The decade of the 80s marked the most successful performances of the Philippines in Miss Asia Quest and Miss Asia-Pacific Quest (stress on the word ‘Quest’ to distinguish the group from the Korea-based company that added the words ‘World Super Talent’ to the sash) held annually since 1969 and which had its unofficial curtain call last 2000. It took fourteen (14) long years before a Filipina actually won the first courtesy of Ma. Del Carmen Ines ‘Carines’ Zaragoza when she outclassed the same number of candidates during Miss Asia 1982 held in Malaysia. And as if that victory wasn’t enough to satisfy the thirst of Filipinos for another crown, a back-to-back took place the following year when Gloria ‘Bong’ Aranas Dimayacyac became the 2nd when she was elected Miss Asia 1983 here in Manila.
After that, the title evolved into Miss Asia-Pacific Quest in order to accommodate countries geographically located in the Pacific rim and welcomed the candidates from the US, Canada, Peru, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica and the like. The competition got even tougher. And it wasn’t until 1989 when another Filipina – Lorna Legaspi – succeeded in wresting the title when it was held in Hong Kong.
The 90s saw a continuation of the pan-regional pageant with hosting chores done mostly by the Philippines. Its final glory came in 1993 when Michelle Aldana snagged the honor of becoming the 2nd Filipina to clinch a Miss Asia-Pacific win.The road got rocky as the years passed by, especially during the entry of the New Millennium when the holding of the yearly event got scarce to the point of everything becoming just a nostalgic part of the past. My sources are saying that the organizers of Mutya ng Pilipinas 2015 are looking at getting a new international pageant franchise at the moment. I sincerely hope that this will come to fruition because I can’t bear seeing beautiful winners go to waste.
Right, Eva Patalinjug? 😉
P. S. Thanks to my friend Francis Calubaquib for the newspaper clippings of Carines Zaragoza, Bong Dimayacyac and Lorna Legaspi in the topmost photo grid.