LOOK BACK: The Binibining Pilipinas legacy through the decades

Voltaire E. Tayag
LOOK BACK: The Binibining Pilipinas legacy through the decades
Here's a look back at the highlights of the Miss Universe franchise under the Binibining Pilipinas Charities Inc

For several decades, it was unthinkable that the country’s representative to Miss Universe would be fielded by a pageant other than the Binibining Pilipinas pageant. Since 1964, the Binibining Pilipinas Charities incorporated, under the leadership of Madame Stella Marquez Araneta, has emblazoned the Miss Universe pageant in the psyche of the Filipinos. 

It wasn’t until the official statement released by BPCI that the Miss Universe Organization did not renew its license with them this year that it truly became a reality. After 55 years, Bb. Pilipinas will no longer be sending a representative to the Miss Universe Pageant. But as its slogan goes, “Once a Binibini, Always a Binibini.” Each and every Bb. Pilipinas Universe will forever be part of the organizaton’s unparalleled legacy. (READ: Miss Universe Philippines crown no longer with Binibining Pilipinas)

Bb. Pilipinas will continue to thrive and champion young women for their other titles which includes Bb. Pilipinas International, Bb. Pilipinas Supranational, Bb. Pilipinas, Grand International, Bb. Pilipinas Intercontinental, and Bb. Pilipinas Globe. More importantly, BPCI shall continue its charity works with orphanages, children’s hospitals and wounded soldiers at the AFP Hospital, animal welfare and other charitable causes.  (READ: Binibining Pilipinas will still hold ‘most prestigious beauty pageant’ in PH despite losing Miss Universe crown)

From 1964 to 1974

BPCI started its first 10 years with a bang and fittingly ended its last 10 years with a bang.

During its first decade of sending Filipinas to Miss Universe, Bb. Pilipinas produced:

Miss Universe

  • 1969: Gloria Diaz
  • 1973Margarita Moran (Miss Photogenic)


  • 1964Louise Aurelio Vail, Top 15
  • 1965Clarinda Soriano, Top 15
  • 1972Armi Barbara Crespo, Top 12
  • 1974Guadalupe Sanchez, Top 12

Gloria Diaz has since become one of the country’s iconic actresses and recently guested in the Netflix series, Insatiable. She is also known for her wit and candor which she first demonstrated during her final Q&A. She was asked what she’d do to entertain a man from the moon who just happened to land in her hometown. 


Margie Moran is best known for her involvement in socio-civic organizations which include Habitat for Humanity, Ballet Philippines, and Cultural Center of the Philippines. 

MARGIE'S LEGACY. Miss Universe 1973 Margarita 'Margie' Moran would later be involved in various NGO's, Ballet Philippines, and the Cultural Center of the Philippines. File photo by Alecs Ongcal/Rappler

Under wings of BPCI, the Philippines had established itself as a pageant powerhouse in Miss Universe. It joined the USA (1954, 1956, 1960, 1967) and Brazil (1963, 1968) as being the only countries with at least 2 winners. 

From 1975 to 2009 


  • Miss Universe 1975 4th Runner-up, Rose Marie Brosas
  • Miss Universe 1980 3rd Runner-up, Maria Rosario Silayan
  • Miss Universe 1984 3rd Runner-up, Maria Desiree Verdadero
  • Miss Universe 1987 Top 10, Geraldine Edith Asis
  • Miss Universe 1994 Top 6, Charlene Mae Gonzales
  • Miss Universe 1999 1st Runner-up, Miriam Quiambao


From 2010 to 2019

In 2010, BPCI would enter its most successful decade with the major, major placement of Maria Venus Raj as 4th Runner-up, breaking a 10 year dry spell. The last ten years would cement the Philippines’ position as a pageant powerhouse and the Binibining Pilipinas Charities Inc. as the National Franchise with a very successful record.

