Sunday, September 29, 2013



The first use of the title "Miss Universe" was as part of International Pageant of Pulchritude which began in 1926. These events, the first international contests, lasted until 1935 when the Great Depression and other events preceding World War II led to their demise. This pageant had no direct relationship with the modern event.

Miss Universe is an annual international beauty contest that is run by the Miss Universe Organization. Along with the Miss Earth andMiss World contests, Miss Universe is one of the three largest beauty pageants in the world in terms of the number of national-level competitions to participate in the world finals.

The contest was founded in 1952 by the California clothing company Pacific Mills. The pageant became part of Kayser-Roth, and thenGulf+Western Industries, before being acquired by Donald Trump in 1996.

In 1998, the logo of Miss Universe – "the woman with stars" – was born, representing the beauty and responsibility of women around the Universe.

According to the organizers, the Miss Universe contest is more than a beauty pageant: women aspiring to become Miss Universe must be intelligent, well-mannered, and cultured. Often a candidate has lost because she did not have a good answer during the question responses rounds; although this section of competition has held less importance during recent pageants than it did in the twentieth century. Delegates also participate in swimsuit and evening gown competitions.

The winner is assigned a one-year contract with the Miss Universe Organization, going overseas to spread messages about the control of diseases, peace, and public awareness of AIDS. 

1926 - 2011

By number of wins 
CountryTitlesWinning years
 USA81954, 1956, 1960, 1967, 1980, 1995, 1997, 2012
 Venezuela71979, 1981, 1986, 1996, 2008, 2009, 2013
 Puerto Rico51970, 1985, 1993, 2001, 2006
 Sweden31955, 1966, 1984
 Philippines21969, 1973
 Japan1959, 2007
 Canada1982, 2005
 Australia1972, 2004
 India1994, 2000
 Trinidad & Tobago1977, 1998
 Thailand1965, 1988
 Finland1952, 1975
 Mexico1991, 2010
 Brazil1963, 1968
 Dominican Republic2003
 Russia2002 (Not Official)
 New Zealand1983
 South Africa1978

Top 15 countries only by tally 

RankCountryMiss Universe1st Runner-up2nd Runner-up3rd Runner-up4th Runner-upSemifinalistsTotal
1 USA886152957
2 Venezuela766421439
3 Puerto Rico51213820
4 Sweden312341629
5 Brazil251251732
6 Finland23511718
7 Philippines22153720
8 Australia21322616
9 Japan21123918
10 India211111420
11 Canada211101116
12 Mexico201221017
13 Trinidad & Tobago2010148
14 Thailand2010047
15 Colombia142311930

Wins on home turf

7 winners have been crowned Miss Universe on their home turf. In particular, 6 of the 8 American winners won the title in the US (where the contest was founded):


First Filipina to represent the country in the Miss Universe Beauty Pageant in 1963
Miss Universe 1963 - 3rd Runner Up

Lalaine Betea Bennett, the fresh doll faced Miss Philippines of 1963 won the hearts of the Filipino people when she made them experience the first taste of success in an international pageant with her 3rd Runner-up finish at the Miss Universe Contest. She made her mark in the pageant when she delivered her speech in her native tongue instead of in English.

1963 — Miss Philippines Lalaine Betia Bennett, a 19 year-old, 5’9” tall American mestiza from Bayombong, Nueva Viscaya, left Manila on June 29, 1963 for Tokyo and stayed there for a week to fulfill some engagements before proceeding to Honolulu and San Francisco. She was among the first 13 official delegates to arrive in Miami Beach, Florida. Lalaine, who measured an impressive 35-23-36, placed third runner-up to Ieda Maria Vargas of Brazil. She married her official escort in the pageant, Felix Skievasky, a US Naval Officer of Polish-Filipino descent, on Sept. 7, 1964 at the San Marcelino Church in Manila. Felix died in a plane crash in 1973.

Ms. Bennett also tried acting, her first movie was in 1962, via Ligaw na Daigdig opposite Ronald Remy and Willie Sotelo.This was before her successful foray in the Miss Universe pageant in 1963. She made two more, Dear Eddie (1963) and Lalaine, Mahal Kita (1964) pairing her with Mario Montenegro. Her acting career was cut short in 1964 when she got married.

