1952: Miss Philippines, Teresita Torralba Sanchez, Miss Luzon Carmen Ortega, Miss Visayas Jean Arquiza, Miss Mindanao Emma Nepomuceno and Miss Manila Carmencita Fernandez. There were 14 finalists including the late actress Nida Blanca and Maria Norma Mendoza. Sponsored by Pan American Airways, Catalina Swimsuits, Universal International Pictures and Khan Cigarette Co., the coronation night was held on April 26, 1952 at the Fiesta Pavilion of Manila Hotel. Teresita was Maria Norma’s runner up in the Silvana Mangano of the Philippines 1952 contest. Emma also joined the search for Miss Philippines of 1953 PI World Fair (won by Cristina Galang), Loveliest Dalagang Filipina and Miss Valentine of the Philippines, both in 1954. Nida’s film Korea was shown a month before the pageant finals. The movie gave Nida her first acting award, the first ever Best Supporting Actress of FAMAS, the first film award-giving body in the Philippines.
1953: Miss Philippines Cristina “Tinang” Monson Pacheco, Miss Luzon Janet Hart, Miss Visayas Eleanor Medina, Miss Mindanao Gloria Tupas and Miss Manila Amelia Crame. There were 14 finalists. The pageant was sponsored by Poulex Department Store and the coronation night was held on June 28, 1953 at the Fiesta Pavilion of Manila Hotel. Cristina did a movie, Saigon (1956, filmed entirely in Vietnam), with Leopoldo Salcedo and played of the role of Veronica in the Lenten stage play Martir sa Golgota (1956) with Cecilia Lopez as the Virgin Mary, staged in Manila Grand Opera House. Eleanor won as Silvana Mangano of the Philippines of 1953 and second place as Scoty’s Girl of 1953, freelanced in LVN and Premiere studios and top billed Babaing Kalbo (1953).
1954: Miss Philippines Blesilda “Bessie” Mueler Ocampo, Miss Luzon Baby Vergel de Dios, Miss Visayas Monette Tambunting and Miss Mindanao Maja Fernandez. Bessie was crowned on December 19, 1953 at the Boys’ Town Carnival Auditorium. Bessie also joined the Miss Valentine of the Philippines 1954. Monette joined the Miss Philippine Red Cross 1952, Queen of Mardi Gras 1953 and was selected as one of the Outstanding Teenagers of 1953. Imelda Romualdez, Muse of Manila 1953, was one of the candidates.
1955: Miss Philippines Yvonne Berenguer de los Reyes, Miss Luzon Lucy del Prado, Miss Visayas Annie Gonzales and Miss Mindanao Annie Corrales. There were 16 finalists including Elaine Gamboa (mother of Sharon Cuneta). Since the pageant was held in conjunction with the Cavalcade of Industries Exposition, Yvonne was bestowed the title Queen Yvonne I, Miss Philippines, Queen of Industries during the coronation night on March 12, 1955 at the Cavalcade Hall Auditorium of United Nations Plaza. Yvonne came from a family of beauty queens. She is the sister of Simonette de los Reyes, Bb. Pilipinas-Universe 1970, and the cousin of Pacita de los Reyes, Carnival Queen 1929, and Bessie Ocampo, Miss Philippines 1954. Baby joined the Gypsy Princess tilt in 1953.
1956: Miss Philippines Merced Edith Noble Nakpil, Miss Luzon Fely Gonzales, Miss Visayas Helen Paulino and Miss Mindanao Sylvia Rodriguez. The winners were chosen by a 15-member jury on December 18, 1955 and were crowned on December 23, 1955 at the Boys Town Auditorium. Edith was a pageant veteran. She also joined the search for Miss Philippine Red Cross 1952, Queen of Charity 1953, Queen of Mardi Gras 1953, Loveliest Dalagang Filipina 1954 and Miss Valentine of the Philippines 1954. She was the daughter of Anita Noble, Carnival Queen 1926, and Juan Nakpil (declared National Artist for Architecture, 1973). Edith played the role Maria Magdalena in the stage play, Martir sa Golgota (1956). Edith passed away at 74 last year.
1956: Miss Philippines Isabel Rodriguez bested 15 other candidates including Annie Corales and Sonia Aldeguer who made it as finalists, clinching the title of Miss Benevolence. Isabel, who quit a convent school to join the contest, was chosen by a panel of judges including prominent socialite Chona Recto-Kasten and Cesar Legaspi (later named National Artist for Visual Arts, 1990). The search was conducted when Edith Nakpil forfeited her right to compete in the 1956 Miss Universe pageant. The coronation night was held on June 23, 1956 at Fiesta Pavilion of Manila Hotel during the Fashion Impressions show for the benefit of the Elks Cerebral Palsy Educational and Fund Campaign Drive.
