About Manila Luzon
Karl Philip Michael Westerberg ), better known by his stage name Manila Luzon, is an American drag queen, recording artist, and reality television personality. She is best known as the runner-up of the third season of RuPaul's Drag Race and as a contestant on the first and fourth seasons of RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars. Her name is a play on words of the capital city and the largest island of the Philippines, where her mother was born. Her father is an American of German and Swedish ancestry. Luzon is a native of Minnesota and resides in Los Angeles.
Manila has also contributed to the compilation album series Christmas Queens.
The publicity generated by her participation on the show brought many new opportunities to perform at various national and international LGBT events throughout the U.S. and Canada, including New York Pride and Vancouver Pride. She has been active in AIDS awareness and activism. After being featured in a Gilead Sciences ad titled "Red Ribbon Runway" with fellow Drag Race co-stars Carmen Carrera, Delta Work, Shangela and Alexis Mateo, the dress she was featured wearing was auctioned off by Logo in commemoration of World AIDS Day. Proceeds from the auction were donated to the National Association of People with AIDS.
In 2011, Luzon, along with third season Drag Race contestants Carmen Carrera and Shangela, appeared in a television commercial for travel-related website Orbitz. In addition to the commercial, she and Shangela also did an entertainment news segment for US Weekly where they discussed current male celebrities and reimagine them as drag queens. In August 2012, NiniMomo, a Long Island-based company specializing in poseable fashion dolls, released a doll in Luzon's likeness and wearing the now famous pineapple dress she wore during her time on Drag Race. The doll, which was available via special order, marked the first time a Drag Race contestant has been immortalized as a doll. Two years later, a couple of fans of Manila produced their very own 3D-printed Manila Luzon doll.
On 6 August 2012, it was announced that Manila was one of twelve past Drag Race contestants selected to join the cast of the first season of RuPaul's Drag Race: All Stars, which premiered on the Logo network on October 22, 2012. Paired with contestant Latrice Royale to form Team Latrila, the duo was eliminated in the third episode of the series that aired on November 5, 2012, placing in joint 7th/8th place. Their elimination was one of many who led to widespread criticism of the first installment of All Stars. On October 12, 2012, Manila appeared on an episode of the MTV series Made where she mentored a young man in the art of drag, allowing him to explore his drag alter-ego as he prepared for New York City's Gay Pride March. Prior to the airing of the season finale of RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars, Manila appeared in a television commercial for travel website Orbitz's new portal for LGBT leisure travel. After the season, Luzon was a playable character with Pandora Boxx and Yara Sofia for the "RuPaul's Drag Race: Dragopolis" mobile app.
On November 9, 2018 it was announced that Manila would return to All Stars 4, alongside fellow All Stars 1 Team Latrila team-mate Latrice Royale, but this time would compete separately against each other rather than as a team. Despite being one of the season's front-runners with three challenge wins, Manila was controversially eliminated by Naomi Smalls in the eighth episode of the season, which aired on February 1, 2019, ultimately placing sixth. On November 16, 2018, indie musician VELO released the single "Where My Man At," featuring Luzon and Drag Race season 9 and season 10 contestant Eureka O'Hara. The two also appear in the song's music video, together with Thorgy Thor, Ginger Minj and Trinity Taylor. She later appeared as a guest for the first challenge in the premiere of season 11 of Drag Race. On February 1, 2019, Luzon released her single "Go Fish" alongside its music video. The video features fellow All Stars 4 contestant Naomi Smalls, Luzon's husband, and the Heathers, a prominent clique of Drag Race 3 contestants featuring Luzon, Raja, Delta Work, and Carmen Carrera. Following the buzz of her controversial departure in All Stars, the video received more than 300,000 views in less than 24 hours, becoming the fastest-watched video by any drag artist. Luzon will make a guest appearance on General Hospital in late summer 2019.
A longtime resident of New York City, Manila resided in Harlem with her boyfriend Antoine Ashley , who was a contestant on the second season of Drag Race. Ashley died of heart failure at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore on October 1, 2012. Luzon studied graphic design at the University of Minnesota, Duluth.
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