Too much ado about the Miss Universe
WHAT MATTERS MOST - Atty. Josephus Jimenez (The Freeman) - December 21, 2018 - 12:00am

Why are beauty contests, like boxing championships and basketball tournaments, a very big deal to the Filipinos? The Americans, the Europeans, and the other Asians do not really give too much attention to these things.


The Americans are too focused on their economy and politics and beauty contests are just passing matters that entertain some, but do not really detract the attention of the whole nation. The Europeans like the Germans, the French and the Scandinavians would rather pay more attention to business, arts, tourism, and other areas of human endeavors. Beauty contests are just extras to them. Other Asians like the Chinese, the Japanese, the Singaporeans, the Thais, the Malaysians, the Indonesians, and the Vietnamese are more fixated on livelihood, industries and other economic activities. Only the Philippines make careers out of beauty contests and boxing, basketball, and music.

There is a very significant reason behind all these inordinate attention to beauty contests, and all such extraordinary preoccupation for things that bring Filipinos to the limelight. It has been shown many times over, by actual experience and anecdotal evidence that beauty contests are the passport to fame, wealth, and stardom. Often, they can also be the solutions to poverty, powerlessness, and insignificance. They are the bridges that link the least people from poverty and marginal sectors into the center of things. Many beauty tittle holders became instant hits in the movies like 1969 Miss Universe winner Gloria Diaz who made a sensational success in the much-acclaimed movie “Ang Pinakamagandang Hayop sa Balat ng Lupa”. And Pia Wurtzbach, 2015 Miss Universe winner, is currently making waves in her many TV and movie roles.

Winning the Miss Universe beauty pageant can also give the women exposure to prospective husbands and suitors. The first Miss Universe ever, Armi Kusela married a Hilario, a Filipino multi-millionaire. And 1973 Miss Universe Margie Moran married a rich heir to the Antonio Floirendo banana empire in Davao, Tony Boy Floirendo who is an incumbent congressman representing Davao del Norte, where the family banana plantation is located. A number of beauty contest winners married well into moneyed and powerful families. Others became instant celebrities with so much fame, wealth, and influence.

The victory of 2018 Miss Universe, Catriona Gray is, to say the very least, well-deserved. And although two of the judges were Filipinos, no one among the 93 other contestants ever dared to raise a question on the 5’10’’ stunner with beauty, brains, and body, whose mother is from Oas, Albay and whose father is an Irishman living in Sydney, Australia. She is a multi-talented Filipino woman who really deserves the crown. She is a writer, a singer, a black belter in judo and karate by the age of 12. This one may be the best of our four Miss Universe winners. She has a very relevant advocacy on poverty, on HIV-AIDs, on education, and on children.

The Miss Universe contest is a big deal to Filipinos. It uplifts the spirit of the people amidst too many problems and issues. It gives hopes and inspiration to the marginalized sectors, and it detracts our attention from the negative and too many unpleasant things around us.

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