Manila Luzon

Karl Philip Michael Westerberg (born August 10, 1981),[2] better known by his stage name Manila Luzon,[3] is an American drag queen, recording artist, and reality television personality. He is best known for his appearances competing in the third season of RuPaul's Drag Race and the first and fourth seasons of RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars.[4] In June 2019, New York magazine published the results from their panel of judges and writers which ranked her in the top twenty Drag Race superstars.[5]

Manila Luzon
Dragcon-4 (47937164822).jpg
Karl Philip Michael Westerberg

(1981-08-10) August 10, 1981 (age 38)[1]
OccupationDrag queen
Reality television personality
Graphic designer
Height178 cm (5 ft 10 in)
Michael Alvarez
m. 2017)
Partner(s)Antoine Ashley
(2006–2012; Ashley's death)
Musical career
Years active2011–present
Comedy career
GenresBlue comedy, observational comedy
Subject(s)LGBT culture, Philippine culture, fashion

Westerberg's drag queen name is a play on words of the capital city (Manila) and the largest island (Luzon) of the Philippines, where his mother was born.[6] His father is an American.[7] Westerberg is a native of Minnesota and resides in Los Angeles but also calls New York City "home".[8]

Manila has also contributed to the compilation album series Christmas Queens.[9][10]


2011-2012: Breakthrough and RuPaul's Drag RaceEdit

Manila performing in May 2014

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 and Alexis Mateo,[11] 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.[12]

In 2011, Luzon, along with third season Drag Race contestants Carmen Carrera and Shangela, appeared in a television commercial for travel-related website Orbitz.[13] In addition to the commercial, she and Shangela also did an entertainment news segment for US Weekly where they discussed current male celebrities and reimagine them as drag queens.[14] 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.[15] Two years later, a couple of fans of Manila produced their very own 3D-printed Manila Luzon doll.[16]

On 6 August 2012, it was announced that Manila was one of twelve past Drag Race contestants selected to join the cast of the first season of RuPaul's Drag Race: All Stars, which premiered on the Logo network on October 22, 2012.[17] 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, placing in joint 7th/8th place. Their elimination was one of many who led to widespread criticism of the first installment of All Stars. On October 12, 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 March. [18] Prior to the airing of the season finale of RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars, 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.[19] After the season, Luzon was a playable character with Pandora Boxx and Yara Sofia for the "RuPaul's Drag Race: Dragopolis" mobile app.[20]

2018–present: All Stars 4, debut album and upcoming projectsEdit

On November 9, 2018 it was announced that Manila would return to All Stars 4, alongside fellow All Stars 1 Team Latrila team-mate Latrice Royale, but this time would compete separately against each other rather than as a team.[21] Despite being one of the season's front-runners with three challenge wins, Manila was controversially eliminated by Naomi Smalls in the eighth episode of the season, which aired on February 1, 2019, ultimately placing sixth.[22] On November 16, 2018, indie musician VELO released the single "Where My Man At," featuring Luzon and Drag Race season 9 and season 10 contestant Eureka O'Hara.[23] The two also appear in the song's music video, together with Thorgy Thor, Ginger Minj and Trinity Taylor (now called Trinity The Tuck).[24] She later appeared as a guest for the first challenge in the premiere of season 11 of Drag Race.[25] On February 1, 2019, Luzon released her single "Go Fish" alongside its music video. The video features fellow All Stars 4 contestant Naomi Smalls, Luzon's husband, and the Heathers, a prominent clique of Drag Race 3 contestants featuring Luzon, Raja, Delta Work, and Carmen Carrera. Following the buzz of her controversial departure in All Stars, the video received more than 300,000 views in less than 24 hours. Luzon will make a guest appearance on General Hospital in late summer 2019.[26]

Personal lifeEdit

A longtime resident of Manhattan, Westerberg resided in Harlem with his boyfriend at the time, Antoine Ashley (Sahara Davenport), who was a contestant on the second season of Drag Race.[27] Ashley later died of heart failure at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore on October 1, 2012.[28] Westerberg studied graphic design at the University of Minnesota, Duluth.[29]

As of 2013, Westerberg resides in Los Angeles, California where he moved shortly after Ashley's death.[30] In November 2016, Westerberg proposed to his boyfriend Michael Alvarez, also known as Mic J Rez.[31] On December 24, 2017, the couple wed at the Silver Bells Wedding Chapel, with an Elvis impersonator as the officiant.[32]


