Let’s take a look at the history of beauty pageants and how these started:
The official beauty pageant in the Philippines is dated back in 1908 and was called the Manila Carnival. It was a goodwill event to celebrate the harmonious U.S.-Philippine relations, where the two countries showcase their commercial, industrial, and agricultural progress.
It was the most awaited event in 1908, which served as the origin of the Philippines pageantry. The carnival queen was held annually from 1908-1938.
In 1926, the Manila Carnival used the title of Miss Philippines to represent the Philippine islands. The contestants came from all over the country with the subtitles of Miss Luzon, Miss Visayas, and Miss Mindanao. Sadly, in 1938, the title of the carnival queen came to an end.
Binibining Pilipinas Charities Incorporated or BPCI became the national and the official franchise holder of the Miss Universe Organization and they have been sending representatives in the Miss Universe since 1964. Miss Philippines had been the franchise holder from 1952 to 1963. Not only did BCIP acquire Miss Universe, they also acquired Miss International in 1968, Miss World Philippines from 1966 to 1986, and Miss Earth Philippines in 2001.
The Philippines has actually won in all four pageants with a total of fifteen victories.
The very first Filipina woman who won and brought home the crown in Miss International was Gemma Cruz in 1964.
Gemma Cruz-Araneta isn’t just a beauty who won the title of Miss International, she’s also a politician, writer, director and had received an “Outstanding Manilena” and a “golden heart” from the former president Diosdado Macapagal.
Besides Gemma Cruz who won Miss International, Miss Gloria Diaz also won the title of the Miss Universe in 1969. She is also the first Filipina who was crowned Miss Universe. She isn’t just beauty like Miss Gemma, she is also a tv actress and a host.
Miss Karla Henry, a Filipina-Canadian won the beauty pageant titleholder of Miss Earth in 2008. She was the first Philippine delegate and the first in the Asia region to win the Miss Earth title.
And the first woman who won the Miss World crown in 2013 was Megan Young. She started as a contestant of the reality television show Starstruck. She’s an actress, a host, a VJ, a model and also, a peace ambassador.
These women aren’t just beautiful, while they are decidedly so, they are also confident and smart women who voice out their opinions and share their platforms for different causes. Being a Miss Universe, Miss International, Miss Earth, and Miss World isn’t just having a pretty face, it’s about helping, influencing and inspiring people all around the world.
These women use their title to create a huge movement for the people who can’t voice out their opinions and to create a bond with people who are in need.
Each one of us is a beauty queen, no matter what title we hold, as long as we have the right intention and a kind heart, we can stretch the title holders’ platforms.
We have to patiently wait for a little while claiming our title. Maybe you’re the next one who will take home the crown for the Philippines.
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