Pia Wurtzbach, Bianca Guidotti-Santos, and Carla Lizardo take their podcast to a bigger platform, bringing together a safe space for women of all ages
Many have seen the joys of vlogging over the past couple of years as it seems to bring together people from different walks of life through a shared passion. It has helped connect us to the world without ever having to leave home, the same way Pia Wurtzbach, Bianca Guidotti-Santos, and Carla Lizardo wants to reach out to a community of women through their passion project: a vlog called The Queens.
It's interesting to see Guidotti-Santos, Lizardo, and Wurtzbach change the way others perceive the name, "queen" through their vlog. Guidotti-Santos wishes to break stereotypes associated with beauty queens and limits such as sharing their own opinions on important matters. Now, the trio has a platform that allows them to begin discussions.
The vlog is long overdue, given that all three beauty queens share a friendship that goes way back to their Binibining Pilipinas 2014 experience. Although they've given podcasting a try by starting Queentuhan during the pandemic with Lizardo's encouragement, the trio decided to venture into vlogging to explore more topics apart from pageants, which was the focal point of the podcast.
Now, the three friends are excited to produce videos that lean a bit more on the fun side (like their Never Have I Ever videos) and explore more relevant topics that are worth the attention.
"Usually, we huddle together, the three of us, and then we have topics that are interesting to us. . .also, we listen to our community. . . it's like our compass, that's where we get our cue. Because people can anonymously ask questions on our group [on Facebook]," says Wurtzbach.
"We occasionally just outright ask our community," Lizardo adds. Since the launch of their podcast a year ago, the group has found a family in a community of women who share their sentiments and voice out their opinions through the Discord server, Facebook group (with more than 8,000 members), and Messenger group. "And then we also throw out the question to the community, so we also read their thoughts about [a specific] issue. Because that's really what we want to accomplish with the content that we create, so we are the conversation starters but it can also go the other way around."
"Of course, if there are issues that are important, for example, the invasion of Ukraine or when there was a natural disaster, we try to still be kind of on top of that because we know those conversations are important to have," Guidotti-Santos says. "So we try to get experts, people who know the subject better because, in this era of fake news, we also wanna make sure that we are able to give correct facts when it comes to different topics."
It's a duty that the three friends put upon themselves. Wurtzbach shares, "I don't think the work—to give back to the community—has to stop after the competition, after you get the crown, or after you pass on the crown. I think it's a continuous thing and then you find ways on how to use your platform to continue the work."
As anticipated, their community continues to grow to this day. Through The Queens, they wish to begin conversations—even the most difficult topics to speak of—about family, relationships, career, and everything in between with more women, whom they refer to as "queens".
"It's nice to be forming a close friendship with so many people at a time [when] we thought it was hard to connect," Lizardo relates. In fact, the group only allows women to embrace their individuality as it consists of queens who have varied interests yet share similar sentiments.
For instance, the three friends themselves have different passions and pastimes: Lizardo is an impressive gamer, Guidotti-Santos keeps herself busy with her family business Abutintingz, and Wurtzbach has debuted Pia's Kitchen.
It is this kind of uniqueness that the friends wish to highlight through The Queens, and they encourage more women to join in. Guidotti-Santos encourages it. She says, "Sharing stories have such great power. Sharing your story empowers not only you but other people, and we want to continue that even with the vlog."
No matter who you may be or where you may be, you're welcome to be a queen, so it seems.
Wurtzbach shares, "It's not about being beauty queens here, it's about embracing the crown you already have."