photo cred: Becca Lemire
The Squad was so honoured and excited to chat with New York’s own plus-sized ‘Asian-Barbie doll’, the fierce and personality packed Jiggly Caliente from season four of RuPaul’s Drag Race.
In town to perform at several events, including Pinky’s 1 Year Big Gay Anniversary, we were able to chat about all things food, exercise, drag and New York. This pinoy princess was never short of answers.
FGFS: So first things first Jiggly, a lot of people talk about your size since you’re the ‘Plus-Size Asian Barbie Doll’. Have you ever tried to maintain your weight or are you perfectly content the way you are?
JC: You know what, I hate walking and I hate exercising. I probably should do it, but I hate it. But I love dancing and I get to do a lot of that in my routines. A lot of my performances are dance base, so I feel like that’s where I get my biggest work out. Heart problems do run in my family though, so I should work at it.
FGFS: So when you’re on tour, you have your pick of food. So what do you like to eat?
JC: Whenever I’m in Canada, I have to get poutine. But whenever I’m in Philly, I have to hit up Genos’ for a Philly Cheesesteak, because it’s authentic and legit. Or whenever I have a tour stop in Chicago, you have to order a deep dish pizza. You can’t get deep dish anywhere else like that.
FGFS: What has the Toronto experience been like for you?
JC: It has been great, I have family that live up here. So this has been half a trip to see them and half a trip to promote Pride Toronto and my shows.
FGFS: How supportive have your family been of you being in the drag world?
JC: In the beginning it was awkward for my family, mainly my mom. My mom is a really bad-ass bitch (she’s Filipino) and she will tell you exactly how she feels. So when I finally told her one day, “Mommy, I’m a drag queen.” She was a bit confused. It’s taken awhile for my entire family to come around, to be cool and to accept it. Now that they do,my mom – she has become my biggest supporter ever.
FGFS: So you’re part of the New York drag scene, but how did you apply to become part of RuPaul’s Drag Race and has it changed your career?
JC: (laughs) It was all Manila’s fault. Blame her. She said the show really needed an Asian plus-size girl. So she ended up putting together all my forms for the show and I got a call from the producers. New York Girls, gotta stick together.
FGFS: So what is your idea of comfort?
JC: Comfort to me is a huge bowl of Arroz Caldo. It is an authentic Filipino rice porridge or congee. Chicken and rice are slowly simmered in a delicious broth flavored with garlic, onions, ginger and some other ingredients. That is comfort in a bowl. If I’m not having that, I love to make lasagna with LAYERS and LAYERS of cheese.
FGFS: Alright, so I’m visiting New York in a few weeks. I’ve been before but give me all the Jiggly-approved spots.
JC: You have to check out Gray’s Papaya (located at 402 6th Avenue) in Greenwich Village. They have cheap hot dog, pizza and great tropical drinks. In the Lower East Side, if you love Indian food – you should check out Curry Row. There are over a dozen restaurants you could choose from that are really good. Hop Kee Restaurant in Chinatown (21 Mott Street) serves up these amazing salsa pork chops that are to die-for. If you just want a fun night out in Koreatown, check out Gagopa Karaoke (28 W 32nd Street) because it’s little hole in the wall, but the music is good and the drinks are cheap.