Studio albumsEdit

Title Details Peak chart positions
US Comedy
  • Released: February 15, 2019
  • Label: Producer Entertainment Group
  • Formats: Digital download


List of mixtapes with selected chart positions
Title Details
Eternal Queen

Remix extended playsEdit

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 Peak chart positions Album
"Hot Couture" 2011 Non-album singles
"Best XXXcessory" 2012
"The Chop"
(featuring Latrice Royale)
"Bring It!"
(featuring Jinkx Monsoon)
"Helen Keller"
(with Cazwell, featuring Roxy & Richie Beretta)
"Ice Cream"
(featuring Andre Xcellence!)
"That's a Man Maury"
(featuring Willam)
"Go Fish" 2019 3 Rules
"Barbra, Can You Hear Me"

Other appearancesEdit

Title Year Other Artist(s) Album
"Lady Marmalade" 2014 Raja, Delta Work and Carmen Carrera (as The Heathers) Non-album single
"Bitch I'm a Bottom" 2015 Pablo Hernandez Non-album single
"Slay Bells" N/A Christmas Queens
"Working Holiday" 2016 Alaska Thunderfuck Christmas Queens 2
"Click (Manila Mix)" 2017 Tom Goss Click
"We Three Queens" Alaska Thunderfuck, Peppermint Christmas Queens 3
"Purong Pinay" 2018 Jiggly Caliente T.H.O.T. Process
"Don't Funk It Up" RuPaul, Gia Gunn, Latrice Royale, Valentina, Trinity The Tuck Non-Album Single
"The Kitty Girl County Spelling Bee (Interlude)" 2019 Nina West, Vanessa Vanjie Mateo Drag Is Magic



Year Title Role Notes
2018 The Cocoa Fondue Show Mulan Rouge Short Film
2019 The Queens[35] Herself Documentary


Year Title Role Notes Ref
2011 RuPaul's Drag Race Himself/Contestant Runner-Up
2011 RuPaul's Drag Race: Untucked
2011-2012 RuPaul's Drag U Himself/Professor Recurring
2012, 2018-2019 RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars Herself (contestant) Season 1: 7/8th Place; Season 4: 6th
2015 EastSiders Amanda Episode: "The Game"
2016 Gay for Play Game Show Starring RuPaul Herself 1 episode
2017 Ya Killin' Me Dr. Delicious
2018 The Trixie & Katya Show Herself 4 episodes
2018 America's Next Top Model Herself 1 episode
2019 General Hospital Bingo Host [36]
2020 AJ and the Queen Drag Queen Season 1, Episode 1: "New York City" [37]

Music VideosEdit

Year Title Artist Ref.
2013 "Woman's World" (Remix) Cher [38]
2015 "I Still Love You" Jennifer Hudson [39]
2016 "Around The World" Kings of Leon [40]
2016 "Purse First" Bob The Drag Queen [41]
2018 "Tried & True" Chester Lockhart [42]
2018 "Oops I Think I Pooped" Pandora Boxx [43]
2018 "Call My Life" Blair St. Clair [44]
2019 "Scores" Kahanna Montrese [45]


