Four queens from the Philippines, all reigned the universe with their charm and talent, beauty and intelligence, inner strength and contributions to society.
These four—Gloria Diaz, Margie Moran-Floirendo, Pia Wurtzbach, and now Catriona Gray—showed the world not only the splendor the country brings, but also the best any individual can achieve.
Who could ever forget what Gloria Diaz said and done to achieve what seemed close to men walking on the moon at that time? Winning the Miss Universe crown was like a dream and she did almost the impossible then. This 18-year-old’s breathtaking beauty, illuminating stature, and of course her arresting charm won all who was watching the 1969 Miss Universe pageant in Miami Beach—the audience, the judges.
And, the first-ever reign of a Filipina as Miss Universe came to fruition, and Gloria was the rightful queen who all made us proud.
Four years after Gloria’s historic win, who would expect that another beauty royal would flourish in the eyes of the world? Due to insistence of family and friends, Margie Moran was not the kind who’d flaunt her stunning gorgeousness, but family and friends were insistent, and this 19-year-old part-time model joined Binibining Pilipinas.
And she won with her serene yet exquisite allure, earning the right to represent the country to the 1973 Miss Universe in Athens. And, wow, did she create quite a stir, impressing everyone not only with her beauty but undeniable smarts with a captivating final answer. And thus winning the second Miss Universe crown for the Philippines.
Everyone then thought by that time that winning the crown had become routine for the Philippines. But since Margie’s victory, no Filipina had made the triumphant walk wearing the crown for the next four decades. Not until a persistent beauty pageant contender finally got her biggest break representing the country to the 2015 Miss Universe in Las Vegas, Nevada, Pia Wurtzbach.
Many thought she would just be among the wannabes but her assertiveness, boldness, and of course, her being confidently beautiful with a heart made her rise above the enormous challenge. And after she reached the Top 3, Pia uttered one remarkable answer that sealed her win despite the now infamous slip-up in announcing it. The euphoria was felt nonetheless and she had become the fitting queen to end that 42-year drought.
She was a favorite to repeat Pia’s feat early on and didn’t disappoint. Already a titleholder—a Miss World Philippines in 2016 who reached the top 5 of its main pageant that year in Maryland—Catriona Gray indeed had all that it takes to win it, with a noble mission and advocacy etched in her heart.
After breezing through the Binibining Pilipinas pageant and got to the Miss Universe pageant in Bangkok, Thailand, she exuded the fiery sophistication, booming style, and innate astuteness that made her a strong contender. But best of all, she enjoyed her moment. Thus from the preliminaries to the Final 3, never did we see any sign of doubt as she came prepared—from the attire to her famous walk that captivated everyone.
And as she faced the final hurdle—two Q&As that rattled her fellow contenders, she was calm and sure about her answers that truly made a mark to all those watching. With millions of Filipinos hearing “Philippines” and jumping for joy at the end of the grueling contest, the coveted Miss Universe crown again was worn by a Filipina—such a deserving triumph for the 24-year-old Catriona.
As such, these Filipina queens have proven the richness of the Philippines in churning out royalty to reign the universe. And thus, having the next Gloria, Margie, Pia and Catriona is definitely within reach.