VENUS RAJ. The Miss Universe Philippines 2010 representative started what it would be the country's consistent placements in the pageant that year. Venus finished 4th runner-up. File photo by Dion Besa/Rappler

  • Miss Universe 2010 4th Runner-up, Venus Raj
  • Miss Universe 2011 3rd Runner-up, Shamcey Supsup
  • Miss Universe 2012 1st Runner-up, Janine Marie Tugonon
  • Miss Universe 2013 3rd Runner-up, Ariella Arida
  • Miss Universe 2014  Top 10, Mary Jean Lastimosa 
  • Miss Universe 2015 Winner, Pia Wurtzbach
  • Miss Universe 2016  Top 6,  Maxine Medina 
  • Miss Universe 2017  Top 10, Rachel Peters
  • Miss Universe 2018 Winner, Catriona Gray
  • Miss Universe 2019 Top 20, Gazini Ganados 

After 42 years, Pia Wurtzbach made history by breaking the 42 year drought and returning the Miss Universe crown to the Philippines. She also won in the most spectacular way when she was wrongfully announced as the 1st runner-up. Minutes later, she was properly proclaimed as Miss Universe 2015. Since then, Pia’s acting and modelling career has grown tremendously, making her one of the most successful beauty queens years after her reign. (LOOK: Pia Wurtzbach’s Madame Tussauds wax figure)

This was also the decade when beauty camps Aces & Queens and Kagandahang Flores came to prominence. They were instrumental in training and preparing future queens for both national and international pageants. The joint efforts of BPCI, the beauty camps, fashion designers and Filipino netizens catapulted the Philippines’ victories in numerous pageants and the unprecedented placement streak in Miss Universe.

MODERN QUEEN. Pia Wurtzbach waves to the crowd in Cubao in 2016 during her homecoming. File photo by Rob Reyes/Rappler

Three years later, Catriona Gray would rock the pageant world to the delight of the Filipino pageant fans when she joined Bb. Pilipinas 2018. From then on, Catriona was an unstoppable force who strategically worked her way to capture the country’s 4th Miss Universe crown. The moment she set foot in Bangkok, Thailand for the 2018 Miss Universe pageant, it was as if all the stars aligned in her favor. Much like the lava that her Mak Tumang gown was inspired by, nothing would stand in her way.

UNSTOPPABLE. Catriona Gray takes her final walk as Miss Universe 2018 during the Miss Universe 2019 pageant in Atlanta, Georgia last December 8. Photo courtesy of the Miss Universe Organization.

In all of its 56 years as the Philippine national franchise holder of the Miss Universe pageant, this is what BPCI has managed to produce in a nutshell: 

  • 4 Miss Universe winners
  • 8 Runners-up
  • 10 Top 20 Placements

Special Awards

Miss Photogenic Awards: 

  • 1971    Vida Doria 
  • 1973    Margarita Moran
  • 1996    Aileen Leng Damiles
  • 1997    Abbygale Williamson Arenas
  • 2005   Gionna Cabrera
  • 2006    Lia Andrea Ramos
  • 2007    Anna Theresa Licaros 

Best in National Costume Award

  • 1994  Charlene Mae Gonzales
  • 2001  Zorayda Ruth Andam (1st Runner-up)
  • 2019  Gazini Ganados 

Clairol Herbal Essence Style Award

1999 Miriam Quiambao

Internet Vote

2013   Ariella Arida

An entire nation, a couple of generations, and hundreds of Binibinis will forever remember the legacy made possible by Stella Araneta and the organization. BPCI has truly lived up and continues to live up to being beyond beauty.  – Rappler.com


Voltaire has 10 years experience in the fashion industry. He previously worked with a luxury clothing and accessories brand in Los Angeles, CA. He graduated magna cum laude from the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, major in Fashion Design. He also holds a BS in Applied Economics and BS in Marketing from DLSU. He is now doing real estate but finds ample spare time to pursue his passions.

Add a comment

Sort by

There are no comments yet. Add your comment to start the conversation.