Inmates dressed as beauty queens pranced on a makeshift stage for a mock beauty pageant at a Philippines jail on Saturday, bringing Christmas cheer to one of the country’s most overcrowded prisons.
Thousands cheered and whistled as 11 gay and one transgender prisoner danced and sang at the “Miss Universe” pageant at the Quezon City Jail courtyard, wearing wigs, make-up, gowns and elaborate Mardi Gras attire.
The decaying Manila jail, housing about 3,800 inmates, is infamous for congestion. Men take turns sleeping in the cells, an open-air basketball court and even on stairways of the facility, built to hold 800 prisoners.
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“It’s lonely in here but I’m happy that I won,” the winner called Gwen, whose real name cannot be used due to prison policy, told Agence France-Presse (AFP).
Gwen, arrested nearly two years ago and on trial for drug dealing, said his victory had brought “acclaim for …