The national costume entry of Philippines’ candidate Celeste Cortesi for the Miss Universe pageant received mixed reactions from the netizens.
In our schools, teachers told their students that the national costume of the country is ‘Baro’t Saya’, a dress resulting in a combination of Spanish and Filipino clothing styles.
Famous celebrities and politicians can also be seen wearing the same clothing when they’re attending important events including the annual State of the Nation Address (SONA) of the President.
That’s why many netizens were surprised when Cortesi who was representing the country decided to dress as ‘Darna’ for the national costume category of the said pageant.
Some of them even imagined how people would react if they see people attending SONA wearing ‘Darna’ costumes because it’s now considered a national costume.
Netizens also pointed out that Cortesi’s national costume entry was too revealing, giving a bad impression to the other countries.
Even veteran journalist Jay Sonza questioned the decision of Cortesi, saying that he was not informed that the revealing costume of Darna is now considered as a ‘national costume’.
However, Professor in Mass Communication Cherish Aguilar Brillon of the University of the Philippines-Diliman said that Darna represented Filipino culture.
“Darna has always been held up as an empowering figure in Filipino popular culture. Her longevity is tied to how she embodies the demands and expectations of a particular period in our society,” she said.
But some netizens insisted that Darna should not be considered a national costume.
“This is correct. Gone are the days na magagandang Ternos ng ating mga National Artists ang suot ng mga Miss Philippines. I am a fan of the fictional Darna. But to make her costume as a symbol of our National Identity, parang short for the Filipino Culture. She could have worn a Muslim Attire to showcase her Marawi Advocacy. Mas swak sana doon sa Cape na kanyang inirampa. Anyways, I wish her good luck. She is pretty and puedeng Miss Universe. Bring home the bacon, Celeste.” netizen Gonyo Bongskie said.
Darna was created by Mars Ravelo during the 1950s and it continues to become one of the most popular fictional characters in the country.
According to Ravelo, he took inspiration from the American fictional character Superman when creating Darna.