Never-ending quest for the ‘World’

FUNFARE - Ricky Lo - The Philippine Star

After Megan Young bagged the country’s first Miss World crown, there seems to be a clamor for another crown with much hope pinned on 2014 Miss World-Philippines Valerie “Val” Weigmann to score a back-to-back win at this year’s pageant in London on Dec. 14. If Sweden could do it in 1951-52 and India in 1999-2000, why couldn’t the Philippines which pulled a grand slam last year (including Miss International, Bea Rose Santiago; and Miss Supranational, Mutya Jhoanna Datul, with Ariella Arida finishing third runner-up in the Miss Universe pageant, not to mention one or two topnotchers in other, not as major, beauty contests).

For a bit of history, Funfare’s “other beauty expert” Celso de Guzman Caparas contributed the following interesting flashback on the country’s quest for the “World.”

In 1966, the College Editors Guild of the Philippines chose Vivien Lee Austria, 1965 Miss Intercollegiate of the Philippines titleholder, to compete in the 1966 Miss World contest in London. She was our first-ever representative to the pageant. Maita Gomez was selected from the 1967 Top 10 Models of Philippines winners as the bet that same year, also in London. The Beauty World, Inc. staged the Miss Philippines contest in 1968 and sent its winner, Pinky Amabuyok, to London where she placed fourth runner-up (to Australia’s Penelope Plummer), the first Filipina to have scored that high. Pinky hogged the headlines when she was misquoted as saying that she wanted to be a nun.

Now US-based Ferdinand Syquia Villar of Spotlight Promotions was the local franchise holder of Miss World from 1969 to 1976. Mutya ng Pilipinas, Inc. took over the reins from 1977 to 1991, and sent Evangeline Pascual to the 1973 pageant in which she placed first runner-up to USA’s Marjorie Wallace (dethroned, but, contrary to reports, the crown was never offered to Evangeline).

The franchise was then awarded to Bb. Pilipinas Charities, Inc. (BPCI) from 1992 to 2010, which chose Ruffa Gutierrez as bet in 1993. Ruffa placed Second Princess (third runner-up).

Since 2011, Cory Quirino has been the franchise-holder who is proving to be “winnable,” with her candidates coming home victorious — Gwendoline Ruais first runner-up in 2011 and, that’s it, Megan a  title-holder in 2013. Will Val duplicate Megan’s feat?

Here are vintage photos of the first 11 Misses R.P.-World (during Ferdie Villar’s stewardship), collected by Celso from Mang Ador’s  Tropicana Studio:

• 1966  — Vivien Lee Austria (a.k.a. Princess Emraida Kiram)

• 1967  — Margarita “Maita” Gomez ?

• 1968  — Cecilia “Pinky” Amabuyok

• 1969  — Teresa “Lisa” Miro

• 1970 — Minerva “Minnie” Cagatao

• 1971 — Onelia Jose 

• 1972 — Evangeline “Eva” Reyes

• 1973 — Evangeline “Vangie “Pascual

• 1974 — Agnes Rustia

• 1975 — Suzanne Gonzales 

• 1976 — Josephine  “Joy” Conde

(E-mail reactions at [email protected]. You may also send your questions to [email protected].)












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