|Actress Piper Laurie crowns the first Miss U|
She arrived in Baguio on board the presidential plane Laong Laan and it was in this Pines City that she met her eventual husband, Virgilio Hilario through a blind date.
Prior to the coronation night, Armi had a personal appearance in the Show of Shows topbilled by Dolphy, Katy dela Cruz, Bayani Casamiro, Chichay and Tolindoy held in Rizal Memorial Stadium.
|A Filipino Gentleman Win's Armi's Heart|
Gil was sporting a black right eye when he exchanged marriage vows with Armi (wearing a blue nylon lace gown and carried a small bouquet of roses) officiated by Rev. Fr. Bruno Blitter at the St. Ignatius Church in Yatsuya, Tokyo with her sister Irma Kyromies as matron of honor and Roberto Villanueva (then VP of Chronicle Publications) as best man, Gil’s close friend.
From 1954-56, Gil essayed the role of John in the passion play, Martir sa Golgota, staged in the Manila Grand Opera House, with Gloria Romero as the Virgin Mary.
It is interesting to note that her daughter, Anna-Lisa, was on an Australian visit at the time of 1974 Queen of the Pacific contest when she agreed to represent the Philippines but withdrew before the finals due to some misunderstandings with the organizers.
"When I returned to the Philippines some months later as a young bride, married to Virgilio Hilario a new chapter in my life was to unfold. I was faced with a great many challenges and obligations – many of which I had not foreseen.For one, I had naively thought that I would live a quiet and peaceful life of a wife away from the limelight, responsibilities and obligations of the first Miss Universe.That of course was not to be. I soon began my first public appearances in charity events and involvements in many facets of the community, adjusting to the totally different environments, climate, culture, customs of the country and my new home in Malate.It was exciting, but not without its problems and demands. Virgilio’s family and friends were always kind and ready with their advise – a big help to an inexperienced and often perplexed newcomer."
"Some years later we started a family which eventually grew to include five children: three boys and two girls – a great joy to both of us. I was a busy mother as well as a business partner as I was always included in our business ventures.
About her children:One of them being the Gilarmi Apartment Hotel, our first effort together as partners. It is still in existence and doing well, I hear, under new ownership."
"Now the children live in five different countries:
# 1 Arne in Santiago, Chile with his wife Carol, a son Cristobal and daughter Maria Elisa
# 2 Anna-Lisa lives in Barcelona, Spain with her husband Luis, a daughter Katrin and a son Alejandro
# 3 Jose/Jussi lives in Vancouver, Canada with his wife Jaqueline;
# 4 Eva-Maria in Foster City, California with Carl, a daughter Natalie and a son Eric
# 5 and Miguel/Mikko lives in Manila, Philippines.
The children have their roots in the Philippines where they grew up and will always feel a part of the country although they live so far away now. Mikko is the only one who remained there.
They, however, feel also great affection for Finland and its people whom they admire.
When Virgilio Hilario died of heart attack on on Sept. 7, 1975. Armi remarried, to Albert Williams, a US diplomat, on June 8, 1978.They have happy memories of their visits there. Now, having lived most of their lives abroad, I believe they feel like citizens of the world, but enriched by their multi-cultural and multi-national backgrounds."
But despite her second marriage, she is still in love with the Philippines.
"As for keeping in touch with the news of the Philippines, I do have the opportunity through my friends who live there and who keep me informed of the current political events and new developments.
I always read with great interest all the news I find in the press or see on television.
My wishes for the Philippines are that people live in peace, prosper and continue to live by the democratic principles and succeed in all their aspirations both at home and in the global arena."