Friday, January 29, 2016

What Does Annie Corrales Have in Common with Pia Wurtzbach, MJ Lastimosa and Maricar Balagtas?

Everyone has been talking of how Pia Wurtzbach had to hurdle Bb Pilipinas thrice in 2013, 2014 & 2015 before she could make it to the Miss Universe Pageant. Ditto for Mary Jean Lastimosa who also competed in the 2011, 2012 & 2014 editions of Bb Pilipinas before she finally triumphed.
Third Time’s a Charm for Maricar, Pia & MJ 
But did you know that they weren’t the only ones who joined thrice? We have quite a number but the aforementioned are just two of four ladies who made three attempts before winning the crown that would bring them to the world’s most prestigious beauty competition.

 The belief that the third attempt is more
 likely to succeed  than the previous two tries.

 Maricar in controversial Pintado
costume during Miss U 2004

In her third and final attempt, Maricar Manalaysay Balagtas ultimately got her wish to represent the Philippines in Miss Universe. Her first attempt at Bb Pilipinas was in 2000 where she got only the Miss Close Up Smile special title and didn’t make the semifinals. 

The next year, she enlisted again and this time, she was Best in Swimsuit and made it all the way to the Final Five. That same year, she was appointed by Madame Stella Marquez to be RP’s bet to the Miss Globe International Pageant which she won thus making her the first Asian to win the said title (not to be confused with the Miss Globe 2015 crown by Ann Lorraine Colis)

But Maricar’s ultimate dream was to compete in Miss Universe, considered by most Filipinos as the mother of all beauty pageants. She was crowned Bb Pilipinas- Universe 2004 and flew to Quito, Ecuador for the Miss U pageant. Although a hot favorite, she was shockingly excluded from the list of Top 15 semifinalists.

But long before Maricar, MJ and Pia made their mark in Philippine pageantry, there was Mary Ann Carmen Philipps Corrales who started it  back in the 50’s. Here is the story:

ANNIE CORRALES: Tried Three Times

Annie's Attempts for Miss U
She first competed in the 1955 Miss Philippines Pageant won by Yvonne Berenguer de los Reyes and placed as Miss Mindanao, the equivalent to  3rd RU or fourth place.   

She decided to skip the pageant  the following year but Edith Nakpil, the 1956 Miss Philippines winner, decided not to go to the 1956 Miss Universe Pageant at the last minute. 

A special search was then organized to select the Philippines’ official candidate for the international pageant and this time, Ms. Corrales changed her mind and signed up for the pageant. 

Despite being a pageant veteran and who was already a Miss Aviation 1955 titleholder (a prestigious pageant in the 50’s), Annie experienced what Pia and MJ would also experience half a century later; a heartbreaking loss the second time around, this time to Isabel Escobar Rodriguez.

RP First Lady Leonila D. Garcia crowns
Annie Corrales as Miss Philippines 1957

Eventually, the perseverance, persistence and patience of Mary Ann Carmen Philipps Corrales or simply Annie Corrales paid off. 

On her third attempt, she finally got what she had been aiming for during the last three years. She was crowned the 1957 Miss Philippines on June 23, 1957, the same year that a Boholano assumed the presidency of the Philippines. 

In fact, Annie was even crowned by Pres. CPG's wife, First Lady Leonila D. Garcia during the pageant's finale.

Ms. Corrales then represented the Philippines in the controversial 1957 Miss Universe Pageant in Long Beach, California.

She may not have placed in the international pageant but she surely won a lot of friends with her grace and humility and knew how to get noticed by the press. She did this in a photo opp with World War II mortal enemies tuned Miss Universe BFF's, Miss Japan & Miss USA who would later be disqualified after being found out to be married and had two kids!

 Photo Credits: Tony Paat

She displayed her breeding & sense of sportsmanship in a post- pageant newspaper interview when she described her Miss Universe Pageant experience as a wonderful and unforgettable experience that money cannot buy.  

Here's another anecdotal trivia about Annie: She is the first & only Miss Philippines who brought her own stylist/ hair & make artist to the Miss Universe Pageant. Talk about covering all bases before facing the competition.

That’s Annie Corrales dear blog readers and thanks to her, many other Pinay beauties followed her footsteps and did well on their second and third attempts.

After all, quitters never win and winners never quit.

Extra Special Blog Feature

Part 1: The Tragic Story of Amparo Munoz

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