Gazini Ganados, 2019 Miss Universe Philippines
Ver Paulino
Gloria gives Gazini 50/50 chance
FUNFARE - Ricky Lo (The Philippine Star) - December 2, 2019 - 12:00am

As the 2019 Miss Universe pageant gears toward the grand coronation night in Atlanta, Georgia, on Sunday, Dec. 8 (Dec. 9 in the morning, Manila Time), pageant-loving Filipinos are keeping their collective fingers crossed, hoping against hope that our bet, Gazini Ganados, will pull a feat by scoring a back-to-back victory for the Philippines. Will, rather can Gazini (who is up against 91 other gorgeous girls) take the crown from reigning Filipina queen Catriona Gray?

Impossible dreams can come true and miracles do happen...and, yes, lightning does strike twice...but in the fiercely-competitive Miss U such a surprise happens only once in a blue moon. But then, who knows, who can tell?

In the 68-year history of the pageant (first won by Finland’s Armi Kuusela in 1952), it happened only once when Venezuela’s Stefania Fernandez (2009) succeeded her compatriot Dayana Mendoza. That “first” earned a slot in the Guinness World Records.

Miss Universe 1973 Margie Moran

Asked about the possibility of the Philippines duplicating that record, the country’s first Miss Universe (1969) Gloria Diaz said in her famous honest-to-goodness manner, “I give Gazini a 50/50 chance,” and she meant it, adding, “beauty contests are a rat race. Either you win or you lose. So, 50/50.”

Funfare interviewed Gloria during the recent junket in Manila for the Netflix dark comedy series Insatiable in which she’s cast in a “special participation” role (good for two episodes) as “beauty adviser” Gloria Reyes to Debbie Ryan’s character Ratty who proves wrong those who bully her for being overweight.

Gloria had a close look at Gazini when she sat as judge in the Bb. Pilipinas pageant topped by the Boholana beauty.

Miss Universe 1969 Gloria Diaz

“Yes, Gazini was my choice,” shared Gloria who was 18 when she bagged the Binibini title that earned her the right to represent the country in the Miss U pageant in Miami, Florida, USA. “But you know, they change after winning, nagbabago sila, they improve, and I wish I could take a closer look at her now.”

Gloria might be pleasantly surprised to see how Gazini has changed...for the better. All you have to do is check her “before/after” photos and you will see.

Her advice to Gazini?

“Like me when I joined Netflix, I thought I couldn’t give justice to the role but I did. All it takes is palakasan ng loob and pakapalan ng mukha. Feel that you are a winner and make sure that nobody gets in front of you. And make lots of friends.”

At a recent chance encounter with 2015 Miss U Pia Wurtzbach at the Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok, Funfare asked her how she’s supporting Gazini.

“She visited me at home and I showed her DVD copies of Miss U pageants. Dami ko kasing collection and I have watched them as part of my training before I competed in Las Vegas. From the tapes, I think Gazini got several pointers.” (Note: Pia was in Bangkok for a photo shoot and went back barely a week later to model at two fashion events, one for the 9th Celebration of Silk show provided by Her Majesty Queen Mother Sirikit’s factory, and then at the Thai Silk International Fashion Week. Pia modeled dresses by Hollywood-based designer Oliver Tolentino, featured in this corner Tuesday last week.).

Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbac

Funfare asked 1973 Miss Universe Margie Moran for her take on Gazini. Margie texted this reply: “Everyone has an equal chance. It all depends on the judges.”

I will let Gloria have the last say.

“You know, we are too ambitious. After Pia and Catriona won, we want more, we want something more.”

Oh well, as the title of Gloria’s Netflix stint aptly puts it, we are, ehem, “insatiable.”

(Postscript: Funfare also wanted to ask Catriona Gray for her opinion but, huhuhu, she could not be reached, not even through the Miss Universe Organization nor Catriona’s close friend RS Francisco of FrontRow. Uneasy lies the crown on the outgoing queen’s head.)

(For more updates, photos and videos, visit www.philstar.com/funfare or follow me on Instagram @therealrickylo.)

GAZINI GANNADOS GLORIA DIAZ MARGIE MORAN MISS UNIVERSE PIA WURTZBACH
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