Saturday, January 28, 2017

FLASHBACK: Ms. Universe held in the Philippines during Martial Law

MANILA – Did you know that on this month Jan 22,  in 1974, the Philippines under Martial Law hosted the Miss Universe pageant for the first time?

Miss Universe 1974 was held on July 21 at the Folk Arts Theater in Manila. Sixty-five contestants hoped to become the successor of Filipina beauty queen Margie Moran, who was crowned Miss Universe in 1973.

The Philippines’ representative back then was 18-year-old Guada Sanchez, who proudly introduced herself during the pageant’s “parade of nations” segment in Tagalog.

“Magandang umaga sa inyong lahat. Ang inyong lingkod, si Guada Sanchez, taga-Maynila,” said Sanchez, who looked radiant in a white terno with embellishments.
The Philippines’ representative in Miss Universe 1974, Guada Sanchez.

Miss Universe 1974 was held during daytime at Folk Arts Theater, taking into consideration the time difference between the Philippines during Martial Law and the United States.

The program started with the Philippine Military Academy welcoming the 65 beauty queens who were wearing their national costumes, with the two American hosts in formal Filipino attire.

Miss Iceland was then voted by her fellow candidates as Miss Unity, known today as Miss Congeniality.

All 65 candidates paraded in swimwear against the backdrop of popular attractions in the Philippines before the 12 semi-finalists were announced.

The country’s bet, Sanchez, joined beauties from England, Australia, Panama, Finland, Spain, USA, Colombia, Wales, India, Aruba and Puerto Rico.

The host went on to ask a few questions about the semi-finalists so the audience can get to know them more.

When asked about her experience traveling to the United States, Sanchez replied: “I really had fun in New York City because I went to Niagara Falls… And then after that, I spent three weeks in the city itself.”

Semi-finalist Guada Sanchez of the Philippines is asked about her United States trip.

The judges of Miss Universe 1974 featured a mix of nationalities, and one of them was Carlos P. Romulo, former president of the United Nations General Assembly.

Previous Miss Universe titleholders also made an appearance at the Folk Arts Theater: Filipina beauty queens Moran and 1969 winner Gloria Diaz, 1952 winner Armi Kuusela of Finland, and 1967 winner Sylvia Hitchcock of the United States.

Miss Universe 1969 Gloria Diaz of the Philippines at the 1974 edition of the international beauty pageant. Screengrab from YouTube

After another swimsuit round, the semi-finalists graced the stage in their evening gowns, with a bamboo orchestra composed of boys and girls playing in the background.

Sanchez did not make it to the Final 5, which included candidates from Spain, Aruba, Wales, Finland and Colombia.

The judges determined the winner after another brief question and answer round, with the candidates having the option of getting an interpreter.

Spain’s Amparo Muñoz was crowned Miss Universe, followed by Miss Wales (first runner-up), Finland (second runner-up), Colombia (third runner-up) and Aruba (fourth runner-up).
Miss Universe 1973 Margie Moran of the Philippines makes her final walk before crowning her successor. Screengrab from YouTube

Muñoz won a $10,000 cash prize, a $10,000 guaranteed personal appearance contract, a $2,000 cash scholarship, $1,000 in traveler’s checks, a year of worldwide travel, evening and sports watches, appliances (color television, radio, clock and electronic game center) and a sedan.

On top of these, the Philippine government allowed Muñoz to use a vacation beach house complete with staff for as long as she likes during her reign. Then First Lady Imelda Marcos also gave her a statue of “Noli Me Tangere” character Maria Clara made of 3,700 local shells.
Miss Spain Amparo Muñoz is still in shock after being proclaimed Miss Universe 1974.

Two decades later, Miss Universe was once again hosted by the Philippines. The pageant was held on May 20, 1994 at the Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay, with Charlene Gonzales representing the country.

She landed in the Top 6, while India’s Sushmita Sen was named Miss Universe.

Fast forward to 2016, talks for the third Miss Universe staging in the Philippines is already in the works.

Reigning Miss Universe Pia Wurtzbach – the country’s third titleholder – recently met with President Rodrigo Duterte and the Department of Tourism here in Manila.

The Philippines is hoping for a back-to-back victory in Miss Universe with its next representative, Maxine Medina.

Relive Miss Universe 1974 through this video posted by a pageant fan on YouTube:

Watch the 65th Miss Universe coronation live on ABS-CBN Channel 2 on January 30, 2017 Monday 8 a.m. (Manila time)

Source: ABS-CBN News


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