Our three prides: Gloria, Margarita and Pia
There is no significant trivial information to support the achievement of the Philippines winning the Miss Universe crown during the years 1969, 1973 and 2015. Considering the time intervals, any pageant expert already following then would initially surmise that after clinching our first two victories in a span of just five years would mean constant wins or top placements through four different decades of participation. Not so. We also had our share of dark ages (no Top 5 at all) scattered in between, the longest stretches of drought running from 1952 to 1962 going next from 1985 to 1993, and then from 2000 to 2009. These are the time clusters when all we can do is sit and take one disappointment after the other, hoping that succeeding editions would be kinder to our delegates.
Of course, we should be happy that our record in the annual beauty competition is nothing to sneer at. If at any, consider ourselves lucky that we have really made our presence felt, unlike some nations which cannot enumerate a list of crowning glories, let alone runner-up finishes or even Top 10 inclusions. At this point, we are already considered a pageant powerhouse nation, not only in Miss Universe but other fronts as well.
And we intend to improve on the track record, extend the shining moments and become more solid in all our yearly quests from this day on. :-)
The Philippines’ three Miss Universe winners (Gloria and Margie homecoming photos shared by Felix Manuel)
Back in 1969 and 1973 when the Philippines experienced its first two tastes of Miss Universe glory, both Gloria Diaz and Margarita Moran were welcomed back to the country with such funfare that their respective parades (while seated on a top down car
) around Manila were attended by so many proudly cheering Filipinos showing their joy in seeing a Filipina being crowned the most beautiful in the universe. The arrangements were not yet as complex back then – with no lockdowns from the organizers and uber
restrictions on protocol and how the homecoming proceeded from Day 1. Their schedules were not clamped down in terms of how long they can stay in the country or how soon they need to go back to the home base in the US.
Nowadays, becoming Miss Universe means chasing time. The upcoming arrival of Miss Universe 2015 Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach in the country was scheduled to jibe with a MUO-committed annual visit to Djakarta where she will crown the winner of Puteri Indonesia 2016. This is the reason why she will be flying in from the Indonesian capital on January 23, and not New York City. And it’s not like she will be given enough “me” time in Manila. With all the scheduled Press Conferences, ticker tape parade, Malacañan Palace courtesy call and countless appearances and reception, it’s good that she was able to negotiate for an extra few days so that she can settle personal items like her rented apartment, personal effects and a previously-agreed date to attend the wedding of her best friend (actress) Pauleen Luna to actor/comedian Vic Sotto.
It’s going to be a whirlwind of a homecoming such that you will certainly start missing Pia even before her scheduled stay in the country starts. But we all want this crown. And in return, we should whole-heartedly share our Queen to the Universe. Her reign has just started and the months ahead will surely be so jet-settingly busy, let alone hectic. :-)
Miss Universe Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach in photos provided by Associated Press Entertainment
From Ariana’s head to Pia’s
Pia Wurtzbach and the entire Philippines are the winners of the Miss Universe 2015 DIC crown
Miss Universe 2015 Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach
Call it fate. Call it a most controversial turn of winning moments. Call it whatever you like. The essence of Miss Universe is who rightfully won the DIC crown.
Ariadna Gutierrez of Colombia had her brief shining moment. But it wasn’t meant to last because in less than 5 minutes, the real winner was announced and the crown transferred ownership in a flash. Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach of the Philippines is Miss Universe 2015.
Host Steve Harvey owned up to his mistake and showed the card containing the Philippines as the true victor. I have to pinch him hard for taking away a most genuine image of our Queen getting the crown from Paulina Vega. But I can take the twists. If there is one spot I wouldn’t want to fill in now is that of real 1st Runner-Up Ariadna Gutierrez because she is the one who had to go through an embarrassing minute or two on worldwide TV as having to give up what was already planted on her head and step down accordingly.
If it’s any consolation, the Philippines was hastily announced right before the Live Telecast was cut short because of the awkward scenes happening onstage.