1957: Miss Philippines Mary Ann Carmen “Annie” Philipps Corrales. After three attempts, Annie finally won the coveted crown and title which she received on June 23, 1957 during the Holiday in Manila festival at the Jai Alai Sky Room. The pageant was jointly sponsored by Casino Espanol of the Philippines and Elks Cerebral Palsy Educational and Fund Campaign Drive. Annie was also Miss Aviation 1955 and Miss Mindanao to Miss Philippines 1955 Yvonne de los Reyes. Carmen Soriano, Martine Carol of the Philippines 1957 and Miss Manila 1957, competed in the pageant.
1958: Miss Philippines Carmen “Chuchay” Remedios Tuason, Miss Luzon Belinda Mendrano, Miss Visayas Rosalinda Yulo and Miss Mindanao Esmelita Aniban. In a field of 35 aspirants, the winners were selected by an all-male panel of judges composed of Senator-actor Rogelio de la Rosa, Congressman Jose Laurel, Napoleon Abueva (later declared National Artist for Visual Arts – Sculpture, 1976), head of Sampaguita Studios Dr. Jose Perez (one of CCP’s 100 Centennial Honor for the Arts awardees, 1999) and businessman-stage / film actor Virgilio Hilario (husband of the first Miss Universe Armi Kuusela). They were proclaimed on January 30, 1958 and crowned on February 7, 1958 at the Philippine National Exposition Auditorium. As part of her prize, Chuchay attended the 1958 Brussels World’s Fair in Belgium. She was also Muse of Art Directors Club of 1958. Recently, Chuchay represented our country in the first International Mind Sports Game held in Beijing, China, in October 2008, and in the 31st ASEAN Bridge Club Championship in Kuala Lumpur in December 2009.
1959: Miss Philippines Cristina “Cristy” Matias, Miss Luzon Encarnita Abierra, Miss Visayas Amelia Bucoy and Miss Mindanao Corazon de Jesus. Cristina won over 40 other candidates from different regions of the country. Winners were selected by a 15-member board of judges and were proclaimed on January 18, 1959. Cristina was crowned as Queen Cristina II on February 6, 1959 at the Philippine National Exposition Auditorium. During the coronation night, a production number called Trip to the Stars, personifying gods and goddesses, was rendered by Susan Roces (Goddess of Mercury), Amalia Fuentes (Goddess of Neptune), Paraluman (Goddess of Venus), Marlene Dauden (Goddess of Saturn), Ric Rodrigo (God of Mars), Juancho Gutierrez (God of Uranus) and Romeo Vasquez (God of Neptune). Corazon was also Miss Manila Youth of 1959. Cristina and Corazon appeared in LVN Picture’s Bayanihan (1959) topbilled by Nestor de Villa and Bernard Bonnin.
1962: Miss Philippines Josephine Brown Estrada was chosen by Boys Town of the Philippines Committee in coordination with Ken Snell, Manila representative of the Miss Universe contest. Her launching movie, June Bride (opposite Eddie Gutierrez, was shown on June 23, 1962) days after her appointment as Miss Philippines. She joined the Dream Girl contest in 1959, won as Miss Luzon to Miss Philippines 1960 (for Miss International) Editha Vital and Miss Aviation 1961. Josephine is married to H.E. Jose E. Brillantes, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipontentiary of the Philippines to Canada. An active volunteer of a national non-governmental organization, Josephine is deeply involved in numerous activities that address the growing needs of Filipino migrants in the USA.
1963: Miss Philippines Lalaine “Bingbing” Betia Bennett, Miss Luzon Vida Hernandez, Miss Visayas Carmencita “Chiqui” Somes, Miss Mindanao Lirio Arkoncel and Miss Manila Virginia Sicat. In cooperation with Manila couturiers and designers, the pageant was sponsored by General Textiles. Lalaine and Chiqui were already in showbiz when they were crowned on June 9, 1963 at the Philamlife Auditorium. Dubbed as the Paula Prentiss of the Philippines, Lalaine received a Best Actress nomination from FAMAS for Ligaw na Daigdig (1962)/ She also placed first runner-up (Miss Luzon) to Miss Philippines 1962 (for Miss International) Cynthia Ugalde. Lalaine is the niece of Helen Bennett, former social secretary of President Elpidio Quirino and Miss Visayas to Carnival Queen 1936 Guia Balmori. Chiqui, daughter of character actor-police detective Jose Vergara, was one of the 15 finalists in the first Bb. Pilipinas pageant in 1964.