Diwata as ‘Reyna Elena’; Some Catholics Were Displeased

Several Catholics were displeased after Diwata was designated as ‘Reyna Elena’

DIWATA – Many Catholic devotees expressed displeasure after internet sensation Deo Balbuena was designated as ‘Reyna Elena’ in a recent Malabon parade.

Deo Jarito Balbuena, known as “Diwata,” is a prominent Filipino internet personality, food vlogger, entrepreneur, and member of the LGBTQ+ community. He is the CEO and founder of Diwata Pares Overload, a business specializing in the popular Filipino dish, pares.

Balbuena was born and raised in Samar but moved to Manila at 17 to pursue better opportunities. He undertook various jobs, such as fruit vendor, helper, construction worker, beautician, and sari-sari store owner. His initial fame came from participating in the ‘Miss Q&A’ segment on the TV show ‘It’s Showtime.’

In 2016, Diwata went viral after an incident at a police station where he reported acquaintances for drug use, leading to a physical altercation that gained media attention. Despite being arrested in 2018 for a slight physical injury case and subsequently released on bail, his popularity continued to rise.

His fame was further cemented by his appearance in Coco Martin’s TV series “FPJ’s Batang Quiapo” on ABS-CBN. Balbuena’s journey from humble beginnings to becoming a celebrated internet personality and entrepreneur exemplifies his resilience and ability to overcome challenges, making a significant impact in his field.

Meanwhile, many Catholic devotees were upset by the choice of internet star Deo Balbuena, known as Diwata, as ‘Reyna Elena’ in a recent Malabon parade. Diwata’s participation, which attracted a lot of attention on social media, caused a stir because the role of Reyna Elena is traditionally meant for women.

Many netizens shared their disapproval, accusing the parade organizers of disrespecting the Santacruzan tradition. For example, netizen Rainier asked why Malabon’s mayor allowed this, suggesting it was just for attention, and compared it to a previous controversy involving Pura Luka Vega. Netizen Mund criticized the decline of the traditional Sta Cruz de Mayo festival, pointing out a loss of self-respect and respect for tradition. Similarly, netizen Odie blasted modern society’s disregard for old customs, saying the Santacruzan, a procession honoring saints, was being made light of.

The organizers have not yet replied to these criticisms. Many are also waiting to hear from the Catholic Church to see if they agree with the organizers’ decision regarding the Santacruzan tradition.

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