In commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of her winning the country’s very first Miss Universe title last July 19, 1969, I am sharing with you the full video of the 1969 Miss Universe where our very own Gloria Diaz made the entire country proud when she defeated 60 other delegates on the way to the top.
Photos from the Tony Paat Collection
This is a Super #Throwback for Easter Sunday:
While the actual Coronation Night of Binibining Pilipinas 1969 was held June 13 of that year, 2019 marks the Golden Anniversary of Gloria Diaz – both as Binibining Pilipinas Universe and (our country’s first) Miss Universe. Let us focus on her conquest of the national pageant.
FYI, the Bb. Pilipinas 1969 Honor Roll is as follows:
Binibining Pilipinas-Universe – Gloria Maria Aspillera Diaz
Binibining Pilipinas-International – Margaret Rose “Binky” Orbe Montinola
1st Runner-Up – Nelia delos Reyes Sancho (who later became Queen of the Pacific ’71)
2nd Runner-Up – Cynthia Commans Quirino
3rd Runner-Up – Maricar Azaola
4th Runner-Up – Carmina Cuervo Gutierrez (she happens to be the aunt of Bb. Pilipinas World 1993 Sharmaine Ruffa Gutierrez)
Let us now look back at nostalgic photos which the great pageant collector Townee F Paat graciously shared with your blogger for this intent – from her graduation photo in the St. Scholastica College Yearbook at age 17 to her participation in Bb. Pilipinas 1969 at age 18 and eventually winning the right to represent the country in Miss Universe 1969.
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
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. 🙂
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. 😉
The two years that made historic pageant marks for the country, Miss Universe-wise.
The photos and newspaper clippings have all but disappeared. And whatever’s left are wonderful memories (for those whose ages mattered during the late 60s and early 70s), as attested by grainy videos that even the experts in digital remastering can only improve, but not by much.
The decades have passed by without a duplication of Gloria’s and Margarita’s victories. Miriam and Janine came so close, only to see the crown slip from their grasp.
When will be the next? When will be that third time that a Filipina can successfully wrest the title we all have been yearning for? But more importantly, who will be the third Filipina to achieve that? Will she come from the current crop of Bb. Pilipinas Gold candidates? Or will 2013 spell a return to the clapping background?
I can be an eternal optimist when it comes to bringing top honors for the Philippines. And if our Top 5 streak during the past three years is any indication, there’s really no other way to go but up. One notch up is all we need. And the Philippines will experience its ‘Glory’ (and Margie) days once again. 😉
The gorgeous Isabelle Diaz Daza
I want to dedicate my last post for 2012 to a Filipina I am so hoping and wishing to represent us in Donald Trump’s pageant, such that if I am given the power to nominate one sure bet for Miss Universe Philippines 2013, only one name will come out of my lips: Isabelle Daza.
Isabelle wearing the Miss Universe crown her mom won back in 1969. The event was a Mad Hatter's Ball hosted by Tim Yap.
The daughter and deadringer of 1969 Miss Universe Gloria Diaz, Isabelle is the epitome of a real Pinay beauty for the Universe. She is beautiful and sensual, highlighted by facial features that can leave both men and women in awe. Her good height of 5’7″ might seem middling to most, but she has this excellent posture that gives the vision of a much taller individual. And those oh-so enviable cheekbones! Not a few ladies would agree to go under the knife just to achieve the same. What’s more, a much-longed for participation in Miss Universe – if ever – would be good publicity in itself for the competition.
Watch Isabelle in motion below:
Courtesy of esquireph
So as we bid farewell to the Year of the Dragon that is 2012, let me share my fervent pageant wish that Isabelle finally gives us bloggers, fans and followers the precious “yes” to Bb. Pilipinas 2013.
Otherwise, we should all look for someone who can measure up to our already high standards for the title – quite a Herculean task to accomplish within the next couple of months. 😉
Happy New Year! 😀