Sunday Beauty Queen

Baby Ruth Villarama
Philippines, Hong Kong
94 minutes


Beneath Hong Kong’s glittering facade, Filipinos working as domestic helpers work in relative anonymity and for near slave wages. In a beauty pageant like no other in the world, five helpers give themselves makeovers for a day and gleefully reclaim their dignity.

More about Film

The Philippines has an estimated 12 to 15 million overseas foreign workers (OFWs) or migrant workers deployed abroad working in different parts of the world, from cleaners to professional workers.

The OFWs are key drivers in the Philippine economy with their average annual contribution of over US$20 billion. They have helped prop up the economy and  cushion the country from recession and economic crises.

Yet, these modern day heroes are vulnerable to dangers and threats like abusive employers, illegal recruiters, racial discrimination, getting trapped in war-torn countries and the like. All that, on top of their personal struggles amplified by the pain of being away from their loved ones.

The film focuses on the lives of OFWs working as maids in Hong Kong, one of the top three destinations of land-based Filipino migrant workers.

The film hopes to bring cinema viewers into the hidden lives and journey of these women as they struggle to find independence and self-worth, in very tight spaces.

The film aims for both Philippine and Hong Kong governments to prioritize policies to protect migrant workers coming from Southeast Asia. There is a need for political will and muscle to renegotiate policies like the Hong Kong 14-day rule deportation of foreign domestic workers, a trap to endure more abuses.

Read more updates about this film here.

Other Details

Production Company
Voyage Studios, TBA Studios


Good Pitch² Southeast Asia 2017


BIFF Mecenat Fund
Asian Network of Documentaries
In Competition, World Premiere
Busan International Film Festival
Best Picture
Metro Manila Film Festival
Official Selection
Hot Docs International Film Festival
Official Selection
DOK.fest Munich
Audience Choice Award
Cinemasia Film Festival
Official Selection
Far East Film Festival


Baby Ruth
Baby Ruth Villarama
Baby Ruth has been involved in documentary co-productions for more than 10 years in the Southeast Asia, from Philippines’ broadcast channel ABS-CBN, to international TV co-productions with MediaCorp, NHK, EuroNews, and NatGeo. She’s part of Voyage Studios, Film Producers Society, DokyuPeeps, and Phillipines’ National Commission for Culture and the Arts on Cinema. She is a Chevening scholar of the British government who finished her post-graduate degree in Film Marketing and Distribution in 2015, and was awarded the British Council’s Social Impact Award in 2018. She has just become member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Her notable works include: Jazz in Love (2013), Little Azkals (2014), Sunday Beauty Queen (2016).
Chuck Guitirez
Chuck Gitierrez
Producer, Editor
Chuck Gutierrez is a multi-awarded film editor and producer. His works have championed Filipino cinema in major film festivals around the globe including Cannes, Berlin, Venice, Pusan, London, Tokyo and New York. He is the co-founder of Voyage Studios which produces new breed of Philippine independent cinemas with respected directors, writers and cinematographers in the Philippines today.

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