Year Title Role Notes Ref.
2013 Transformations Herself Guest [46]
Ring My Bell Guest [47]
RuPaul Drives Episode: "RuPaul Drives... Manila Luzon" [48]
2014 WOWPresents Shopping Network Guest, Episode: "Born Naked" [49]
2014-2019 Fashion Photo Ruview Recurring Guest Co-Host [50]
2017 The Pit Stop Guest, Recurring [51]
2018 Feelin' Fruity Guest [52]
Out Of The Closet Guest [53]
2019 Iconic Guest [54]
Reading Queens Guest [55]
2020 Supbruh Guest [56]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Strings, Sabrina; Bui, Long T. (2014). "She Is Not Acting, She Is". Feminist Media Studies. 14 (5): 822–836. doi:10.1080/14680777.2013.829861.
  2. ^ "Person Details for Karl Philip Michael Westerberg, "Minnesota, Birth Index, 1935-2002"".
  3. ^ Shira, Dahvi (October 6, 2012). "Antoine Ashley's Boyfriend: What He Will Miss Most". People. Retrieved February 3, 2019. Karl Westerberg ... also known by his stage name Manila Luzon...
  4. ^ RuPaul's Drag Race' Grand Finale: A Photo Recap Celebration,, April 26, 2011.
  5. ^ The Editors (June 10, 2019). "The Most Powerful Drag Queens in America: Ranking the new establishment". New York. New York Media, LLC. Archived from the original on June 10, 2019. Retrieved June 10, 2019.
  6. ^ Getting Personal With Manila Luzon Archived 2011-10-02 at the Wayback Machine from Next Magazine 5 May 2011
  7. ^ Twin Cities native competing on RuPaul's Drag Race, premieres tonight,, January 24, 2011.
  8. ^ [1]"Manila still calls New York home".
  9. ^ "Christmas Queens 3". iTunes Store. November 17, 2017. Retrieved October 2, 2018.
  10. ^ Daw, Stephen (November 12, 2018). "Alaska, Manila Luzon & More Get Into the Holiday Spirit With Sneak Peek Of 'Christmas Queens 4:' Listen". Billboard. Lynne Segall. Archived from the original on November 12, 2018. Retrieved November 15, 2018.
  11. ^ Red Ribbon Runway. 2011-07-26. Event occurs at 0:39. Retrieved September 20, 2016.
  12. ^ Spargo, Chris (2011-12-01). "NOW: Red Ribbon Runway Auction". NewNowNext. Logo. Retrieved 2011-12-02.
  13. ^ Orbitz Commercial - Rupaul's Drag Race Cast, YouTube; accessed September 20, 2016.
  14. ^ "See Brad, Rob, Jake, Zac Reinvented as Drag Queens!", Us Weekly, April 25, 2011.
  15. ^ "Manila Luzon Gets Her Very Own Doll",, August 12, 2012.
  16. ^ "I Learned How to 3D Print a Drag Queen So You Don't Have To",; accessed September 20, 2016.
  17. ^ "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.
  18. ^ "Manila Luzon Makes MTV Debut On 'Made' Friday, October 12" Archived 2017-05-16 at the Wayback Machine,, October 12, 2012.
  19. ^ "The Queens Take Vacation Back: Orbitz Behind The Scenes",, November 12, 2012.
  20. ^ Morgan, Glennisha (2013-04-24). "Dragopolis, 'RuPaul's Drag Race' Drag Queen Mobile Game, Set To Debut". Huffington Post. Retrieved 2019-01-02.
  21. ^
  22. ^ Desta, Yohana. "RuPaul's Manila Luzon on That Shocking Elimination: "I Wasn't Expecting It, but I Was Prepared"". HWD. Retrieved 2019-02-09.
  23. ^ Lopez, David (November 16, 2018). "If You're Wondering 'Where My Man At?' Manila Luzon and Eureka O'Hara May Know". Instinct. JR Pratts. Archived from the original on November 16, 2018. Retrieved November 16, 2018.
  24. ^ Dalton, Paisley (November 16, 2018). "WOW PREMIERE: VELO's New Album 'Outcast' & Vid Feat. MANILA LUZON, VANESSA VANJIE MATEO, EUREKA O'HARA, DERRICK BARRY, Nebraska Thunderfuck & more!!!". The WOW Report. World of Wonder Productions, Inc. Archived from the original on November 16, 2018. Retrieved November 16, 2018.
  25. ^ "'RuPaul's Drag Race' 11 episode 1 recap: Which queen was sent packing on 'Whatcha Unpackin'? [UPDATING LIVE BLOG]". Goldderby. 2019-02-28. Retrieved 2019-03-01.
