Countdown to Coronation (Part I): Strutting Down Memory Lane

THE TRES MARIAS. Gloria Diaz, Margarita Moran and Pia Wurtzbach are the paragons of a beautiful Filipina and are crowned the Miss Universe in 1969, 1973 and 2015 respectively. On this occasion, Wurtzbach will pass on her duties to her successor on January 30 at her native country.

THE TRES MARIAS. Gloria Diaz, Margarita Moran and Pia Wurtzbach are the paragons of a beautiful Filipina and are crowned the Miss Universe in 1969, 1973 and 2015 respectively. On this occasion, Wurtzbach will pass on her duties to her successor on January 30 at her native country.

This Timow’s Turf special report will be dedicated on the 65th Miss Universe pageant where the Philippines is the host and its grand coronation on January 30. The views and opinions expressed in this two-part special do not reflect those on the Miss Universe Organization (MUO).

FINALLY, the Beauty Pageant Powerhouse of Asia is hosting once again for Miss Universe. This is the third time the nation is hosting the most popular Big 4 beauty pageant and the second time that it skipped its respective corresponding year. (Again, as the Turf published in 2015, the press should follow the ordinal form — i.e. 65th — to end the confusion.)

So far, in the past four consecutive years (2013-16), our country produced more beauty queens in all Big 4 pageants (together with World, International and Earth); thus, such credentials enhanced the nation’s reputation to host one of them.

Nevertheless, the euphoria goes over the top for all Filipinos — especially, most of the LGBTQ community — as they look forward that happen once in a generation. In the media landscape, almost all entities are devoting the Miss Universe mania with specials and allocated newshole on this rare moment.

All these things are leading up to the coronation night on January 29 in the East Coast (where the organization’s HQ is stationed) — or the morning of January 30 here — in SM Mall of Asia Arena where 85 entrants are racing for the crown from Pia Wurtzbach.

But before we enter to this edition, let’s strut down the catwalk on memory lane where we previously hosted two editions of this red-letter prestigious event.

The two Miss U’s in PH

23rd Miss Universe

  • Date: July 21, 1974
  • Venue: Folk Arts Theater (Teatrong Francisco Balagtas)
  • International broadcaster: CBS
  • Local broadcaster: RPN 9
  • Hosts: Bob Barker & Ms. Helen O’Connell
  • Entrants: 65
  • Crowned: Amparo Muñoz (Spain)

Held in the midst of Martial Law, this edition is the first to be held in Asia. Although Japan wanted to bid for that edition, then-First Lady Imelda Marcos’ insistent pleading gave in. The venue — in the CCP Complex — was built in a whopping 77 days, just in time for the pageant.

DisMissed Universe. Amparo Muñoz of Spain was crowned in Manila in 1974 but was dethroned for non-compliance. She passed away at 56 in 2011.

DisMissed Universe. Amparo Muñoz of Spain was crowned in Manila in 1974 but was dethroned for non-compliance. She passed away at 56 in 2011.

Prior to the pageant proper, a biggest parade called “Kasaysayan ng Lahi” welcomed the contenders; it took 4 hours to complete the 120-float ensemble. The coronation capped with the presence of the honor guards cadets Philippine Military Academy and the hosts and judges wear their Barongs and Filipiniana — the obvious clues of the country’s zeitgeist. The outgoing Miss Universe, Margarita Moran, passed the crown and sash on her native country to the former colony.

In the aftermath of the pageant, our politics was not the primary reason why Muñoz’s usufruct of the crown didn’t last throughout until the next edition. It was her non-compliance with the organization’s rules when she revealed as an unwed mother. Hence, she was forced to resign but no one else took her place as the runner-up, Helen Morgan of Wales, ran for Miss World that year. Muñoz passed away in 2011 at 56.

Our very own — Guadalupe Sanchez — only made it to the semi-finals.

43rd Miss Universe

  • Date: May 20, 1994
  • Venue: Philippine International Convention Center
  • International broadcaster: CBS
  • Local broadcaster: ABS-CBN
  • Hosts: Bob Goen, Arthen Neville & Angela Visser (Miss Universe 1989)
  • Entrants: 77
  • Crowned: Sushmita Sen (India)

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Unlike Muñoz, Sushmita — the first Indian to be crowned — continued to her reign until the next edition. In addition, two beauties became lasting star sensations in the country after the pageant proper.

Dayanara Torres, the outgoing Miss Universe, became a leading lady with 10 films and performed as one of the pioneer mainstays of ABS-CBN’s Sunday variety program, ASAP, earning the informal title “Dancing Queen.” She starred first with Aga Muhlach in Basta’t Kasama Kita and then, Gary Valenciano in the 1995 dance film, Hataw Na. She earned Best New Female Personality by the Philippine Movie Press Club (PMPC) on the same year. Recently, Torres signed back to her second home in Manila in Valenciano’s Manila Genesis family.

Miss Australia Michelle van Eimeren — though she didn’t finished any placements or earned special awards — became a leading lady of Ogie Alcasid with four films after the pageant stint. She was married to him in 1996 and had two children but the marriage was annulled in 2007.

Other sensations include Christelle Roelandts (Belgium) as the crowd favorite and Minorka Mercado (Venezuela) for earning few special awards.

Our very own bet, Charlene Gonzales, landed on the Top 6 and won the National Costume; though she lost the question-and-answer portion, she won later the heart to Aga as they tied the knot in 2001.

Fun facts and more to come…

Now that we strutted on the catwalk of history, we are now ready to look on to the main event. But that will be discussed on Part II but before we wrap the first part, here are some fun facts:

  • All three Miss Universe editions hosted here (including this edition) and three Filipinas who are crowned Miss Universe are not under the hands of U.S. President-elect Donald Trump.
  • Individually, Gloria Diaz (1969, 18th) was crowned as the Apollo 11 was in journey to the Moon, Margarita Moran (1973, 22nd) was crowned while the country’s on Martial Law and Pia Wurtzbach (2015, 64th) was crowned as the first beauty queen after Trump’s relinquishment of the control of the pageant.

What are the recent happenings and impending things that will occur on this edition of Miss Universe? Stay tuned to Timow’s Turf and find out.


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Photo credits:

  • Three Filipina Miss Universe: Rappler
  • Amparo Muñoz: Tinypic
  • Sushmita Sen: Wikimedia Commons
  • Dayanara Torres: Latino Post
  • Michelle van Eimeren: Twitter
  • Christelle Roelandts: Photobucket
  • Minorka Mercado: Beauty Pageant blogspot
  • Charlene Gonzales-Muhlach: BDJ Box
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3 comments

  1. Hello, my name is Ryan Ortega. This blog is very interesting, and I do hope for your continued participation. Now, I am writing a research paper for school on lost television broadcasts in the country and the issue on archiving television broadcasts. Do you think you could do an article on those issues? Perhaps a listing of shows with missing episodes? I would love to see your thoughts on that.

    1. Hello, Mr. Ryan Ortega.

      I love to hear from you, especially your intention to find knowledge on that topic.

      However, since you’re writing for a research paper, I don’t think blogs — such as this — are reliable sources but I am happy to put your request in my agenda.

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