Philippines is one of 15 nations with most number of Miss Universe awards
SOURCE: Article by Rose-An Jessica Dioquino from GMAnews online
After Miss Philippines Shamcey Supsup’s fourth-place finish in the 2011 Miss Universe pageant on Tuesday, the Philippines remains one of four Asian countries on the list of top 15 nations with the most number of awards from the prestigious beauty contest.
Overall, 16 candidates from the Philippines made it beyond the preliminary round of the Miss Universe pageant, with two of them taking home the title, four years apart:
1954 – Blesilda Ocampo (semifinalist)
1963 – Lalaine Bennett (3rd runner-up)
1965 – Louise Vail Aurelio (semifinalist)
1966 – Maria Clarinda Soriano (semifinalist)
1969 – Gloria Diaz (Miss Universe, ten best in swimsuit)
1972 – Armi Barbara Crespo (semifinalist)
1973 – Margarita Moran (Miss Universe, Miss Photogenic)
1974 – Guadalupe Sanchez (semifinalist)
1975 – Rose Mari Brosas (4th runner-up)
1980 – Maria Rosario “Chat” Silayan (3rd runner-up)
1984 – Maria Desiree Verdadero (3rd runner-up)
1987 – Geraldine Asis (semifinalist)
1994 – Charlene Gonzales (top 6, best in national costume)
1999 – Miriam Quiambao (1st runner-up)
2010 – Maria Venus Raj (4th runner-up)
2011 – Shamcey Supsup (3rd runner-up)
Seven Filipinas were also named Miss Photogenic — in 1971, 1973 (Margie Moran who was crowned the 1973 Miss Universe), 1996, 1997, 2005, 2006, and 2007.
The Philippines hosted the prestigious pageant twice — in 1974 and 1994, respectively.
Aside from the Philippines, the other countries that made it to the tally of top 16 nations with the most number of Miss Universe awards are:
- Puerto Rico
- Trinidad and Tobago
The first Filipina to make it in the Miss Universe semifinals was Blesilda Mueler Ocampo, who entered the pageant as a freshman architecture student in 1954.
Nine years later, the Philippines would earn a place in the final five, courtesy of doll-faced Lalaine Bennett, who was named 3rd runner-up.
Bennett made a mark in the 1963 pageant in Florida when she greeted the audience in Filipino.
In her speech, she thanked Americans for helping Filipinos “stand on our own two feet.”
“As a child, I have always wanted to come; to visit the native land of my grandfather, who was one of the first American teachers who came to help educate my people,” she said.
PHL’s first Miss Universe winner
In 1969, five years after former Miss Colombia Stella Marquez-Araneta put up the Binibining Pilipinas beauty pageant in 1964, the Philippines won its first Miss Universe title, courtesy of Gloria Diaz, now one of the country’s veteran actresses.
Diaz impressed the crowd when she answered the question, “If a man from the moon landed in your hometown, what would you do to entertain him?”
The 18-year-old wittingly replied, “Oh! Uh, just the same things I do. I think if he has been on the moon for so long, I think when he comes over, he wants to change, I guess.”
Diaz, who also made it to the 10 best in swimsuit, was the third Asian to win the title.
Another Miss Universe
In 1973, another Filipina named Margarita Moran outshone other beauties in the Miss Universe pageant.
Moran, granddaughter of former President Manuel Roxas, was 19 years old when she joined the pageant in Greece, the first time it was held outside the United States.
Asked about the difference between a Filipina and a Miss Universe, Moran replied: “Being Miss Universe is like having a birthstone, you may lose it. Being a Filipina is like having a birthmark, it’s forever.”
When the Philippines hosted the pageant for the second time in 1994, fair-skinned beauty Charlene Gonzales was asked about the number of islands in the country.
Gonzales charmed the audience with her reply, “High tide or low tide?” She made it to the top 6 and was named Best in National Costume.
The country’s highest rank in the pageant in recent years was the first runner-up win courtesy of Miriam Quiambao, a licensed physical therapist.
Quiambao endeared herself to the judges and audience after she tripped on stage during the preliminary evening gown competition.
“I believe that [when I stood up on stage after tripping off on stage], I became a symbol of strength for all the women who had fallen [on and off stage],” she said.
The country waited 11 years before its representative made it to the question-and-answer portion again.
Ma. Venus Raj, who created a stir pre-Miss Universe with her brief dethronement, took center stage in a “major, major” way.
The bubbly gal from the Bicol region made the now-famous phrase when she answered the question from actor William Baldwin: “You know what, sir, in my 22 years of existence, I can say that there’s nothing major major, I mean, problem that I’ve done in my life because I’m very confident with my family, with the love that they are giving to me. So thank you so much that I’m here. Thank you! Thank you so much!” – VVP, GMA News
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I posted this interesting story for its trivia, but here’s another link to more interesting facts about the Filipina beauty titlists: A Century of Philippine Beauties