02B7F: #DragRacePH - My Precious Paula Nicole Memories

Precious Paula Nicole

Metro Manila Community Quarantine - Day 887

During the first episode of Drag Race Philippines, Precious Paula Nicole mentioned in one of the confessionals that she has been a drag performer for over 11 years (and over 12 by now). As I've been going to O Bar with Tobie for over 13 years now, I turned to Tobie during the viewing party we were at and just smiled at this mention. We can't say that we were there at the very beginning of Precious's drag career, but I guess we've been there for most of it.

I think I first got to see Precious performing at O Bar in 2012 because, towards the end of that year, she blew us away with her gorgeous recreation of Kylie Minogue's Timebomb jacket. It was such a pleasant surprise, especially since Kylie isn't like one of the most popular pop performers out there (despite how much we love her) and so we wouldn't super expect the drag queens to perform her music at O Bar. But it was things like this that really made Precious stand out and we'd try to bond more after the shows were over.

I remember how proud Rupert was to have Precious there. He made sure to introduce me and Tobie to "Kyle" because he was excited to see how things would evolve. And we totally paid attention.

Things really elevated in 2014 when it felt like the O Divas structured the drag show to be, well, a show mostly for me. That night the show opened with their recreation of two big numbers from Sweet Charity (not the video from the night) and other songs from other musicals. The second set was a big Kylie Minogue set and I just couldn't believe it. And finally at the very end, Precious came out dressed like a cake to the tune of Katy Perry's "Birthday" song. And this was the very first time I had been pulled up on stage and the mental image of precious walking towards me with the "69" birthday candles on her crotch is forever ingrained in my memory. And as much as the show was the result of all the O Divas pouring their hearts out to create something phenomenal, Precious will always have a special place in my heart because of that moment.

And this...kind of became a thing for a while. In 2015 she pulled me up onto the stage in an upgraded version of her Katy Perry outfit. I have another photo in 2017 around the time of my birthday under similar circumstances. And while this specific Katy-Perry-Birthday scenario hasn't happened as much (because the O Bar shows are VERY different now), every time I celebrate my birthday at O Bar, I kinda half-expect, half-hope for Precious to come out to greet me on my birthday during the show. These days, there's a bit of a birthday moment on stage after the first set, which is still nice. But there's something uniquely powerful about having a moment in the middle of the show itself - and I'll always associate that with her.

This is just a story - a story of many similar moments. It's not the whole story of all the many reasons I love Precious or Kyle or Rodolfo given all the things they've achieved over the years. Tobie and I have had the unique blessing of being able to see this drag queen evolve into a drag artist. And we're even luckier to be able to consider Precious a friend. And hearing that one mention of her 11 years as a drag artists that sent me down this nostalgia trip.

We won't hide the fact that we're totally rooting for the one and only Precious Paula Nicole in this debut season of Drag Race Philippines along with a few other dear drag friends. Her prior competitions on Eat Bulaga, LOL Drag Queendom, and even different events on Kumu were all stepping stones to get to this moment. And should she become the Philippines' first drag superstar (by RPDR standards anyway), then it'll be totally deserved and well-earned. Seriously, she's already a drag superstar - the show is just allowing the rest of the world to find out just how amazing and talented she is. 

To be fair, I can see how any of the queens competing in this first season totally deserve to win the crown. But Tobie and I have the ones that we really hope will get far in the competition.

I'm both excited and scared for the future because regardless of the results of the show, I know a lot of things are going to change. And with my birthday just around the corner, I can't help but wonder if I'll still get a chance to have Precious come out dressed as a confection to personally greet me on my birthday ever again. And even if it may never happen because she could be touring the world or performing in other venues other than O Bar, I know I'm still going to half-expect and half-hope that the next song is going to be "Birthday" and Precious is going to come out from backstage and flash that smile that I know so well.

We love you, Precious. We love you and we're already so terribly proud of you. And we'll always support your career, no matter what happens.