Seeing the Unseen: “Girls in bikinis from the Philippines”
I always wanted to write a title involving bikini’s, fashion models or just plain Girls in Bikinis, call it a guy thing! The Philippines is noted as having some of the best beaches in the world. Yet, one thing I noted when going to a beach is that the bikini, swimsuits and well … anything at all revealing; are never much in evidence.
Dodgy internet sites and back alleys aside, girls here seem to remain covered up. In fact it in a place like the beach, or river, even on a hot day; most Filipina girls wear t-shirts, shawls and scarfs. I’m not saying this is a bad thing. Just an observation
There are many reasons for this. The shy Filipino culture, the damaging effect of the sun, the “darkening” skin effect of the sun, the cost of swimsuits to an average person. And, the fact that only so many Filipinos can actually afford a vacation.
Most simply return home to their families and don’t travel out for a weekend away by the beach. Though that is changing.
What are Girls like in The Philippines?
My purely for photographic ” research” inclined observation was aggravated by individuals from outside of The Philippines constantly making statements about how sexy Filipina girls are. And, yes they are very beautiful (smart too, I’m not just saying that either).
However, hot pants, short shorts, tight jeans, body hugging t-shirts and beautiful smiles aside; they generally remain covered up. Perhaps this is the real reason Filipinas are regarded as some of the most beautiful women in the world.
Remain covered and let the imagination do the looking!
However, this is a modern developing country. And, fashion is a high part of that. Here there is a massive fixation on the body beautiful, celebrity and model perfection. Girls with ruffled hair are simply not seen, everything is beauty cared. Even the younger guys spend incredible amounts of time on their hair and clothes.
Fashion and looks in The Philippines
It’s a strange thing to walk into a male public toilet in a Pinoy Mall and see rows of guys doing their hair, and sometimes make up, in front of the mirrors.
A near duplicate of a girls rest room or backstage fashion set. Indeed, it seems that nearly every week there’s a catwalk, or fashion model show in all the malls. Just nothing too revealing is ever shown, the mall is after all a family area. So not a bikini in sight!
I don’t frequent night club style bars. And, I am sure things are different there. Then again such places are now part of the culture here too.
So it seemed that yes beautiful, intelligent girls with a high sense of fashion are all the rage, but not a swimsuit nor bikini have I every
seen. Was I missing something?
It looked like the sun tanned Filipina bikini beach babe simply didn’t exist in the Philippines.
So imagine my delight at being invited to a bikini open contest as an official photographer!
A Filipino beauty contest is a must see!
Yes, I had overlooked the obvious in the Philippines. Here the rules of shyness go out the window as beauty is mixed with the Filipino love of pomp and pageantry. Indoor mall culture rules here; sexy is as sexy does.
In The Philippines the swimsuit / bikini contest gets its own venue!
I really was amazed at the high level of professional work and skill all the models at this show displayed. Both backstage and on the catwalk the models were all as good as anything I have seen in a Paris, Milan or New York show.
And while the girls at this show really knew how to strut their stuff, there were male models too. Pouting and moody looking; as is the style here, no smiles just attitude.
So yes in the Philippines there are beautiful girls in Bikinis. The secret to seeing them is you just gotta go to a show under the “right” spotlight rather than at the beach!
Perhaps, more importantly than looking out for bikini girls or models is the fact that I was invited along as an official photographer.
Times might just be changing on this journey!
Coming soon on Seeing the Unseen: The Jeepney makers
This is an additional post and one of a series highlighting the island of Mindanao & the people living in The Philippines
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