The first Filipina representative to the Miss Universe pageant was Teresita Torralba Sanchez. It was in 1952.
Sanchez was capped on April 26, 1952 by the Mayor of Manila, Arsenio Lacson at the Fiesta Pavilion of Manila Hotel. Remarkable entrant in her year was a mestiza from Gapan, Nueva Ecija named Dorothy Jones who became a celebrated Filipino actress Nida Blanca. Other winners were: Miss Luzon Carmen Ortega, Miss Visayas Jean Arquiza, Miss Mindanao Emma Nepomuceno, and Miss Manila Carmencita Fernandez. Teresita Torralba Sanchez characterized the Philippines in the first ever Miss Universe competition held in Long Beach, California.
Sanchez left Manila for L.A. via Honolulu on June 19, 1952 at 7:45 p.m. by Pan American Airways Strato Clipper. She was joined by Miss Hong Kong Judy Dan who arrived earlier in the afternoon from Hong Kong. Teresita was immediately rated as a dark horse; she fainted during the finals but recovered before the announcement of winners. Ramon Valera and Mademoiselle designed her wardrobe. Judy was third runner-up to 1952 Miss Universe Armi Kuseela of Finland.
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