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Their world after the universe

by Jericho Zafra

THE PHILIPPINES has been touted as one of the powerhouse countries in the world of pageantry. This year, the country is vying to clinch the fifth Miss Universe crown under the representation of Filipino-Italian model and Miss Universe Philippines 2022 Celeste Cortesi.

For the past seven decades, four women from the Philippines have already brought home the crown, including Gloria Diaz (1969), Margie Moran (1973), Pia Wurtzbach (2015), and Catriona Gray (2018). 

After winning the crown, Miss Universe titleholders are required to render their duties and are obliged to live in New York, where the Miss Universe headquarters is situated.

But after fulfilling their duties as Miss Universe, have you ever thought about what’s ahead of their world?

Gloria Diaz, Miss Universe 1969

Photo Courtesy: Meeko Benavidez, Pinterest

The country’s first-ever Miss Universe title was clinched by Gloria Diaz, who, at the time, was only 18 years old. 

Diaz became famous in the competition after she was told by Bob Barker during the preliminary interview the question: Is it true that you Filipinos use your hands to eat? To which Diaz replied: Why? Do you use your feet? 

She began an acting career in the Philippines shortly after her stint as Miss Universe ended, and in 1975 she landed her first notable role as Isabel in the critically praised film “Ang Pinakamagandang Hayop sa Balat ng Lupa.”

Margarita Moran-Floirendo, Miss Universe 1973

Photo Courtesy: Dove via Pinterest

Margarita Moran-Floirendo, or Margie Moran, was hailed Miss Universe 1973, four years after the country won its first title from the prestigious pageant.

She did not only win the competition at the age of 19, but she also received the Miss Photogenic award during the pageant. 

In a viral video during the coronation night, Moran-Floirendo can be seen rolling her eyes after presumably viewing the announcer’s cue card as she was declared the winner of Miss Universe 1973.

After winning Miss Universe, Moran completed her education before starting a couple of businesses. In addition, Moran produced the popular film Bagong Buwan and presented the television program Margie on Mindanao.

Since then, Moran has taken part in a variety of cultural and philanthropic causes.

Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach, Miss Universe 2015

Photo Courtesy: Miss Universe Organization

After a 42-year drought, Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach followed in the footsteps of Gloria Diaz and Margie Moran as Miss Universe title winners. After a mix-up, Wurtzbach was crowned as the 2015 edition of the Miss Universe in Las Vegas.

Ariadna Gutierrez of Colombia came in as the first runner-up after being mistakenly declared the winner by the show’s host, Steve Harvey, who afterward apologized for his “horrible mistake.” Olivia Jordan, Miss USA, came in second place.

Before winning the Miss Universe crown, Wurtzbach joined Binibining Pilipinas for three years prior to getting the Binibining Pilipinas Universe title.

On January 30, 2017, after her stint as a Miss Universe Queen, Wurtzbach revealed that she had signed a deal with William Morris Endeavor Entertainment’s IMG Universe division, where she will continue to work with the Miss Universe Organization as an HIV/AIDS awareness champion following her reign. 

She also served as a guest judge on various episodes of the fifth cycle of Asia’s Next Top Model.

Wurtzbach continued doing modeling works with various national and international brands and even judged and hosted multiple programs in the Philippines and abroad.

Catriona Magnayon Gray, Miss Universe 2018

Photo Courtesy: Miss Universe Organization

Probably one of the most iconic winners in the history of Miss Universe was Catriona Gray. She represented the Philippines in the 2018 edition of the Miss Universe pageant held in Bangkok, Thailand. 

Gray was tagged as the country’s “most prepared delegate” by pageant faneys (slang term for fans) for her culturally innovative dresses and presentation of the country’s customary traditions, practices, lifestyle, and, most especially, clothing. 

During the preliminary competition, Gray wowed the global audience after she performed her iconic slow-mo twirl during the swimsuit competition and ramped an Ibon-Adarna-themed gown, a famous folkloric, literary character in the Philippines.

She also donned a lava-inspired long gown designed by Mak Tumang, which was a representation of her Filipino roots as her mom was a native of Albay. 

After her reign, like Wurtzbach, Gray continued her modeling and hosting career in various programs and shows in the country. She is also a regular host of Binibining Pilipinas, a pageant to which her Miss Universe journey started.

Do you think Celeste Cortesi will win this year’s pageant? Share your comments below.



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