HAIL THE NEW QUEEN!
Today, the whole nation rejoiced and gave Bea Rose Santiago a much- deserved victory parade after giving our country our fifth Miss International crown during the pageant’s 54th edition in Tokyo, Japan
The victory parade started at 12 noon in Makati and will wind up at around 4 pm in Araneta Center, Cubao, Quezon City
Here’s a trip down memory lane as we recall the glorious homecoming and victory parades for the country’s first four Miss International winners:
1964 Miss International Gemma Guerrero Cruz
On August 14, 1964, Gemma Guerrero Cruz secured her place in Philippine pageant history books when she became the first Filipina to win an international beauty title.
The statuesque and brainy Gemma Cruz was selected the 1964 Miss International from among 41 other contestants at Long Beach, California, the pageant’s original venue before it moved permanently to Japan.
Chaperoned by her mother, Carmen Guerrero Nakpil, they returned home on Monday, Aug. 24 at 7:02 a.m. on board a PAL DC-8 jetliner-KLM Flying Dutchman operated flight, dubbed as the “Miss International Flight.”
Manila Mayor Antonio J. Villegas led the welcome wishers who proclaimed that day as “Araw ni Gemma.” He and the mayors of Pasay, Parañaque, Caloocan, San Juan and Mandaluyong handed Gemma the symbolic keys to their cities.
A motorcade traveled from the airport to Escolta where a ticker-tape parade awaited Gemma. Later that afternoon, she paid a courtesy call on Pres. and Mrs. Diosdado Macapagal in Malacañang Palace who bestowed her Golden Heart Presidential decoration and was also honored with a formal tea party
Miss International was treated to a ticker-tape parade from the airport to the Escolta, then to Sta. Mesa all the way to her home in San Juan.
The streets were jampacked with over 200,000 Filipinos who gave her a rousing welcome
1970 Miss International Aurora Pijuan
1970 Miss International Aurora Pijuan won over 46 other contestants at the Exposition Hall Fairgrounds, Osaka, Japan on May 16, 1970.
She arrived on Monday, June 8, at 3:40 p.m. on board a PAL flight accompanied by three officials of Japan Beauty Congress, the organizer of the pageant.
From the airport, her motorcade passed through the city’s main thoroughfares up to Malacañang for a courtesy call on Pres. and Mrs. Ferdinand Marcos.
1979 Miss International Melanie Marquez
1979 Miss International Melanie Marquez bested over 42 candidates at the Yubin Chokin Hall, Tokyo, on Nov. 12, 1979.
Ten days after her coronation, Melanie arrived on Thursday, Nov. 22, at 12:15 p.m. on board a PAL flight.
With her were her runners-up Miss USA Anna Maria Rapagna, Miss Austria Elizabeth Schmidt, Miss Finland Kate Elizabeth Nyberg and Miss Japan Hideko Haba and pageant organizers.
Thousands of euphoric Filipinos waited for their motorcade from the airport to Ayala, Makati. The presscon was later held in Manila Peninsula Hotel after the ticker-tape parade in Ayala.
2005 Miss International Precious Lara Quigaman
2005 Miss International Precious Lara Quigaman won over 51 other aspirants in Aichi, Japan, on Sept. 26, 2005. Lara arrived on Monday, Oct. 23, at 1:45 p.m. on board PAL flight 431 from Narita with officials of International Beauty Congress (organizer of Miss International pageant) to cover her homecoming.
A BREATH OF FRESH AIR AMID A YEAR OF SCANDALS & DEVASTATION
At a time when the Philippines has been rocked by political scandals & devastated by terrorism, super typhoons and an earthquake, the triumph of our Filipina beauty queens in the global stage is welcomed like a breath of fresh air.
Bb Pilipinas Charities
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With additional info from Ricky Lo's Funfare, Philippine Star