Misses World who visited RP
FUNFARE - Ricky Lo () - November 20, 2008 - 12:00am

Except for Miss World who will be chosen at grand finals on Dec. 13 in Johannesburg, South Africa, all the other major beauty titles have been given away, such as Miss Universe (to Venezuela), Miss International (Spain) and Miss Earth (Karla Paula Henry, the first winner from the Philippines). Will Danielle Kirsten Muriel Castaño (the 2008 Bb. Pilipinas first runner-up who took over after Janina San Miguel was dethroned) come home with the country’s first Miss World crown. Hope springs eternal, so let’s keep our collective fingers crossed.

Meanwhile, after making lists of Misses U (published on June 15, 2007) and Misses International (Oct. 7, 2008) who have visited RP, Funfare’s “other beauty expert” Celso de Guzman Caparas (back working in Saudi Arabia after a brief homecoming) has made another list, this time of Miss World title-holders and runners-up who have also visited RP, to wit:

• 1952 Miss World May Louise Flodin of Sweden arrived in Manila on Oct. 30, 1955 with French models Danielle Chaillier (Miss Paris), Johanna Allart (Miss Elegance) and Nina Wolff (Miss Deauville). They did a series of fashion shows sponsored by the Manila Times, billed as Festival De L’Elegance Francaise, at Manila Hotel and Mapua Memorial Hall.  

• 1958 Miss World first runner-up Claudine Auger (pronounced as O-zhey) of France made personal appearances at the Cinerama and New Frontier theaters in June 1967 in connection with the showing of her movie, Triple Cross (opposite Yul Bryner and Christopher Plummer). During her visit, she and her husband French director Pierre Gaspard-Huit sat as judges at the 1967 Bb. Pilipinas pageant held on June 12, won by Pilar Delilah Pilapil. Auger was Sean Connery’s Bond Girl in Thunderball (1965).

• 1962 Miss World Catharina Johanna Lodders of The Netherlands appeared in the Chubby Checker All-Star Show held at the Araneta Coliseum in Feb. 1963. Lodders, who was third runner-up in the 1962 Miss International contest and that same year’s Miss Europe contest, married Checker in 1964.

• 1964 Miss World Ann Sydney of United Kingdom arrived on Dec. 27, 1964 with members of the Bob Hope Christmas USO Tour. The entourage includes the late Bob Hope, singer Anita Bryant (1958 Miss Oklahoma and 1959 Miss America second runner-up), and actors Jill St. John, Janis Page and Peter Leeds. They entertained the US military servicemen stationed in Subic, Zambales. Ann later became a singer, television, stage and movie actress. 

•  1972 Miss World Belinda Roma Green of Australia was invited by Ferdie Villar, founder of the Miss Republic of the Philippines contest, to be one of the judges (along with Vilma Santos, Miss RP Movies 1975) at the 10th edition of the contest in 1975, won by Suzanne Talam Gonzales. Belinda joined the 1972 Bob Hope Christmas USO Tour and entertained US military servicemen stationed in Japan, Thailand, Island of Diego Garcia, South Vietnam and Gitmo. After her reign, Belinda produced and hosted 15 episodes of Let’s Get A Life for Renaissance Television. She also released a book, video and DVD titled Relaxecise.

• 1974 Miss World Helen Elizabeth Morgan (dethroned) of United Kingdom came in Jan. 1976 with two-year-old son Richard Clode to star in the movie Hayop sa Ganda with (1969) Miss Universe Gloria Diaz. It was Helen’s second visit. In 1974, she represented UK in the Miss U pageant held here. She finished first runner-up (to Miss Spain Amparo Muñoz) and won as Miss World that same year.  

• 1975 Miss World Wilnelia Merced Cruz of Puerto Rico was a judge in the 1977 Miss RP and crowned the winner, Josephine Salazar Conde (the last Miss RP winner). The last Miss World to be crowned in a swimsuit, Wilnelia is married to British entertainer Bruce Forsyth by whom she has a son, Jonathan. Wilnelia is the national director of Miss World Puerto Rico.

• 1976 Miss World Cynthia Jeane “Cindy” Cameron Breakspeare of Jamaica visited Manila in early 1977. Cindy also won as 1976 Miss Jamaica Body Beautiful and 1976 Miss Universe Bikini. She’s the first Miss World winner to be crowned in a long gown. She appeared on television and in movies, and is now a renowned jazz recording/live performing artist. Her son by the late Bob Marley is Grammy award winning reggae musician Damian Marley, today hailed as one of the greatest living reggae singers. She’s presently married to jazz musician Rupert Bent II by whom she has a daughter, Leah.

• 1999 Miss World and Continental Queen of Asia and Oceania Yukta Mookhey of India was in Manila in Nov. 2003 to grace the formal launching of Titan range of watches she’s endorsing. Yukta is now a Bollywood actress with five movies to her credit. She just got married to Prince Tuli (whose family owns a business empire in Central India) last Nov. 2.

(E-mail reactions at rickylo@philstar.net.ph or at entphilstar@yahoo.com)

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