Manila Luzon

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Manila Luzon
Manila Luzon Newspaper.jpg
Manila Luzon performing in May 2014
Born Karl Philip Michael Westerberg
(1981-08-10) August 10, 1981 (age 33)
Cottage Grove, Minnesota, United States
Residence Manhattan, New York U.S.
Occupation Drag queen
Reality television personality
Graphic designer
Height 178 cm (5 ft 10 in)
Partner(s) Antoine Ashley
(2006–2012; Ashley's death)

Manila Luzon (born Karl Philip Michael Westerberg; August 10, 1981[1]) is an American drag queen and reality television personality, a native of Minnesota who now resides in New York City. He is best known as the runner-up of the third season of RuPaul's Drag Race.[2] His drag name is a play on words of the capital city (Manila) and the largest island (Luzon) of the Philippines, where his mother was born.[3] His father is an American of German/Swedish ancestry.[4]

RuPaul's Drag Race[edit]

With a high sense of camp humor, Manila received high marks from the judges throughout the third season of competition. Highlights of the season included her win for a controversial impersonation of a Japanese reporter and forming the "Heathers" clique (the group taking its name from the popular cult film, Heathers) with fellow contestants Raja, Carmen Carrera, and Delta Work. She also won an emotionally charged lip sync against contestant Delta Work. Other memorable challenge wins included making over a heterosexual jock into his drag sister and making a couture dress out of paper money.

Career after RuPaul's Drag Race[edit]

The publicity generated by his 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. He has also 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 Laquifa Wadley and Alexis Mateo,[5] the dress he 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.[6] In 2011, Luzon, along with third season Drag Race contestants Carmen Carrera and Shangela Laquifa Wadley, appeared in a television commercial for travel-related website Orbitz.[7] In addition to the commercial, he and Shangela also did an entertainment news segment for US Weekly where they discuss current male celebrities and reimagine them as drag queens.[8] 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 he wore during his time on Drag Race. The doll, which was available via special order, marked the first and only time a Drag Race contestant has been immortalized as a doll.[9][10] That is until, two years later, a couple of fans of Manila produced their very own 3D-printed Manila Luzon doll.[11]

RuPaul's Drag U[edit]

Manila served as a drag professor on RuPaul's Drag U. Appearing in three episodes, he helped makeover a housewife looking for a makeover in the first episode. In his second appearance, he made over a lesbian contestant, while in his third stint as a drag professor, he helped makeover his sister Rachel.

RuPaul's All Stars Drag Race[edit]

On 6 August 2012, it was announced that Manila was one of twelve past Drag Race contestants selected to join the cast of RuPaul's All Stars Drag Race that premiered on the Logo network on 22 October 2012.[12] Paired with contestant Latrice Royale to form Team Latrila, the duo was eliminated in the third episode of the series that aired on 5 November 2012. Prior to the airing of the series finale, Manila (along with All Stars contestants Raven, Latrice Royale, and Tammie Brown) appeared in a television commercial for travel website Orbitz's new portal for LGBT leisure travel.[13]

MTV's Made[edit]

On 12 October 2012, Manila appeared on an episode of the MTV series Made where he 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 Parade.[14]


Manila Luzon performing "Best XXXcessory".

On 8 November 2011, Manila released his first single, "Hot Couture". His sophomore single, "Best XXXcessory," was released on 21 August 2012. His third single, "The Chop," a duet between Manila and Latrice Royale was released on 6 November 2012, a day after the episode that featured their elimination from RuPaul's All-Stars Drag Race aired. Along with other RuPaul's Drag Race contestants, Manila appeared in the music video "Queen" by Mimi Imfurst's band Xelle.[15]

Personal life[edit]

A longtime resident of New York City, he resided in Harlem with his boyfriend Antoine Ashley (Sahara Davenport), who was a contestant on the second season of Drag Race. Antoine died of heart failure at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore on October 1, 2012.[16]


  • "Hot Couture" (2011)
  • "Best XXXcessory" (2012)
  • "The Chop" (duet with Latrice Royale) (2012)
  • "Bring It!" (duet with Jinkx Monsoon) (2013)
  • "Helen Keller" (duet with Cazwell featuring Richie Beretta and Roxy) (2014)
  • "Lady Marmalade" (cover with The Heathers) (2014)


External links[edit]

Preceded by
RuPaul's Drag Race runner-up
Season 3 (2011)
Succeeded by
Chad Michaels & Phi Phi O'Hara