We now have a proud 3rd member of the sisterhood which had only Gloria Diaz and Margarita Moran as members for 42 years now. They have a new recruit and she is MISS UNIVERSE 2015 PIA ALONZO WURTZBACH! :-D
courtesy of Miss Universe
Miss Universe 1969 Gloria Diaz posed in front of the Hotel Intercontinental Manila when it was still spanking new
Hotel Intercontinental Manila is one of the most iconic hotel structures in the Philippines. It is, in fact, the oldest standing hotel from a global chain in the country. And here, I have so many wonderful memories, both personal and pageant-related.
This is where I celebrated a few important milestones in my life, like when I turned 25 and 50. This is also where family members marked theirs. And some people ask why we always find ourselves going back to Hotel Intercontinental Manila. It’s the people, the service, the warmth and the all around shower of unending greetings from everyone. It’s like a halfway home when going to the south of Manila becomes a tricky traffic and typhoon proposition.
I will miss this place so bad. And by New Year’s Eve, tears of joy and sadness will flow in all four corners of the institution. By January 1, 2016, what will be left are memories to linger long after Hotel Intercontinental Manila disappears in front of our eyes. :-)
Many thanks to GMA Network News for coming up with the above graphic
MJ Lastimosa during her homecoming presscon
As we close another complete chapter of international pageantry with the crowning of the 63rd Miss Universe Paulina Vega a week ago, allow me to reminisce on the Philippine participation in the same, with focus on the achievements we have made.
Yesterday, I gathered from reliable sources that Miss Universe Philippines 2014 Mary Jean ‘MJ’ Lastimosa actually finished 6th overall (how heartbreaking!) in the competition. She lost by a mere 0.625 of a point to Yasmin Verheijen of the Netherlands going into the Top 5.
Now if only she entered the magic circle and notched 2nd Runner-up at least in Miami, then the country would’ve already conquered all possible placements in our favorite beauty pageant.
Watch the video below showing our Miss Universe reps from 1952 to the 63rd edition.
courtesy of MyBeauty Official
Venue of the 1997 Miss Universe Pageant – the Miami Beach Convention Center
Miss USA Brook Lee won Miss Universe during the 46th edition held in Miami Beach, Florida
Prior to the 63rd Miss Universe Pageant, Miami has already hosted at least fifteen (15) times – 1960-1971, then 1984-1985, and the latest one back in May 16, 1997 when the host delegate – Brook Lee – won the 46th edition. So it would be safe to count that this year will be the 16th.
Miami Beach (and the Miami Beach Auditorium for that matter) will always have a soft spot for Filipinos because this is the place where the Philippines won its first Miss Universe crown via Gloria Diaz back in July 19, 1969.
Time to reminisce more. Watch the complete video of Miss Universe 1997 held at the Miami Beach Convention Center. ;-)
courtesy of PACO REY
The movie that launched Miss Universe 1969 to movie stardom and which started the “wet look” in Philippine cinema.
It took Miss Universe 1969 Gloria Diaz five years to finally splash her way from pageantry to movies (Photo credit: Tony Paat)
It’s not unusual in Philippine Cinema to find beauty titleholders find opportunities to enter showbusiness after their reigns and achieve good measures of success as film actresses. The list is long and varied in impact. Most of them ended up doing roles in comedy and action movies as leading ladies with no major demands in acting and/or internalization of character. But not Miss Universe 1969 Gloria Diaz.
When she finally decided to make her first appearance on the big screen, the project was for a major production that would have her doing the big lead and directed by the respected Celso Ad. Castillo. And if that’s not enough, she agreed to do a daring turn that was considered eye-poppingly trend-setting. While the “wet look” was considered tamer at a time when softcore bold movies were still at its peak, “Ang Pinakamagandang Hayop sa Balat ng Lupa” (The Most Beautiful Animal on the Face of the Earth) successfully combined the elements of a serious/artistic masterpiece with the commercial formula that insured box-office success. And the rest is history, so to speak.
From 1974 up to the present, Gloria parlayed her worldwide beauty title into a successful career in film and television where she has also been honored with acting awards and the respect of colleagues in the industry.
Watch a 15-minute clip from the said movie now.
courtesy of gobitz69
Do you have a favorite Gloria Diaz movie? Mine would be this one. But my guiltiest pleasure of a performance from her was a relatively obscure (read: forgotten) one from 1983 titled “Hayop Sa Ganda” which she did with Miss Universe 1974 Amparo Munoz. Their scenes together were too delightful to pass up on. ;-)