MANILA, Philippines — One of the top 50 candidates at this year’s batch of Miss Universe Philippines (MUPH) hopefuls is embroiled in a race issue.

Shaira Aliyah Diaz of San Pablo, Laguna is accused of blackfishing. The term is a word used to point out someone who’s pretending to be black or a mixed race mulatto.

American vlogger Davonna Finley, known in the pageant community as “The Sovereign,” was the first to notice that the San Pablo entrant was setting her hair into the big Afro hairstyle of African-American celebrities and making herself up like a woman of color.

Blackfishing is an issue because, according to advocates of the black movement, it allows a person to pick and choose only the “cool” parts of being black; without facing any of the discrimination that people of color go through.

Kuragan Karag, a Filipina vlogger based in Doha, Qatar, showed before and after makeover photos of Diaz. The photos showed the big difference because it was apparent Diaz had fair complexion and is clearly of Asian descent.


Netizens are now waiting for a statement from Diaz herself, as well as a comment from the MUPH organization. While blackfishing may not be a big thing among Asians, it is a big issue among people of color.

In the Introduction Video challenge, Shaira Aliyah Diaz was among the top 3 winners.

— Videos from The Sovereign, Kuragan Karag via YouTube; Miss Universe Philippines as posted by Joemar Siervo on YouTube

RELATED: Miss Universe Philippines 2022 Swimsuit Challenge winners announced

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