Manila Luzon

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Manila Luzon
DSC04010 (32850406613).jpg
Manila Luzon performing in March 2017
Born Karl Philip Michael Westerberg
(1981-08-10) August 10, 1981 (age 37)
Cottage Grove, Minnesota, U.S.
Residence Los Angeles, California U.S.
Occupation Drag queen
Reality television personality
Graphic designer
Height 178 cm (5 ft 10 in)
Michael Alvarez
(m. 2017)
Partner(s) Antoine Ashley
(2006–2012; Ashley's death)
Musical career
Genres Pop
Instruments Vocals
Years active 2011–present
Comedy career
Genres Blue comedy, observational comedy,
Subject(s) LGBT culture, Philippine culture, fashion

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

Career after RuPaul's Drag Race[edit]

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 Laquifa Wadley and Alexis Mateo,[5] 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.[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, she 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 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.[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, she helped makeover a housewife looking for a makeover in the first episode. In her second appearance, she made over a lesbian contestant, while in her third stint as a drag professor, she helped makeover her sister Rachel.[citation needed]

RuPaul's Drag Race: All Stars[edit]

Manila performing in May 2014.

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 Drag Race: All Stars that premiered on the Logo network on October 22, 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 November 5, 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 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 Parade.[14]


On November 8, 2011, Manila released her first single, "Hot Couture". Her sophomore single, "Best XXXcessory," was released on 21 August 2012. Her third single, "The Chop," a duet between Manila and Latrice Royale was released on November 6, 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] On September 30, 2014, she released her new single "Eternal Queen" to her YouTube account, which is dedicated to her deceased partner, Sahara Davenport.[16] The video received over 30,000 views in just under a week.[17]

Manila contributed to the compilation album Christmas Queens 3 (2017).[citation needed]

Personal life[edit]

A longtime resident of New York City, Manila resided in Harlem with her boyfriend Antoine Ashley (Sahara Davenport), 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.[18]

As of 2013, Luzon resides in Los Angeles, California where she moved to shortly after Ashley's death.[19] In November 2016 Manila proposed to her boyfriend Michael Alvarez, aka Mic J Rez. [20] On December 24, 2017, the couple wed at the Silver Bells Wedding Chapel, with an Elvis impersonator as the officiant.[21]


Studio albums[edit]

Title Details
Eternal Queen

Extended plays[edit]

Title Details
Hot Couture (Remixes)
  • Released: April 24, 2012
  • Label: Karl Westerberg
  • Formats: Digital download
Best Xxxcessory: The Remixxxes
  • Released: October 22, 2012
  • Label: Manila Luzon
  • Formats: Digital download
The Chop Remixes
  • Released: December 26, 2012
  • Label: Manila Luzon
  • Formats: Digital download
Bring It!, Remixes, Pt. 1
  • Released: January 17, 2014
  • Label: JRED Music
  • Formats: Digital download
Helen Keller
  • Released: January 28, 2014
  • Label: Peace Bisquit
  • Formats: Digital download
Bring It!, Remixes, Pt. 2
  • Released: March 14, 2014
  • Label: JRED Music
  • Formats: Digital download


Title Year Album
"Hot Couture" 2011 Non-album singles
"Best XXXcessory" 2012
"The Chop"
(featuring Latrice Royale)
"Bring It!"
(featuring Jinkx Monsoon)
"Helen Keller"
(featuring Roxy & Richie Beretta)
"Ice Cream"
(featuring Andre Xcellence!)
"That's a Man Maury"
(featuring Willam)


  1. ^ "Person Details for Karl Philip Michael Westerberg, "Minnesota, Birth Index, 1935-2002" —". 
  2. ^ RuPaul's Drag Race' Grand Finale: A Photo Recap Celebration,, April 26, 2011.
  3. ^ Getting Personal With Manila Luzon Archived 2011-10-02 at the Wayback Machine. from Next Magazine 5 May 2011
  4. ^ Twin Cities native competing on RuPaul’s Drag Race, premieres tonight,, January 24, 2011.
  5. ^ Red Ribbon Runway. 2011-07-26. Event occurs at 0:39. Retrieved September 20, 2016. 
  6. ^ Spargo, Chris (2011-12-01). "NOW: Red Ribbon Runway Auction". NewNowNext. Logo. Retrieved 2011-12-02. 
  7. ^ Orbitz Commercial - Rupaul's Drag Race Cast, YouTube; accessed September 20, 2016.
  8. ^ "See Brad, Rob, Jake, Zac Reinvented as Drag Queens!", US Weekly, April 25, 2011.
  9. ^ NiniMomo: Manila Luzon,; accessed September 20, 2016.
  10. ^ "Manila Luzon Gets Her Very Own Doll",, August 12, 2012.
  11. ^ "I Learned How to 3D Print a Drag Queen So You Don't Have To",; accessed September 20, 2016.
  12. ^ Ru Paul's All Stars Drag Race cast includes Jujubee, Latrice Royale, Manila Luzon Archived 2013-07-18 at the Wayback Machine.,, August 6, 2012.
  13. ^ "The Queens Take Vacation Back: Orbitz Behind The Scenes",, November 12, 2012.
  14. ^ "Manila Luzon Makes MTV Debut On 'Made' Friday, October 12",, October 12, 2012.
  15. ^ Spargo, Chris (October 25, 2012). "XELLE's 'Queen' Music Video Features Every 'Drag Race' Queen: Watch October 25, 2012 ● by Chris Spargo". New Now Next. Retrieved March 6, 2013. 
  16. ^ "Manila Luzon - Interview". Retrieved November 1, 2014. 
  17. ^ Manila Luzon – ETERNAL QUEEN. YouTube. September 30, 2014. 
  18. ^ Spargo, Chris. "Sahara Davenport's Family Releases Official Statement". NewNowNext. Retrieved 3 October 2012. 
  19. ^ Avery, Dan. "Manila Luzon Opens Up About Sahara Davenport's Death In Latest "RuPaul Drives": WATCH". NewNowNext. Retrieved May 26, 2016. 
  20. ^ Avery, Dan (2016-11-06). "Manila Luzon Proposes To Boyfriend In Chile". NewNowNext. Retrieved 2017-10-09. 
  21. ^ "Congrats! RuPaul's Drag Race star Manila Luzon got married in Vegas on Christmas Eve". 

External links[edit]