13 comments on “Throwback Thursday: The Philippines’ Very First Miss International

  1. Dear Norman, my American & Latino pageant buddies in Los Angeles informed me that Gemma Cruz is or was actually the sister-in-law of the one and only Stella Marquez de Araneta! Is this true?????

    Can my favorite pageant blogger kindly confirm & clarify this piece of pageant info which is totally news to me?!!?

    • What I know is that Gemma was married to Antonio Araneta who is the cousin of Jorge Araneta who is the husband of Stella Marquez. So they could be cousins-in-law at one point in time?

      • Was Stella her National Director then as well?

        Also, do both ladies have daughters that could one day compete in pageants???

      • Miss International was not yet part of Bb. Pilipinas back in 1964, Jude. It was only the following year that a Bb. Pilipinas International title was given.

        I know that Gemma has a son and one daughter, Fatimah, who was raised in Mexico, got married to a Mexican artist and is now living in the boondocks. The latter has a son and daughter who were sheltered in the hinterlands. I don’t see anybody in that line continuing the pageant pedigree anymore.

      • Salamat Po Norms!!

        You’re absolutely our best source of pageant history, updates, analysis and insights! We simply can’t get enough of your blog and daily pageant contributions!

  2. Gemma Cruz , now in her 70’s has amazingly retained her beauty, pose and regal bearing. Before Martial Law, she joined radical feminist groups, even denouncing beauty contests as exploitation of women. ‘ hope you could feature the colorful lives of the “warrior queens” Nelia Sancho and the late Maita Gomez

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