Friday, October 4, 2013

Filipina Beauties Who Placed in Miss World: Part One

Vivien Lee Austria 
Miss World may have started in 1951 with Kiki Haakonson of Sweden, crowned as the first winner but it was only in 1966 when the Philippines debuted in the pageant with Vivien Lee Austria also known as Princess Emraida Kiram, a real- life Muslim princess as our country’s first official bet. 

She was selected by the College Editors Guild of the Philippines   to represent the Philippines for the first time in the 1966 Miss World beauty competition in London, England.

Here now is the list of Filipina beauties that placed or won special awards in the 63 year old Miss World Pageant. We're also including some controversial beauties in the list

The list is in chronological order:

1968     Cecilia "Pinky" Amabuyok  holds the distinction of being the first Filipina to place in the pageant. She was 4th runner up. She created a media frenzy when she reportedly shared that she was a novice who escaped from the nunnery to join the pageant. It turned out to be pure speculations


Our Pinay delegates to Miss World greeted the 70's decade with a Top 15 placement for Minnie Cagatao.  Her remarkable performance was duplicated by the country's next three bets with the high point provided by Evangeline Pascual who placed a close second to eventual winner Marjorie Wallace. Our bet in 1971 Onelia Jose may not have made the Top 15 but won a special award hence her inclusion.

1970 - Minerva 'Minnie' Cagatao was a svelte long- haired top Philippine model who placed in the Top 15 semi-finals. 
Minnie with a very young Julia Morley
1971 - Onelia Ison Jose may not have made the Top 15 but she is  the first to win the Best National Costume award for the Philippines.  

Onelia Jose in her winning Fililpiniana
1972 - Evangeline Reyes made the Top 15 in London. One of the semifinalists that year was Lynda Carter of the United States who later became more famous than the 1972 winner when she became TV’s iconic  “Wonder Woman.” 
Evangeline Reyes is second from left
1973 - Evangeline Pascual gave the Philippines its highest position since it first participated in Miss World 8 years before. There was a tie for the crown between Miss Philippines and Miss United States. American actor and pageant judge Gregory Peck reportedly broke the tie in favor of Marjorie Wallace.

After Marjorie was dethroned due to undisclosed reasons, the crown was offered to Vangie. She reportedly turned it down

1976 - Josephine “Joy” Salazar Conde became the first Filipina to withdraw from an international beauty pageant.  

The 1976 pageant that turned out to be the last edition of Miss Republic of the Philippines is famously known for having attracted a batch of top- caliber beauties who would later on foray successfully in movies and in international modeling.  

Her runners up were Elizabeth Oropesa (1972 Miss Luzon), an award-winning actress, Anna Bayle (1975 Miss Luzon), the first Asian supermodel, and Bessie Badilla (1975 2nd Runner-up), international model and the first Filipina to be selected as Carnival Queen in Brazil's famous annual Mardi Gras.


Imagine her frustration and disappointment when she was requested by the Philippine government to boycott the pageant as a show of support of the country’s stand against South Africa’s apartheid or race policies. In those days, South Africa sent one white and one black candidate to the pageant.

The following day, Joy made it into the front page of UK newspapers, garnering more attention than the Miss World winner herself.

1977 - Ana Melissa 'Peachy' Ofilada Veneracion was the first titleholder of the Mutya ng Pilipinas- World crown and just like Joy Conde her predecessor,  she was also forced to withdraw because of South Africa’s dual presence in the pageant.  What made her withdrawal heartbreaking was the fact that she was the heavy favorite to win it all. 


 Four of the Magic Five came from this group 

Today, she is known as Peachy of Carousel Productions, the outfit behind Miss Philippines Earth and Miss Philippines

1978 - Louvette Monzon Hammond marked the Philippines’ return to the Miss World pageant after a two-year boycott against apartheid. 

Pressure from the international media and national governments, South Africa finally withdrew from the pageant in 1978 thus paving the return of the Philippines to the pageant

1982 - Sarah Jane Coronel Areza entered the Top 15 semi-finals and won the special title of Continental Queen of Asia.

1986 - Sherry Rose Austria Byrne also placed in the Top 15 semi-finals and winning the Continental Queen of Asia title.


For more Miss World features, here's the link:

Coming Up: Part Two

Photo Credits:

Tony Paat & Others  
Copyright infringement not intended  

Extra Special Blog Feature

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