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Thursday, July 25, 2013

How Gloria Diaz Won

How Gloria Won

FUNFARE By Ricky Lo (The Philippine Star) | Updated July 20, 2013 - 12:00am



Gloria lost her Miss Universe scepter at the San Francisco airport on her way back to the Philippines due to ‘excess luggage.’ It has never been found. Oh well, she did win the crown but lost the scepter.


Forty-four years ago today, US astronaut Neil Armstrong planted the American Flag on the moon but he shared the headlines (hereabouts at least) when Gloria Diaz, 18, “conquered the universe” by winning the Philippines’ first Miss Universe title. That was 30 years before Miriam Quiambao (in 1999) almost duplicated the feat (after Margie Moran’s win in 1973) by finishing first runner-up and 43 years before Janine Tugonon did the same (2012).


Flashing a toothy smile, Gloria, at 5’5” the shortest in the batch of 62, beat stunning hopefuls Miss Finland Harriet Erickson (first runner-up), Miss Australia Joanne Barrett (second runner-up), Miss Israel Chava Levy (third runner-up) and Miss Japan Kikuyo Ohsuka (fourth runner-up).


What made Gloria win considering that, by local standards (partial to “foreign-featured” beauties), she didn’t seem to be “winnable” in the company of taller and more “stunning” girls?


According to retired poet-journalist Gloria Garchitorena-Goloy, her namesake’s chaperone (Bb. Pilipinas bets were then assigned chaperones) and therefore the most reliable and most authoritative person who had an “innermost” look at the pageant, Gloria displayed no pretension at all throughout the pageant held in Miami Beach, Florida, very poised during interviews and casual chats, and didn’t smoke (a no-no!) unlike some of the girls.



 

In How Gloria Diaz Won, one of the collectors’ pieces in her compilation book At The Crossroads, GGG quoted a Miss Universe, Inc. director as saying, “The contest is a search for the totally beautiful woman, and by this, we mean one who is good to look at, easy to be with, and is refreshingly and comfortably intelligent. We are not interested in sexpots, who can’t go beyond being mere sexpots. This year, as in previous years, when I met with the judges for the traditional pre-contest conference, I told them that they were to choose a winner on these major points: beauty, poise, personality and common sense.”

Contestants at that time wore one-piece Catalina swimsuits unlike today when they parade in a two-piece bikini.

Even Gloria’s answers to the questions were simple, “straight from the cuff” as GGG put it.

Question: What is your ambition in life?

Gloria: “I’d like to be just an ordinary housewife with two or three kids, perhaps, and a home. Nothing special.”

The decisive final question (for the top five finalists) asked by host Bob Barker (of The Price Is Right fame): If the man from the moon should come down to Earth and visit your hometown, what would you do to entertain him?
Gloria (not missing a beat, not buckling at all, still poised): “Why, I guess I would do for him what I always do. Since he has been away on the moon for so long, he would want a change.”

O, winner, di ba?

On the night of the finals, Gloria wore a see-through Pitoy Moreno gown.

GGG: The outfit was designed palazzo-style with flaring hemlines. Over this was the terno cut like a long opera coat. It was a stunner and it hung on Gloria’s figure splendidly, accentuating her regal bearing.

With it, she wore her hair long, simply combed down. Gold shoes peeped from beneath the hemline while a pair of gold clasp earrings sparkled, a brilliant blob each, against Gloria’s smooth, blemish-free pink-tan complexion. The overall effect was exotic allure the judges found distinctly mature and unique.

Now it can be (re)told by GGG: Miss Finland and Miss Philippines tied for first place, with 31 votes each!

“The judges went into a quick huddle to resolve the deadlock,” wrote GGG, “voting secretly again….and they gave Miss Philippines seven votes and Miss Finland, five votes, and Gloria Diaz had become Miss Universe of 1969!”

Postscript: Asked what was her most memorable experience after her one-year reign, Gloria Diaz recalled with a laugh, “As soon as I relinquished my crown to Marisol Malaret of Puerto Rico, nagkagulo na sa stage; the other contestants were all over Marisol and nobody bothered with me. Then, I had to wait for hours for my ride back to the hotel.”
Well, that happens. Everybody loves the winner, don’t they?
 



1 comment:

  1. Parang palaging mangangagat so gloria

    ReplyDelete

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