Getting to know the ‘Drag Race Philippines’ Pit Crew: Jaycee and JP

Aside from the drag queens, drama and overflowing talent and creativity, fans also tune in to RuPaul’s Drag Race (RPDR) and its numerous versions for the Pit Crew, band of boys always in their bikinis or underwear, serving as assistants and just being eye-candies.

Get to know the four boys of one of the latest iterations of RPDR, Drag Race Philippines, starting with Jaycee Sahagun and JP Ocat.

Jaycee Sahagun

Twentysomething Filipino-American model Jaycee Sahagun hails from Union City and Hayward in California, United States and now resides in Tondo, Manila, pursuing his dream of becoming an actor here.

Photograph courtesy of Jaycee Sahagun
Jaycee Sahagun is determined to make it in Philippine showbiz.

Although parts of his background are far from the showbiz limelight —finishing a Computer Science degree program with focus on the use of software and hardware in corporate settings and working in the fields of accounting and technical support — he also dabbled in showbusiness such as appearing in the variety show Eat…Bulaga! and the movie Bakit Ba Ganyan? (Ewan Ko Nga Ba, Darling). Before returning to the Philippines in 2014, he has also worked at The Filipino Channel of ABS-CBN.

Sahagun revealed that he has been trying to maintain an ideal weight for many years to pursue his dreams. “I was underweight at 110 pounds to getting overweight at 187 pounds,” he shared.

He is also learning to speak Filipino to break into local showbiz and has delved into modeling. He started as one of the models of “Bench: Under the Stars, The 30th Anniversary Fashion Show” in 2018 and appeared in several print ads and television commercials. He also guested in some GMA 7 shows.

JP Ocat says he only has admiration and respect for drag queens.

Sahagun admitted that he has auditioned for Pinoy Big Brother five times and came close to getting in. He said he will try for the sixth time and is planning to audition for Big Brother in the United States and RuPaul’s Drag Race.

“I’m reaching for the stars and have nothing to lose but more to gain,” he enthused.

Sahagun considers his stint in Drag Race Philippines as “one of the greatest experiences of my life!”

“I figured I’m always walking around in my boxer briefs around the room but the only difference now is it’s for Drag Race Philippines reality TV show and I’m being filmed where the world can watch it and also support improv acting as needed,” he shared.

He said: “A common question is how does a straight male feel about being part of a drag show? Simple answer: I know my sexuality and I’m comfortable. At the end of the day, we all respect each other and have the same goals, which is to perform the very best we can by getting the job done.”

Photograph courtesy of Jaycee Sahagun
Sahagun is proud to be part of drag history.

“Queens and queer people are regular people with preferences. They are talented, nice, funny and deserve to shine in this industry especially in the Philippines,” he added. “I signed on because it was a great opportunity to be part of history, and I have bucket list goals to experience a reality TV series taping. The queens made me a fan of the show, and they are awesome.”

Twenty-seven-year-old John Paul, or JP, Ocat hails from Talisay City, Cebu, but also considers Cagayan de Oro City his home, where he spent his younger days studying at the Xavier University-Ateneo de Cagayan where he earned a degree in International Studies.

The host, model and project manager, who once worked as a flight attendant, rose to prominence when he competed in the Misters of Filipinas 2018 pageant, where he was declared one of the winners, clinching the Man of the World Philippines 2018 title. He represented the country in the Man of the World 2019 pageant, held in San Juan City, where he placed fourth runner-up among 40 contestants.

A mental health advocate, Ocat loves reading books and is into writing, spiritual meditation, adventure and music. He once dreamed of becoming a rapper. He also has another goal
— becoming a lawyer. Becoming part of the Pit Crew is a dream come true for Ocat.

“I started watching the show (RPDR) in 2019, and I ‘manifested’ that I will become one of the Pit Crew when it comes to the Philippine or even in the US. And then, when I had that call in 2021 asking if I was willing to go topless and just briefs on national TV, though anonymously — I knew it was for Drag Race — I agreed,” he revealed.

“Being on the show, I had so much fun. I have so much respect for the Filipino drag queens and the artistry they bring. The future of Filipino drag is very bright!” Ocat averred.

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