1965 Gemma Cruz
1970 Aurora Pijuan
1979 Mimilanie Marquez
2005 Precious Lara Quigaman
2013 Bea Rose Santiago
2016 Kylie Verzosa
Will our 7th Miss International be crowned soon? Will Atty. Bea Patricia Magtanong be the one to bring us that honor and follow the glorious trail started by the six women above?
We will all know during Tuesday night’s finals of Miss International 2019 LIVE from Tokyo Dome City Hall in Bunkyo district, Tokyo, Japan.
1970 Miss International Aurora McKenny Pijuan during her victory in Osaka, Japan
Aurora Pijuan circa 1970
Aurora Pijuan circa 2012
Aurora Pijuan appeared in only two movies in her short showbiz career
Interesting trivia about 1970 Miss International Aurora McKenny Pijuan: She only appeared in two movies in a short-lived showbiz career. Her introductory role came in 1973 via the trilogy flick “Si Popeye Atbp
” where she played Olive Oyl to Ariel Ureta’s Popeye in the first episode. The following year, she was casted as one of the leading ladies opposite then action star Ramon Revilla Sr. in the Spanish-American war movie titled “Sunugin ang Samar
” (Burn Samar).
Thereafter, Aurora soon married businessman/golfer Tomas “Tommy” Manotoc to whom she bore two kids: Mavis and Tomas Jr. However, the union didn’t last that long. There was even some controversy after Tommy got involved with and eventually married then Presidential daughter Imee Marcos. The intrigues lasted till the 1984 Parliamentary Elections.
Au – who is considered the first official Miss International of Bb. Pilipinas – plunged into her 2nd marriage with American businessman Bob Cleveland. It was another failed relationship by her own account. From that point, she firmly decided not to look for a 3rd husband anymore. Instead, she opted to work on several charitable causes, while raising her two offsprings. She is now a proud Grandmother (to her three grandchildren) with active affiliations in Gawad Kalinga projects and the like.
courtesy of TheOnesBeautiful
Miss International 2013 Bea Rose Santiago of the Philippines
When it comes to beauty pageants, the real measure of success is in the number of crowns won. True, placements count. But since a runner-up or semifinal position is quickly forgotten, the only vivid memory left is the candidate who actually wears the sparkling head gear symbolic of a first-place finish.
In Miss International history, five years were dominated by the Philippines, only one less than the strong Venezuelans. And it is for this reason that Bea Rose Santiago’s victory last Tuesday night is not just a mere addition to the collection, but an indelible seal of approval in the continued success of Filipinas in the international pageant arena. She is the latest inductee to the illustrious group of Gemma Cruz (1964), Aurora Pijuan (1970), Melanie Marquez (1979) and Precious Lara Quigaman (2005) and will go down memory lane as the lady who made the Christmas of 2013 merrier for the Philippines.
Truth be asked, what more can we ask for? This year has been a most spectacular period for all our beauty queens. We are basking in the glowing reputation of being not only an Asian powerhouse but a World force to reckon with in beauty competitions. Should we start upping the ante of expectations? Or is it better to get back to the drawing boards to see how longer we can sustain the momentum? Or before doing that, do we need to look first at how we can re-educate some Filipinos who bash their own representatives while competing instead of giving even some semblance of constructive support?
I say, let’s do it all. Now is not the time to rest on our laurels. Just like the five ladies above who defied odds to bring honor to the country, let us undertake to bring down all the barriers that could possibly spoil the missions of our 2014 representatives. That way, the Philippines will not only be tagged a land of beautiful people, but also a place where the pageant fans and supporters are united behind each of their own. 🙂
Victorious Philippines 2010-2013
courtesy of The ABSCBNNews
1969-1973 was the last Golden Age of Philippine Pageants when – in that five year span – the country was able to produce two (2) Miss Universe titleholders (Gloria Diaz & Margarita Moran), one (1) Miss International winner (Aurora Pijuan) and one (1) Miss World 1st runner-up (Evangeline Pascual). Just to add a small detail, this period was preceded in 1968 by a 4th Runner-Up finish in Miss World courtesy of Pinky Amabuyok.
Fast forward to 2010 when Venus Raj clinched 4th Runner-Up honors in the Las Vegas-hosted Miss Universe. The following year saw the Philippines claiming runner-up finishes in both Miss Universe and Miss World (c/o Shamcey Supsup and Gwen Ruais, respectively). And just last year, Janine Tugonon was named 1st Runner-Up to Olivia Culpo, with Stephany Stefanowitz a close 2nd in Miss Earth and Rizzini Gomez pulling a Miss Tourism International. More than a week back, we finally bagged the Miss World crown via Megan Young, with the Mutya Datul victory in Miss Supranational adding more spice to a 2013 looking more optimistic than ever. And let’s not forget that this year’s editions of Miss Universe, Miss Earth and Miss International are still upcoming.
Are we looking at another Golden Age while establishing the Pageant Powerhouse status of the Philippines? Will the winning streak run till 2015? Or will it even go beyond that? I say yes. For sure, the element of luck will still come into play. But with the diligent training and preparations being given to our carefully-chosen representatives, there’s no reason to slide back and be relegated to anonymity anymore.
Things are definitely looking up. There’s no room for resting on our laurels. It’s full steam ahead for the Philippines! 🙂
Reigning Bb. Pilipinas-International Melody Gersbach was honored with a send-off by the Bb. Pilipinas Charities, Inc. to the Miss International 2009 to be held in Chengdu, Province of Sichuan, China. The lovely Fil-German Bicolana is 23 years old, stands 5’6″ and measures an eye-catching 34-24-34. Her main objective is to capture a 5th Miss International crown for the country and follow the footsteps of victorious Filipinas in the same pageant – Gemma Cruz (1965), Aurora Pijuan (1971), Melanie Marquez (1979) and Precious Lara Quigaman (2005.)
Melody Gersbach waves to well-wishers during her send-off to Miss International 2009.
Melody will be joining around 60 other representatives from around the world as they compete for the crown currently being held by Alejandra Andreu of Spain. Finals will be on November 28.
With Melody's fresh face and disarming features, she is sure to make heads turn in Chengdu, China.
Melody Gersbach's aim is to become the 5th Filipina to win the Miss International crown.
Best of luck to Melody! As people say, bring home the bacon!
Images above are courtesy of Melvin Sia of OPMB Worldwide Forums.