MANILA, Philippines – As the country prepares to host the Miss Universe pageant this month, two of the country’s former Miss Universe titleholders, Gloria Diaz and Margie Moran, shared some of their most memorable moments from their years as queens.
Gloria won the title in 1969, while Margie was crowned in 1973.
At a press conference with former Ilocos Sur governor Luis “Chavit” Singson on Thursday, January 5, they were asked what being Miss Universe was like when they won.
Gloria said: “Being Miss Universe is really very surreal. It means you always think that – especially I was thrown into it at 18 [years old], just 18 – so you realize [at that age] everything is all about you. But at the end of the day, you just have to come down to earth and make yourself a normal person who will leave something to other people and hopefully [something] that your children will be proud of.
“I think yun na ang peg namin ngayon (that’s our peg now). What our children will not be embarrassed [about], especially when I have a 28-year-old daughter who is very concerned with everything I do,” she added.
Gloria is the mother of actress and model Isabelle Daza, who is now 28 years old.
Back then, said Gloria, the pageant was very relaxed, compared to the more competitive atmosphere now.
Margie, on the other hand, shared that her parents initially didn’t allow her to join the contest. It was her grandmother, a former carnival queen, who helped her join the Binibining Pilipinas competition and later win Miss Universe in Athens, Greece.
“I was also very fortunate, you know, I have very good memories of joining the Miss Universe because first of all, it was Martial Law, it was 1973, July 1973, and I was not allowed by the government to bring a travel companion because [there] was a travel ban. So I had to go and line up at the NBI… and that was the only time I was allowed to travel,” Margie said.
After their reign, Gloria became an actress. Margie also joined showbiz but chose to focus on a career in marketing and advertising instead. She is currently the president of Ballet Philippines.
Advice for Maxine Medina
The two former Miss Universe queens were also asked what advice they would give to Maxine Medina, the Philippines’ 2016 representative to the pageant.
“I don’t really know her yet, but the only thing [I can say] to all our Binibining Pilipinas contestants is, always, winning or losing is not the end or the beginning of everything, it’s the day after, and you just have to enjoy everything,” said Gloria.
“The crown is not everything. Youth is everything, because it’s the time you make decisions, right or wrong, whatever, and you just have to enjoy. You must not be pressured by anybody that you have to win. Because I find that the contestants nowadays are very, very pressured. It’s more than a sport… you’re like in a patayan na, di ba (fight to the death situation, right)?“
Margie echoed Gloria’s sentiments: “Just enjoy whatever you’re doing because it’s a good experience, and people will never forget a winner. But what you do to yourself after that experience is the most important.”
She added: “Continue to educate yourself. I would read current events, so whatever question that is asked of you, you will able to answer if you are a good reader, if you know what is happening in the world.”
The Miss Universe coronation night will be held in Manila on January 30. Miss Universe 2015, the Philippines’ Pia Wurtzbach, is set to crown her successor at the Mall of Asia Arena. – Rappler.com