Soloista / by John Javellana

Mah homegurl’s first solo. Come one come all.
Photo essay on Pageant Culture in the Philippines by Tammy David
The latest addition to her series of perspectives, Tammy David showcases the pageantry of determination, ambition, and hard work in her photo exhibit entitled Crown and Country. In this 12-photo display, Tammy shares her awakenings as she follows local beauty contestants in all their shimmering and dressed-down-and-less glory.
“Like boxing and basketball, beauty pageants are very much part of my countryʼs culture. Beauty pageants are a metaphor for Filipino culture because they glorify beauty, reflect filial and societal mores, and provide an aspirational platform that is a manifestation of my countryʼs colonial history.”, the 27 year old freelance photographer enthuses. Immersing into the trainings, proceedings,  pageant proper, and the contenders however, Tammy realizes that the pageants are more than celebrations of tradition – they are pathways to doors that open to better lives. The access brings to life aspirations to see the world, to land better jobs, to have better food on the table, to support an ailing parent, to send siblings to school, and yes, to be a beautiful living symbol of one’s country, it’s ambassadress of goodwill. These hearts are what make up each pageant contestant, and the rigorous trainings and preparations are all unabashedly taken in. 
Physical beauty, love for family, fear of God, love for country. Experience the spectacle.
“Crown and Country” will be on display from 19 September - 17 October 2010 at MANILA COLLECTIVE Photospace Cafe Cubao X (formerly Marikina Shoe Expo) Gen. Romulo Ave. Cubao, QC For more information, visit