you don’t spend the money for that purpose, it might end up being used for the construction of politicians’ mansions anyway, or for the purchase of more luxury cars for them. Better to spend it for something that, though ephemeral, can leave a lasting impression on our third-world minds.

It does not bother me anymore that there are more people who watch sexy ladies at the Ilocos Norte Centennial Arena than those who pay homage to St. William, our city’s patron, in the cathedral named after him. That’s the least of my problems, and I’d rather listen to candidates’ outrageous answers in the Q&A portion than hear priests speak against things they don’t understand, like sex (with apologies to priests who are sexually active).

Lastly, it does not disturb me anymore that politicians deliver long, empty, self-aggrandizing speeches during the night. I have downloaded a lot of games in my computer tablet, and many of them are still waiting to be played.

So, what is wrong with Miss Laoag? Continue reading “What is wrong with Miss Laoag”