Fall 2020 Hero Queen: Ongina says "Hieee" to DS

Drag queen royalty, Ongina talks her Drag Society box
Ongina talks her Drag Society box, her inspirations and life after RuPaul's Drag Race

Not only is she "Drag Race" royalty, but she's officially a member of the Drag Society royal family too!

Fifth-place finisher Ongina made history on the first season of Rupaul's Drag Race. Her experimental looks and big heart made her a fan favorite on the show.

After winning the season's Mac Viva Glam challenge, Ongina revealed she was HIV positive in an emotional speech.

"You have to celebrate life," she said to a tearful show's panel. "You keep going, and I keep going."

Upon her elimination, Ongina turned her efforts toward activism. Using her platform, she partnered with amFAR for the Epic Voices: Countdown to the Cure Campaign.

The campaign aims to raise awareness of HIV among LGBTQ+ youth and discuss the urgent need to support HIV research to find a cure.

Ongina is known to dabble in different projects across the entertainment spectrum.

In 2009, she made a cameo in the music video for "I Gotta Feeling" by The Black Eyed Peas. Ongina also appeared in different episodes of the WOWPresents web series; including Fashion Photo Review, Wait, What? and others. However, performing is still a big part of her life.

"The best part about being onstage is the energy of the audience," Ongina said. "It gives me so much joy to perform with that force and it makes every stage performance special."

The experienced queen is no stranger to the spotlight, as she has been performing since 2005. When asked for some advice she'd give to aspiring drag stars, she says it is important to be authentic.

"Do it for the art, seriously.  Don't do it because you want to be on TV."

This summer, our bold, bald queen appeared alongside fan favorites in "Drag Race: All-Stars 5." While she finished ninth overall, she said it was an honor just to share the stage with some familiar faces again.

When it comes to her persona, Ongina said she sees a lot of similarities between her everyday personality and drag queen ego.

"I've always been friendly, outgoing, and creative," she said. "I am me when I'm in drag."

From her authentic stage name to her All-Stars 5 queens‚Äô entrance looks, Ongina's Filipino heritage has always played a role in her craft. However, she says she found herself experimenting more with her roots and modernizing her culture to fit her drag.

This season's Drag Society box features seven products specially curated for fans of all things Ongina, by Ongina.

"It's a lot of necessary things I use and I wanted my fans to have useful things as well but made with thoughtful details," she said.

"My fave is obviously the lavender bath bombs! They smell amazing and offers the best relaxation in the bath."

Looking to the future, Ongina is dreaming BIG— for herself and for the drag queen community.

"There's been a huge evolution with drag over the past few years. But, I would love to see more drag artists in movies, television shows, win Grammy's, etc," she said.

"For me, I am really trying to marry my two creative loves‚Äî interior design and drag. So hopefully something will happen.  Dear Universe..."

While advocating for HIV and AIDS remains an important part of her platform, she hopes to make an impact in other areas in the community.

"I try to be as vocal as I can to many issues facing people that are minorities, LGBTQ+, and of color because I believe that we deserve basic human rights," she said. "As we continue to fight for what is right, I will try to continue to use my platform to join in the fight."

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