  26. ^ Cushman, Dustin (July 6, 2019). "Manila Luzon to General Hospital". United States: SheKnows Media. Retrieved July 9, 2019.
  27. ^ Fitzgerald, Christine (December 14, 2018). "Manila Luzon – The Socialite Life Interview". Retrieved November 12, 2019.
  28. ^ Spargo, Chris. "Sahara Davenport's Family Releases Official Statement". NewNowNext. Retrieved 3 October 2012.
  29. ^ "God Save The Queens".
  30. ^ Avery, Dan. "Manila Luzon Opens Up About Sahara Davenport's Death In Latest "RuPaul Drives": WATCH". NewNowNext. Retrieved May 26, 2016.
  31. ^ Avery, Dan (2016-11-06). "Manila Luzon Proposes To Boyfriend In Chile". NewNowNext. Retrieved 2017-10-09.
  32. ^ "Congrats! RuPaul's Drag Race star Manila Luzon got married in Vegas on Christmas Eve".
  33. ^ "Manila Luzon Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved March 6, 2019.
  34. ^ "Manila Luzon - Chart History: Comedy Digital Track Sales". Billboard. Retrieved August 8, 2019.
  35. ^ The Queens, retrieved 2019-10-25
  36. ^ Eades, Chris. "RUPAUL'S DRAG RACE Star Manila Luzon Appears on GENERAL HOSPITAL".
  37. ^ Nolfi, Joey (2019-12-03). "RuPaul brings 22 Drag Race queens to costar on AJ and the Queen". Retrieved 2019-12-03.
  38. ^ Avery, Dan (2013-09-05). ""Drag Race" Queens Star In Video For Cher's "Woman's World": WATCH". Retrieved 2020-04-10.
  39. ^ Vivinetto, Gina (2015-06-03). "Jennifer Hudson Celebrates Same-Sex Marriage in 'I Still Love You' Music Video". Retrieved 2020-04-10.
  40. ^ Schiller, Rebecca (2016-05-17). "Watch Trixie Mattel, Valentina & More 'Drag Race' Stars Guess Which Music Videos Featured Drag Queens". Retrieved 2020-04-10.
  41. ^ Quigley, Aidan (2016-05-17). "RuPaul Star Bob The Drag Queen Releases Hilarious Music Video For 'Purse First' (No Spoilers)". Retrieved 2020-04-10.
  42. ^ St. James, James (2018-02-13). "Detox! Manila Luzon! & Todrick Hall! Star in the International Condom Day Anthem "Tried & True" (with Chester Lockhart!)". Retrieved 2020-04-10.
  43. ^ Bote, Joshua (September 24, 2018). "Pandora Boxx Lets it Rip With Alaska, Jasmine Masters and More in Epic Katy Perry Parody: Watch". Retrieved 2020-04-10.
  44. ^ Crowley, Patrick (June 26, 2018). "'Drag Race' Star Blair St. Clair Gets Introspective in 'Call My Life' Music Video: Watch". Retrieved 2020-04-10.
  45. ^ Voss, Brandon (March 10, 2019). ""Drag Race" All-Stars Butch It Up in Kahanna Montrese's "Scores" Video". Retrieved 2020-04-10.
  46. ^ Manila Luzon - Ring My Bell. WOWPresents. July 23, 2013. Retrieved August 22, 2019.
  47. ^ James St. James and Manila Luzon: Transformations. WOWPresents. November 21, 2013. Retrieved August 22, 2019.
  48. ^ RuPaul Drives... Manila Luzon. WOWPresents. November 25, 2013. Retrieved August 22, 2019.
  49. ^ RuPaul on WOW Shopping Network - Born Naked. WOWPresents. June 13, 2014. Retrieved August 22, 2019.
  50. ^ RuPaul's Drag Race Fashion Photo RuView with Raja & Raven feat Manila Luzon - Social Media Ep 10. WOWPresents. August 13, 2014. Retrieved August 22, 2019.
  51. ^ The Pit Stop w/ Raja & Manila Luzon | RuPaul's Drag Race (Season 9 Ep 12) | Now on VH1. WOWPresents. June 12, 2017. Retrieved August 22, 2019.
  52. ^ Manila Luzon! Feelin' Fruity with Seth Bogart. WOWPresents. July 20, 2018. Retrieved August 22, 2019.
  53. ^ 'LOOK QUEEN Style' Out Of The Closet w/ Manila Luzon Ep. 6 | Logo. WOWPresents. May 29, 2018. Retrieved August 22, 2019.
  54. ^ ICONIC with Brad Goreski: Manila Luzon. WOWPresents. July 16, 2019. Retrieved August 22, 2019.
  55. ^ Manila Luzon: Reading Queens with Psychic Char Margolis. WOWPresents. October 23, 2019. Retrieved October 24, 2019.
  56. ^ Supbruh | Manila Luzon. Kahanna Montrese. April 1, 2020. Retrieved April 1, 2020.

External linksEdit