Filipinos are the biggest beauty pageant fans! Title holders quickly skyrocket to fame and amass a significant following. But their time in the spotlight does not end when they pass the crown to the next queen. Some beauty queens pursue a career in acting.
Let’s have a little throwback on the journeys of some Filipina queens who, from representing the country in the global stage, went on to conquer the world of show business in this Kapamilya gallery!
After winning the Binibining Pilipinas beauty pageant and representing the country in Miss Universe in 1967, Pilar was offered to become the leading lady in different films. She had her debut via the action flick El Nino, opposite Andy Poe and directed by his brother and the late “Da King of Philippine Movies” Fernando Poe Jr.
She went on to do a slew of movies in the following decades, before beginning her television journey in the late 90s. Her first-ever Kapamilya project was the classic teleserye Hiram in 2004, wherein she played a special role. The 70-year-old former beauty queen then went on to become an in-demand character actress as she portrayed various roles in a string of ABS-CBN series, such as Lobo (2008), I Love Betty La Fea (2008), Rod Santiago’s Agua Bendita (2010), Pangako Sa’Yo (2015), The Blood Sisters (2018), and Nang Ngumiti Ang Langit (2019).
Crowned as Miss Universe 1969 – the first for the Philippines – Gloria eventually found success as an actress when she began in 1975 via the critically-acclaimed film Ang Pinakamagandang Hayop sa Balat ng Lupa, wherein her breakthrough performance as the lead character Isabel earned praises from the critics.
She later on tried starring on TV, with the 2004 afternoon drama Sarah The Teen Princess as her initial project in ABS-CBN. She then appeared in more Kapamilya series, with her portrayals in Sana Maulit Muli (2007), Kung Ako’y Iiwan Mo (2012), May Isang Pangarap (2013), Dream Dad (2014), Precious Hearts Romances Presents Los Bastardos (2019). Currently, Diaz is part of the KathNiel comeback series 2 Good 2 Be True (2022).
Maria Isabel Lopez
She may be Binibining Pilipinas 1982, which enabled her to represent the country in the Miss Universe competition that same year, that didn’t hinder Maria Isabel to take on mature and sexy roles in local romantic movies, such as her debut Sana Bukas Pa Ang Kahapon in 1983 that she starred alongside Hilda Koronel, Lorna Tolentino, Dindo Fernando, and Jay Ilagan. She then had the opportunity to walk the Cannes International Film Festival red carpet twice as one of the cast members of award-winning indie flicks Kinatay (2009) and Ma’Rosa (2016).
The beauty queen-turned-thespian then started her TV journey in the late 90s, with the 2004 iconic series Spirits as her first-ever acting job under ABS-CBN. She then became part of various teleseryes, such as Lovers In Paris (2009), Kung Ako’y Iiwan Mo (2012), The Legal Wife (2014), FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano (2016), Bagani (2018), Ngayon At Kailanman (2018), and Sino Ang Maysala? Mea Culpa (2019), as well some episodes of Maalaala Mo Kaya. Currently, Lopez is one of the stars in LoiNie’s TV series Love in 40 Days (2022).
She was already a promising actress and a bankable model before representing the country in the 1993 Miss World competition and was named as the 2nd Princess. Ruffa did a number of movies before and after her pageant stint that further improved and showcased her caliber as an actress.
Her first ABS-CBN teleserye was the TV adaptation of the fantasy-drama flick Kokey in 2007 as one of the headliners. It was succeeded by her portrayals of main antagonists in I Love Betty La Fea (2018) as the main antagonist Daniella Valencia and Love Thy Woman (2020) as Amanda del Mundo. She’s also part of the online Star Cinema series The House Arrest Of Us as Zena Capili, the mother of Kathryn Bernardo’s character Q.
After representing the country in the Miss Universe pageant in 2009, Bianca completely bid her job as a flight attendant for a local airline company to become a full-time actress.
On her very first year in showbiz, she was already bestowed several projects, including her supporting stint as Gigi Fernando in Magkaribal and being chosen to portray the titular role in the afternoon series Juanita Banana. It was followed by her significant appearances in Aryana (2012), Kahit Konting Pagtingin (2013), On The Wings of Love (2015), My Super D (2016), FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano (2017-present), and Parasite Island (2019), along with some episodes of Wansapanataym Presents and Maalaala Mo Kaya. Most recently, Bia is part of the hit primetime series The Broken Marriage Vow (2022).
Precious Lara Quigaman
From conquering the world as Miss International 2005, Lara went on to become one of the most sought-after character actresses of ABS-CBN. She appeared in a slew of series, wherein she’s able to consistently astound the viewers in her every performance.
Her first-ever acting gig as a Kapamilya was in the “Diary” episode of Maalaala Mo Kaya, which was succeeded by her plethora of notable stints, such as in May Bukas Pa (2009) as Selda Sta. Maria, in Precious Hearts Romances Presents Impostor (2010), in Pablo S. Gomez’s Mutya (2011) as Cordelia Sardenas, in Princess and I (2012) as Queen Isabel, in You’re My Home (2015) as Roni Tesnado, in Bagani (2018) as Dilag, in Halik (2018) as Loida Ybañez-Montefalco, and, of course, in the acclaimed thriller drama The Killer Bride (2019) as Alice Dela Torre. She also touched our hearts in her appearances in a number of MMK, Ipaglaban Mo, and Wansapanataym episodes.
Like Lara, Kylie was also crowned as Miss International in 2016 and is the sixth Pinay to win the prestigious crown. After her reign, she was able to immediately score her first acting job via the 2017 flick Ang Panday, wherein she played Diwata. It was succeeded by her impressive performance as a kontrabida in the 2018 Star Cinema movie Kasal and in the Hukay episode of Ipaglaban Mo. She further astounded us with her portrayal of the antagonist Dulce Silverio in the afternoon soap opera Precious Hearts Romances Presents Los Bastardos, and went on to amuse us with her participation in the “Gelli In A Bottle” episode of Wansapanataym. She also appeared in the Dreamscape Entertainment digital movie Love Lockdown last year.
Those who have followed her journey knew that Pia was already in showbiz even before entering and winning Binibining Pilipinas and representing the country in the Miss Universe compeely, K2BU (2002), It Might Be You (2003), MMK (2005), Bora: Sons of the Beach (2005), Sa Piling Mo (200tition in 2015, in which she was later hailed as the winner. She appeared in several Kapamilya programs, nam6), and Aryana (2012), as well as in the movies Kung Ako Na Lang Sana (2003), All My Life (2004), and All About Love (2006), wherein she was credited as Pia Romero. This 2022, Pia finally made her TV show comeback with the weekend series My Papa Pi (2022) alongside the ultimate heartthrob Piolo Pascual.
The 31-year-old stunner went on to star in the 2017 comedy flick Gandarrapido: The Revenger Squad, which brought her the “New Movie Actress of the Year” award from the 34th PMPC Star Awards for Movies, and in the 2018 romantic film My Perfect You that she starred opposite Gerald Anderson.
Who will be next to follow the path of these incredible women?