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Thursday, December 3, 2009

Philippines 58 Years With Miss Universe Pageant

Fifty years ago, an 18-year-old blonde, blue-eyed lass from Muhos, Finland, named Armi Helena Kyre Kuusela became the first Miss Universe (19520 at the Long Beach Municipal Auditorium, Long Beach, California. She bested 29 other international beauties, including our very own Miss Philippines Teresita Torralba Sanchez, a 20-year old UST medical student from Bulacan. The first batch of Miss Universe semifinalists in 1952 were Miss Finland Armi Kuusela, Miss Germany Renata Hoy, Miss Greece Daisy Mavraki, Miss Hawaii Elsa Edsman, Miss Hong Kong Judy Dan, Miss Mexico Olga Perez Castillo, Miss South Africa Catherine Higgine, Miss Sweden Ana Maria Destler, Miss USA Jackie Loughery (from New York) and Miss Uruguay Gladys Rubio. The results were 4th runner up Germany, 3rd runner up Hong Kong, 2nd runner up Greece, 1st runner up Hawaii and Miss Universe Finland.
In 1953, Armi was invited to the Philippines as a special guest of the Philippine International Fair in Manila. She met a dashing Filipino bachelor named Virgilio “Gil” Hilario, a 25- year old Columbia University graduate and an assistant accountant at the New York office of the Philippine National Bank. Armi did not finish her reign because after a whirlwind romance she married Gil. She remained as Miss Universe of 1952.
In 1954, Maria Candida Blesilda Mueler Ocampo, a UST architecture freshman, was the first Filipina to land among the 15 semi-finalists. She was in London as part of her prize for winning the Boys Town Miss Philippines contest when she was asked to represent the country in the 1954 Miss Universe beauty pageant.
A 5’9” tall starlet who measured an impressive 35-23-36, Lalaine “Bing-bing” Betia Bennett, a 19-year old American mestiza from Bayombong, Nueva Vizcaya, won third runner-up in the 1963 Miss Universe pageant.
In 1965, another American mestiza from Iloilo, Louise Aurelio Vail, competed in Miss Universe in Miami Beach, Florida. She joined Bb. Pilipinas contest and Miss Universe as Louise Vail Aurelio in an attempt to Filipinize her name. That year, another Asian woman was crowned as Miss Universe, Apasra Hungsakula of Thailand (the first Asian to win the crown, in 1959, was Akiko Kojima of Japan). Louie was a semi-finalist.
A nursing student from Barrio Aniban in Bacoor, Cavite, Maria Clarinda “Arlin” Garces Soriano, was named Bb. Pilipinas-Universe in 1966. The 20 year-old UE nursing student, who slightly resembled the First Lady, Imelda Romualdez Marcos, was a semifinalist in Miss Universe.
In 1969, the year man (Apollo 11) conquered the moon, an 18 year-old student and model from Paranaque, Rizal, Gloria Aspillera Diaz, conquered the Universe. The 5’5” tall Gloria, whose well-proportioned body of 34-24-34 was enhanced by the proper amount of sex appeal and quick wit finally captured the elusive Miss Universe crown for the Philippines. She was the third woman from Asia and the first for the Philippines to win the Miss Universe title. She wooed the judges by her impressive answer to the question “If the man from the moon will land in your hometown, what will you do to entertain him?” when she replied, “I would do the same things I do, I think when he has been in the moon for so long I think when he comes over he wants to change I guess.”
Before Martial Law was proclaimed in 1972, Armi Barbara Quiray Crespo was selected as one of the 12 semifinalists in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
The following year (1973), Maria Margarita Roxas Moran, a 19-year old Business student at Maryknoll College (now known as Miriam College) bagged our second Miss Universe crown in an ancient open-air Herod Atticus theater in Athens, Greece. Margie is the granddaughter of the late President Manuel Roxas. Her outstanding Spanish-French-Filipina features also earned for her the Miss Photogenic title.
In 1974, the Miss Universe was held in Manila. Our candidate, Guadalupe “Guada” Cuerva Sanchez, a 17-year old I.S. student, was among the 12 semifinalists. Margie Moran, Miss Universe 1973 relinquished her crown to her successor, Amparo Munoz of Spain Miss Universe 1974.
Rosemarie “Chiqui” Singson Brosas, an 18-year old model, was our bet in the 1975 Miss Universe held in San Salvador, El Salvador. She won 4th runner up to Finland’s Anne Marie Pohtamo.
In 1980, Seoul, South Korea hosted the Miss Universe beauty pageant, the 2nd Asian country to do so. Ma. Rosario “Chat” Rivera Silayan, a 21-year old college graduate and mode, was our bet. Chat, the daughter of veteran movie actor, Vic Silayan, won 3rd runner up to Miss USA Shawn Nichols Weatherly.
Four years after, a 5’7” tall dusky model from Laguna, Ma. Desiree “Dess” Ereso Verdadero, a Bb. Pilipinas second timer (she was 1st runner up in 1982 to Ma. Isabel Lopez) won 3rd runner up in the 1984 Miss Universe held in Miami Beach, Florida.
