The case of the missing Miss U

Ricky Lo (The Philippine Star) - January 29, 2016 - 9:00am

MANILA, Philippines – Because of Steve Harvey’s booboo, Pia Wurtzbach wasn’t able to savor her big moment during the Miss Universe pageant in Las Vegas. Thursday night at the Araneta Coliseum, Pia was able to take her aborted victory walk in her royal-blue gown by Albert Andrada, cheered right on by the audience that love her like a sister.

The grand homecoming special show was made more memorable by the presence of past Bb. Pilipinas-Universe winners, except Gloria Diaz, the country’s first Miss Universe (1969), whose absence was painfully felt by the crowd. Where oh where was Gloria?

According to The STAR sources, ABS-CBN (which was behind the show, airing tomorrow, Jan. 31, on Sunday’s Best), kept calling Gloria but there was no reply. It turned out that Gloria was in Japan for a previously-set project (that could not be postponed), coming back maybe on Monday.

The beauties were led by Margie Moran who last won Miss U in 1973, with the 42-year drought broken by Pia, the “confidently beautiful with a heart” Miss U who is going back to New York (her home during her year-long reign) tomorrow night, Jan. 31, after her week-long hectic homecoming. She will be back to crown her Bb. Pilipinas-Universe successor sometime in April.

“Sayang,” an avid beauty-pageant fan shook his head. “The same event will never happen again.”





The original plan was for Gloria and Margie to reenact the crowning of Pia. What a beautiful sight it would have been with the three Misses U onstage. Only Margie did the honors.

Funfare’s “other beauty expert” Celso de Guzman Caparas reported that in the early part of the program, former Bb. Pilipinas-Universe beauties were acknowledged on stage, namely: Simonette delos Reyes-Ferraren (1970), Vida Doria-Legaspi (1971), Chiqui Brosas-Hahn (1975), Dang Cecilio-Palanca (1979), Maricar Mendoza-Du (1981), Desiree Verdadero-Abesamis (1984), Joyce Ann Burton-Titular (1985), Gem Padilla-Thomas (1990), Abbygale Arenas-de Leon (1997), Miriam Quiambao-Roberto (1999), Nina Ricci Alagao-Flores (2000), Karen Loren Agustin-Ostrea (2002), Gionna Cabrera (2005), Lia Andrea Ramos-Moss (2006), Bianca Manalo (2009), Venus Raj (2010) and Ara Arida (2013).  

Added Celso, also present were Jorge Araneta and wife Stella Marquez, Miss Universe Organization (MUO) president Paula Shugart, MUO talent director Esther Swan, Pia’s mom Cheryl Alonzo-Tindall and aunt Olive; and Binibini queens Pia’s batchmates Bea Santiago, Mutya Datul and Cindy Miranda; Lara Quigaman-Alcaraz, Jennette Fernando-Dizon, Lia Andanar-Yu, Issa Gonzales, Gladys Dueñas, Patty Betita, Alma Concecpion, Peachie Sacasas-Alimurung, Denille Valmonte-Valera, Carlene Aguilar-Ocampo, Patricia Fernandez-Garcia, Czarina Gatbonton, Dianne Necio and Kim Suiza.   — With a report from Celso de Guzman Caparas – Photos courtesy of Celso de Guzman Caparas and Gerry Diaz

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