A thing of beauty is a joy forever. This is why the arts and the entertainment industries thrive even in the most challenging times. Beauty is eternal and it’s one of the best things that our memories can keep.
Today, we’re going to discuss if not the most prestigious pageant for trans women in the Philippines, but one of the highly revered… Super Sireyna. The reason why it’s dubbed as such is that it is watched by more than 20 million tele-viewers in the Philippines.
All thanks to its platform, Eat Bulaga!, the longest-running noontime show in the Philippines.
Please know that this article wasn’t created to compare Super Sireyna with other beauty pageants for transgender women. It was made to inform our readers about what it is, its origins, and its mission.
The name Super Sireyna (formerly stylized as Super SiReyna) is a play of the Filipino words sirena (mermaid) and reyna (queen). It also popularized the term “sireyna” or “sirena” to pertain to trans women instead of the more popular and offensive colloquial term that most Filipinos use to address trans women which is bakla.
Although the word bakla itself is not derogatory as it translates to a gay man, it’s offensive in a way that it misgenders trans women when it’s used on them.
Who created it?
Super Sireyna was created, produced, and broadcasted by the makers of Eat Bulaga!
Why was it created?
Back in 1995 when transgender representation wasn’t prevalent, Eat Bulaga! decided to be the pioneers of showing the Filipino people how magnificent and beautiful transgender women are.
According to the official website, it’s a platform wherein the candidates flaunt their beauty, talent, and intelligence. It also helps show their prowess in the talent portion and the question-and-answer portion of the competition.
A brief history
Super Sireyna was a huge hit and it’s referred to as a breakthrough by being the first transgender beauty pageant on a successful national television program in the Philippines.
Apart from the name that the candidates use is the name of the female celebrity that they look like. This is why when browsing the winners, they have respective AKAs or aliases of celebrities.
Super Sireyna 1995 (the first edition)
The first-ever Super Sireyna is Lea Morena, AKA “Phoebe Cates” of Sta. Ana, Manila. She wowed the judges with her hula dancing talent and was crowned in 1995.
The judges when she competed were:
- Boy Abunda (journalist)
- Rugga Gutierrez (Miss World 1993 1st Princess)
- Gloria Diaz (Miss Univers 1969)
- and Melanie Marquez (Miss International 1979)
Super Sireyna 1996
Super Sireyna’s second grand winner is Carmi David AKA “Carmi Martin”. Up until today, she’s well-respected in the trans-pageantry community. Her runner-ups were:
- Gillian Sytangco AKA Beth Tamayo
- Maria Kirei Artade AKA Melanie Marquez
- Janet Maristela AKA Jenny Syquia
- and Pops Flores AKA Dawn Zulueta
Super Sireyna 2013
The fifth edition, also known as Super Sireyna 2013, is one of the grandest editions of the pageant. It was held in Resort’s World Manila. The pageant concluded with Francine Garcia, AKA Kim Chiu, as the grand winner with the title of Super Sireyna Queen of Queens.
The other grand finalists were:
- Marian Argulles – Queen of Asia
- Mae Andrada – Queen of Tourism
- Michelle Bermudez – Queen of the World
- Maki Eve Mercedez – Queen of the Sky and COO of My Ladyboy Date
- Bembem Radaza – Queen of the Ocean
- Aya Garcia – Queen of the Wind
- Ava Santillan – Queen of the Universe
Super Sireyna Worldwide
Apart from the local editions, Super Sireyna also had two international editions. Candidates were no longer only from the Philippines. Other candidates represented their home countries with the first international edition winner being Miss Sahhara of Nigeria in 2014.
The last Super Sireyna Worldwide pageant was held in 2018 and Nicole Guevarra Flores from the Philippines was proclaimed the winner. Her runner-ups were:
- Imanni Da Silva (Angola) – 1st Runner-up
- Miranda Lombardo (Mexico) – 2nd Runner-up
Rules of the Contest
If you’re a transgender woman who’s hopeful of becoming the next Super Sireyna, here’s your chance.
Who can be a candidate?
Trans women from all walks of life may join Super Sireyna. If you’re willing to showcase your talents, participate in the Question and Answer portion, and have the confidence to represent your true authentic self, you are a Super Sireyna material.
However, their height requirement changes from time to time. It’s usually revealed along with the announcement of their search for the next Super Sireyna.
How to be a candidate
Sending an application via e-mail or registering on their website is the norm. The standard way of knowing when the next search will be is to tune in daily to Eat Bulaga!
However, you may also follow their official social media pages. If you can’t find any recent content about the pageant, feel free to send them your query via their social media accounts.
What are the usual prizes?
Apart from getting exposure and broadening your reach, they also give out around 300,000 PHP (roughly 6,000 USD) along with sponsorships. These sponsorships can range from house and lot, car, dental care, skincare, gym membership, clothing, and more.
Before joining any beauty pageant, one must be in line with its mission and vision. If not, one will only vie for the cash prize and crown. The legacy will not be felt if the winner reeks of insincerity.
The makers of Super Sireyna and Eat Bulaga!, APT Entertainment, has one goal. It’s to uplift the image of transgender women in Filipino society. Because many Filipinos still think of trans women as taboo, the pageant helps in erasing the stereotypes that are commonly associated with trans women.
Super Sireyna not only showcases the beauty of trans women, but it also highlights their wit, talents, and goals. It lets people know that there’s more to trans women than just plastic surgery and partying.
Where is it?
APT Studios where Super Sireyna is held is located in APT Studios, Marikina-Infanta Hwy, 1900, Cainta, Rizal, Philippines.
When’s the next Super Sireyna?
There are no recent announcements. Feel free to send a message to the official social media pages of Eat Bulaga!.
How many days does Super Sireyna last?
Different editions have different timelines and durations. Before a grand winner is selected, several weekly winners are gathered first. The pageant may run from a month to 3 and more.
Notable Super Sireyna Winners
This list is not final. Feel free to write the name of your favorite Super Sireyna in the comments section below if we’ve missed including them.
- Francine Garcia – Super Sireyna 2013 Grand Winner / Actress / Model
- Maki Eve Mercedez – Super Sireyna Queen of the Sky 2013 / COO of My Transgender Date
- Trixie Maristela – Super Sireyna 2014 Grand Winner / Miss International Queen 2015
- Nicole Guevarra Flores – Super Sireyna Worldwide 2018 Winner / Social Media Influencer
- Miss Sahhara – Super Sireyna Worldwide 2014 Winner / International Model