Doing a “signature walk” is one of the most important aspects in a contestant’s push towards Miss Universe glory, using this to create an impact on the audiences and the judges, as well as to show how they can confidently carry themselves.
With the plethora of international beauty contests to which we send delegates to every year, Miss Universe is arguably the most highly talked about and most anticipated. From the preliminaries to the final rounds pageant aficionados ardently follow the journey of our representative as their way of expressing their support to her as she battles it out with other contenders.
Through the years, we have witnessed these stunning beauties put their best foot forward in every level of the competition – from the national costume round, evening gown round, and swimsuit round, up to the question and answer portion where they display their smarts and astuteness. But aside from these, each contestant could also leave a mark in everyone’s memory with how they flawlessly project themselves, particularly with how they strut and move onstage and glare on the camera.
The Philippines has been joining the prestigious competition since 1952, but it was only until 2010 when we paid more attention to how our representatives set the stage on fire with their killer signature walks, making their exposures more remarkable as they flaunt their fit physiques in their swimsuits and their sexy curves in their fabulous long gowns.
When asked regarding this sudden transformation of the candidates from demure and classy to feisty yet still elegant, Miss Universe 2010 4th runner-up Venus Raj told Vice Ganda during her guesting on Gandang Gabi Vice with fellow beauty titlists in 2012 that they just keep pace with modernism.
“Siguro dahil moderno na rin ang panahon natin. Mas gusto nilang makita na ang babae palaban. Hindi lang kami pa-sweet lang,” she stated.
Coining a term for their strides onstage actually began from her as she sashayed her way to the Top 5 of the competition through her “Pilapil Walk,” which she began to develop in her younger years as she practiced modelling on the narrow pathways of the field, or “pilapil” in Filipino. As we all know, she grew up in an impoverished family in Camarines Sur prior to her “major, major” stint.
In a hilarious episode of Family Feud in 2017 wherein beauty queens were pitted against comedian sidekicks, Venus reminisced her Miss Universe glory by showcasing her Pilapil Walk to a thrilled audience.
She was succeeded by Shamcey Supsup, who landed 3rd runner-up in 2011. All of us would surely not forget her because of her signature “Tsunami Walk”, which is characterized by the movement and fluid motion of her legs similar to a water surge. In an exclusive interview with Korina Sanchez for TV Patrol before her contest, she revealed that the term was inspired by her Spanish friend who always told her to “walk like a tsunami.”
Shamcey gave a “sample” of her “Tsunami Walk” to the madlang people during her stint as a hurado in It’s Showtime in 2015.
In 2012, Janine Tugonon seemingly blew away the judges not only of her intelligence, eloquence, and allure, but of the confidence she also exuded via her entrancing “Cobra Walk”, thus she was hailed as the 1st runner-up.
She demonstrated it to fellow Miss Universe-Philippines beauty queen Charlene Gonzales-Muhlach during her interview with her on The Buzz around that time.
A year after, Ariella Arida continued the runner-up streak of the Philippines as she marched on her way up to the top spot as the 3rd runner-up, which could be credited to her striking morena beauty and unmistakable wit. Besides, she mesmerized everyone as well with her “Ariba Walk”, which sounds like her surname and means “above” or “up” in Spanish.
Ariella demonstrated her signature strut in an episode of Family Feud where she was one of the beauty queen contestants.
She might have failed to take home the crown in her stint in 2014, but Filipino-Arabian stunner Mary Jean Lastimosa was still able to astound everyone with her smiting splendor and sexy built, not to mention how she paraded on the the runway in her floral Filipiniana ensemble, swimsuit, and serpentina evening gown using her “Diyosa Walk”. Comparable to a goddess, her walk indeed exhibited class, elegance, and fierceness.
This made her truly stand out among the contenders that year, as seen in an Aquino and Abunda Tonight report.
Finally, after 42 years of waiting, Pia Wurtzbach finished Philippines’ Miss Universe victory drought when she was hailed as the winner in the controversial 2015 staging. It was not only her iconic form-fitting royal blue gown and winning answer, where the organization’s tagline “confidently beautiful” was derived, that became iconic, but also her eye-catching signature strut.
Used to be labelled by Vice Ganda as “Tanim-Bala Walk” during her guesting on Gandang Gabi Vice prior to the competition because of her killer glare and piercing glance, the netizens couldn’t help but notice how voluptuous her structure is, hence the later christening, “Papaya Walk.”
Meanwhile, our bets in the following years Maxine Medina (2016) and Rachel Peters (2017) didn’t fail to make us proud as well, despite falling short to the final portion of the pageant, as they exerted their very best in representing the country and still wowed the world with their splendor and fascinating strides dubbed “Alta Walk” and “Infinity Walk” respectively.
Beauty queen maker Jonas Gaffud shared Maxine’s superb signature walk on his Instagram:
While Rachel demonstrated it on Gandang Gabi Vice:
Last year, our gorgeous bet Catriona Gray truly thrilled us with how she wore her heart on her sleeves and carried the Philippines in last year’s staging of Miss Universe. But aside from her rousing determination, passion, and compassion, as well as her unmistakable wisdom, charm and beauty, another thing that made her an easy winner in the pageant was her trending “Lava Walk” that also caught the attention of international beauty contest fans, critics, media, and celebrities and was imitated a number of times.
We got a glimpse of her strut during her appearance on Magandang Buhay before the competition as she demonstrated it to the momshie hosts. It follows the steps “glide, sway, pivot, erupt like a molten rock” according to her team, and is characterized by slowing down at the mid-part to show off her ear cuff that was Philippine flag-inspired.
And this year, we’re excited to witness how our current delegate Gazini Ganados will wow the universe in her explosive signature walk, which name she hasn’t decided yet. In her appearance in Tonight With Boy Abunda last June 25, the Filipino-Palestinian stunner told the King of Talk that she’s still choosing among “Bomba”, “Ganado”, and “Phoenix”, but many are clamoring for her to call it “Ganado Walk”, which is after her surname.
She also taught the host how she does it by demonstrating the warmup “duck walk” first, then showed the proper way of gliding and swaying the hips.
Don’t miss the 68th Miss Universe staging this coming December 9 that will be shown on ABS-CBN live from the Tyler Perry Studios, Atlanta, Georgia, and show our all-out support to Gazini!