In 1987, 5’9” tall Caucasian beauty Geraldine Edith “Peebles” Villaruz Asis was the top contender in Singapore where the 1987 Miss Universe was held. She was no. 6 in the rank.
In 1994, the Philippines hosted the Miss Universe Pageant for the second time. Our bet was Charlene Mae Gonzalez Bonnin, a 19-year old UST student and the daughter of action star Bernard “Palos” Bonnin and former beauty queen Elvira Pamintuan Gonzalez. She was among the six finalists and voted as Best in National Costume.
The last Bb. Pilipinas to finish as semifinalists was Miriam “Am” Quiambao, a 22-year old UST physical therapy graduate who tripped on the stage during the preliminary evening gown competition. She ended up 1st runner up and also bagged the Clairol Best Style Award.
Since Donald Trumpo takeover of Miss Universe, no Filipina has ever landed as a semifinalist because Trumpo soured the idea of a Filipina as a semifinalist since he has no business interest in the country. You can view our delegates from other international pageants with their pictures at www.veestarz.com...
Here’s the roster of Philippine bet to Miss Universe and how they fare:
1952 , Teresita Torralba Sancheznone
1953, Cristina Monson Pacheconone
1954, Maria Candida Blesilda Mueler Ocamposemifinalist
1955, Yvonne Berenguer de los Reyesnone
1956, Edith Noble NakpilWithdrew
Isabel Escobar Rodrigueznone
1957, Mary Ann “Annie” Phillips Corralesnone
1958, Carmen “Chuchay” TuasonWithdrew
1959, Cristina “Tinay” MatiasWithdrew
1960, No Candidate
1961, No Candidate
1962, Josephine Estrada Brownnone
1963, Lalaine Betia Bennett3rd runner up
1964, Maria Myrna Cecile Sese Panlilionone
1965, Louise Aurelio Vailsemifinalist
1966, Maria Clarinda “Arlin” Garces Sorianosemifinalist
1967, Pilar Delilah Veloso Pilapilnone
1968, Charina Rosello Zaragozanone
1969, Gloria Maria “Glory” Aspillera DiazMiss Universe (Best in Swimsuit)
1970, Simonette “Monette” Berenguer de los Reyesnone
1971, Vida Valentina Fernandez DoriaMiss Photogenic
1972, Armi Barbara Quiray Cresposemifinalist
1973, Maria Margarita Roxas MoranMiss Universe (Miss Photogenic)
1974, Guadalupe “Guada” Cuerva Sanchezsemifinalist
1975, Rosemarie “Chiqui” Singson Brosas4th runner up
1976, Lizbeth Samson de Paduanone
1977, Anna Lorraine Kiernone
1978, Jennifer “Jenny” Mitzchek Corteznone
1979, Cresilda “Dang” Flores Cecilionone
1980, Maria Rosario “Chat” Rivera Silayan3rd runner up
1981, Marie Caroline “Maricar” de Vera Mendozanone
1982, Maria Isabel “Maribel” Pagunsan Lopeznone
1983, Rosita “Cita” Cornell Capuyonnone
1984, Maria Desiree “Dess” Ereso Verdadero3rd runner up
1985, Joyce Ann Fellosas Burtonnone
1986, Violeta Asela Enriquez Naluznone
1987, Geraldine Edith “Peeble” Villaruz Asissemifinalist
1988, Perfida “Perlee” Reyes Limpinnone
1989, Sarah Jane Davis Paeznone
1990, Germelina “Gem” Leah Banal Padillanone
1991, Anjanette “AJ” Palencia AbayariResigned
Ma. Lourdes”Alu” Talam Gonzalesnone
1992, Elizabeth “Lisa” Garcia Berroyanone
1993, Melinda Joanna “Dindi” Tanseco Gallardo none
1994, Charlene Mae Gonzalez BonninFinalist (Best in National Costume)
1995, Joanne Zapanta Santosnone
1996, Aileen Leng Marfori DamilesMiss Photogenic (thru online voting)
1997, Abbygale “Abby”Williamson ArenasMiss Photogenic (thru online voting)
1998, Olivia Teresa “Tisha” de Carlos SilangResigned
Jewel May Colmenares Lobatonnone
1999, Miriam “Am” Redito Quiambao1st runner up (Clairol Best Style Award)
2000, Nina Ricci Caldo Alagaonone
2001, Zorayda Ruth Blanco Andamnone
2002, Karen Loren Agustinnone
2003, Carla Gay Sunga Balingitnone
2004, Maricar Balagtasnone
2005, Gionna CabreraMiss Photogenic, (finalist, Best in National Costume)
2006, Lia Andrea RamosMiss Photogenic
2007, Theresa Anne LicarosMiss Photogenic
2008, Jennifer Barrientosnone
2009, Pamela Bianca Manalo - none
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