Queen for a day

In the previous months, the controversial issue was about Miss Universe Capiz Mariam Lara Ashraf, her handlers, and even the radio stations.

On October 25, Ilongga beauty queen Rabiya Mateo was crowned Miss Universe Philippines 2020 but was attacked by Miss Taguig Sandra Lemonon in her cryptic social media post.

Those events somehow reminisced my early 20s, during my employment with Bombo Radyo and Super Radyo, when I was invited as encomium speaker and proclamation speaker for school and barangay pageants’ coronation.

At the back of my mind, I cannot fathom the logic of spending money just make their daughter a queen for a day, unless they have plenty of money and they help their school to raise funds for a special project.

But how much the parents willing to spend to earn a crown for their daughter?

Here is an interesting account of how a Capisnon was willing to trade just to have a title for a day.

On November 19, 1952, the Daily Mercury, a daily in Australia, reported, “A young Filipino beauty has decided that being queen for a day is better than education. Philippine News Service reported that Georgonia Retilba of Capiz province on Northern Panay Island, mortgaged her home for about £110 (P616) to use in winning a beauty contest. She was crowned queen of the village festival and ruled the one-day festival. Asked why she spent so much money by village standards for a brief taste of glory, the girl replied: “After the years have passed, men will say Goni was once a queen and a memorable queen she was. Isn’t that better than being a high school graduate with nothing to do after, finishing your studies?”

If not for the pandemic, this month, parents are busy soliciting to their relatives, friends, and politicians for their children’s bid for Miss Christmas.

I do hope that if classes will return to normal, the Department of Education will review this kind of practice where children become the object of income-generating practice.

Why not tap the alumni, Sangguniang Kabataan, and the business community? Or held a fun run where the community involvement is engaged?*