The very first Mutya ng Pilipinas World titleholder back in 1977. She is Anna Melissa Ofilada Veneracion, or more popularly known now as Peachy Veneracion. (Photo credit: Tony Paat)
Since Mutya ng Pilipinas 2014 will culminate with the national finals at the Grand Ballroom of Solaire Resort and Casino tomorrow night, I opted to make a Throwback Thursday post about the very first Mutya ng Pilipinas-World titleholder who happens to be still active in the pageant scene but with a different group now.
To the uninitiated, 1977 was the year when Mutya ng Pilipinas got hold of the Miss World franchise and when its first entry to Miss World was selected. The girl’s name is Anna Melissa Ofilada Veneracion or Peachy Veneracion for short. She went to the competition feeling confident of winning the country’s first crown in the London-based pageant. And she actually became a favorite among the delegates.
But somewhere along the way, government pressure prompted Peachy to walk out less than 24 hours before the finals. This is due to the growing clamor to sympathize with the anti-apartheid protests happening at the time when South Africa was represented by a white candidate. With a heavy heart, she gave up on what could have been her chance to shine bright in the Miss World stage. If it’s any consolation, there were nine others – Misses India, Indonesia, Jamaica, Liberia, Malaysia, Mauritius, Singapore, Swaziland and Yugoslavia – who walked out in different time frames of pre-pageant activities. In the end, Mary Stavin of Sweden was proclaimed Miss World 1977.
Less than 24 hours before the Miss World 1977 finals in London, Miss Philippines Peachy Veneracion walked out of the competition to express her sympathy with the anti-apartheid protests.
I’d like to assume that everything is already water under the bridge for Peachy now. More than two decades later, she would team up with fellow Mutya ng Pilipinas titleholder (1979’s Lorraine Schuck) and businessman Ramon Monzon to start Carousel Productions and what is now considered one of the Big 4 pageants – Miss Earth.
In my mind, I really thought we had a strong chance of winning Miss World back in 1977. But it still wasn’t meant to be. We had to wait thirty-six (36) long years before finally nailing the Philippines’ first courtesy of Megan Young last year. 😉
Lorraine Schuck selling the Miss Earth crown to the Russians? I don't think so.
The scandal has already been discussed far and wide, in and out of the pageant world. Let me just share my brief thoughts on the matter to get it out of my system before we commence with the Miss Universe fiesta about to start in just a couple of days.
Carousel Productions have, for a little over the past decade, been through a lot building, spreading and mounting the annual Miss Earth and with much success to boot. They have gone to the highest highs and the lowest lows just to protect and preserve the reputation of the pageant – much like its core objective of fighting for the cause of Mother Earth. And now comes a controversial interview where its EVP Lorraine Schuck allegedly struck a deal with representatives of the Russian Oligarchs to sell the crown for the relatively cool amount of Four Million Dollars.
For damage control, Ms. Schuck has already released a statement denying the same. Yes, she admitted that the one-on-one (or two-on-one) took place last year. But nothing even remotely close to making a dangerous deal with the said reps.
I’m writing on the defense of Carousel Productions and Miss Earth on this one. And let me just add that this is no paid blog service to them. My stand is this – the crown was not offered for sale. Ms. Schuck is too smart a businesswoman to even fall prey to individuals who might have the intention of breaking down her defenses with the lure of big money. There is so much Filipino Pride in Miss Earth, such that after sharing it with the world, the last thing in her mind is to throw away everything the group has painstakingly built from scratch. And all in a matter of less than an hour? I don’t think so.
These Russian Oligarchs better bark up another planted tree. Miss Earth is here to stay. And for me, that is that.
Besides, didn’t Miss Earth Russia Natalia Pereverzeva just call her country a beggar during an interview when the candidates were presented to the press? If the business magnates do really have the moolah to spare, why not give it to the more needy sectors of their society? That way, they can prove that Russia is far from being a pauper in disguise.
Let me hear your thoughts on this issue, won’t you? 😉
Today is Tuesday, November 6, and at exactly 10:00AM, all roads will lead to the poolside of Best Western F1 Premier Hotel in BGC (Bonifacio Global City) where the lovely beauties of Miss Earth 2012 will be formally presented to the Press. Ramon Monzon and Lorraine Schuck of Carousel Productions – founders of the pageant – together with Miss Earth 2011 Olga Alava will be around to welcome all invited guests.
This year’s batch is considered to be the strongest in the more-than-a-decade long history of the environment-inspired beauty competition. For sure, the photographers will have a field day clicking their cameras. Expect pictures of the event to start flooding the net by Wednesday.
Miss Earth will be up to a big feverish start! 😀
Here is a video of the Welcome Dinner hosted by Carousel Productions and Miss Earth Foundation for all the Miss Earth 2009 delegates already accounted for. Here, you will see the girls in motion instead of just snap shots. Do keep in mind that the arrival photos were taken right after the ladies arrived from the airport so they haven’t really settled in just yet.
video courtesy of YouTube/ecurb of OPMB Worldwide
You will notice some of the ladies who were not featured in the last two blogs like Miss Earth Switzerland Graziella Rogers, Miss Earth Macau Jia Pei, Miss Earth Albania Suada Saliu, Miss Earth Mexico Natalia Quinones Perez and Miss Earth Turks & Caicos Alison Capron.
Here is the 2nd video of the news clip from ABS-CBN’s TV Patrol about Miss Earth 2009 and the early favorites.
video courtesy of YouTube/TheABSCBNNews
You will also see here the interviews with the tallest Miss Earth 2009 candidate Aheu Deng Kudum (Miss South Sudan) who stands 6’5″ and the ladies with Filipino descent like Alejandra Mendoza of Honduras and Maria Luisa Santos of Guam plus a brief talk with Carousel Productions’ Lorraine Schuck.
More updates in the next few days!