Manila Luzon is the stage name of Karl Westerberg, a Filipino American drag queen and reality television personality from New York City. He is best known as the runner-up of the third season of RuPaul’s Drag Race. His drag name is a play on words of the capital city (Manila) and the largest island (Luzon) of the Philippines, where his mother was born. His father is American of German/Swedish ancestry. With many memorable outfits and a camp sense of humor, Manila won three main challenges and received high marks from the judges. Highlights of the season included Manila’s win for a controversial impersonation of a Japanese reporter, forming the “Heathers” clique with fellow contestants Raja, Carmen Carrera, and Delta Work.
He also won an emotionally charged lip sync against Delta Work and won two challenges in a row for making over a heterosexual jock into his drag sister, and making a couture dress out of paper money. The publicity generated by his participation on the show brought many new opportunities to perform at various national and international LGBT events including New York Pride and Vancouver Pride. In 2011, Manila, along with third season Drag Race contestants Carmen Carrera and Shangela Laquifa Wadley, appeared in a television commercial for travel-related website Orbitz. In addition to the commercial, he and Shangela also did an entertainment news segment for US Weekly where they discuss current male celebrities and reimagine them as drag queens.
Manila Luzon served as drag professor on RuPaul’s Drag U. Appearing in three episodes, he helped makeover a housewife looking for a makeover in the first episode. In his second appearance, he made over a lesbian contestant, while in his third stint as a drag professor, he helped makeover his sister Rachel. On 8 November 2011, Luzon released his first single, “Hot Couture”. He resides in New York with his boyfriend Antoine Ashley (drag queen Sahara Davenport), who was a contestant on the second season of Drag Race.