"Ligaw na Daigdig" (1962
"Dear Eddie" (1963)

"Lalaine Mahal Kita" (1964)



The Philippines

Gloria María Aspillera Díaz (born 10 March 1947 in AringayLa Union) is the first Filipino to win the Miss Universe crown in 1969 in Miami BeachFlorida.

Díaz was approached by an individual who believed she would do well in the Miss Universe competition and groomed the young woman. Díaz was only 18 when she became Miss Universe 1969 after besting other candidates on the final question. It was about how to welcome the first men that had just landed on the moon -- Neil ArmstrongEdwin Aldrin andMichael Collins—as soon as they were back on the planet. She was crowned at the International American-owned pageant in Miami BeachFloridaU.S. after their footage was set on the Statue of Liberty in New York.

Díaz is a well-known actress in Philippine cinema and television. Her box-office mettle and acting prowess were honoured with the coveted FAMAS Award from the Filipino Academy of Movie Arts and Sciences for Best Supporting Actress in the 2005 FAMAS Best Picture Nasaan Ka Man.

At present, she still being invited to Beauty Pageant Galas as an honorary guest and presentor.  And continues her career as an award winning actress. 

First Top 15 Finalists


Evening Gown

Question & Answer Portion

The crowning of Miss Universe 1969




The Philippines

Margarita Morán-Floirendo or Margie Morán-Floirendo (born 29 October 1953 in ManilaPhilippines) is best known for winning the second Miss Universe crown for the Philippines in 1973.

The full-time college student at Maryknoll College (now Miriam College) and part-time Auggie Cordero model is the granddaughter of former Philippine President, Manuel Roxas.


1973  Binibining Pilipinas Universe (Miss Philippines Universe)
1973  Miss Universe - Photogenic
1973  Miss Universe

Two years after her reign, she married and managed to finish her Business Administration degree in Boston University and took her masters in University of London. 

She headed several private companies like a resort called "Pearl Farm" in Samal IslandDavao del Norte from 1989 to 1994.

Hosted "Margie on Mindanao" on TV and produced a multi-awarded movie, Bagong Buwan (New Moon).  Moran is also notable for her social and civic works especially for promoting peace and livelihood as part of the Mindanao Commission on Women Organization and recently as an ambassador-trustee of Habitat for Humanity Philippines.
Her passion and experience as a dancer at the age of 18, prompt her to promote arts and culture with Southern Philippines Foundation for the Arts, Culture and Ecology.  She is now busy running the over-all operations of Ballet Philippines.
Moran is 21 years old when she married congressman Antonio R. Floirendo, Jr. of Davao City but after 30 years of marriage, they are now living separate lives. They have 2 daughters, Monica Danielle and Gabrielle Antoinette.

She is currently a multi-awarded peace advocate for her efforts in Mindanao and currently the President of Ballet Philippines. 

Top 5 Finalists

Question and Answer






The Philippines

Miriam Redito Quiambao was born in Quezon City to Magdalena Redito of Oas, Albay and Medgardo Quiambao of Bacacay, Albay on May 20, 1975, she is the first of two children. She attended the School of the Holy Spirit during her elementary and high school years and went for her collegiate studies at the University of Santo Tomas where she obtained her degree in physical therapy. She is also a licensed Physical Therapist for the state of  Indiana in the United States. Before her Binibining Pilipinas stint, Quiambao had a thriving career as a therapist for St. Luke's Hospital in Manila. Also, she worked as an instructor for a local gym.


1999  Binibining Pilipinas - First Runner Up (and Miss Philippines -World) and to compete in the Miss World 1999.  She received several awards, including Miss Photogenic.

1999  Binibining Pilipinas - Universe (due to the dethronement of the Titleholder of Miss Philippines Universe). Due to this, her competing for the Miss World was passed on to the second runner up.

1999 Miss Universe - First Runner Up
Quiambao was one of the strongest and most visible contenders for the crown. She consistently placed second during the pageant's preliminaries and bested a composite score of 9.52, just trailing behind the score of Sonia Raciti, the South African candidate. 

At the semifinals, she once again placed second overall in the swimsuit and evening gown competitions, racking up scores as high as 9.32 and 9.42 respectively. 
Early at the competition she received the Clairol Herbal Essences Style Award, the only Asian candidate at the pageant to do so. 

Quiambao faltered during the final question, which tackled the debate of whether a Miss Universe should continue her reign even if she gets pregnant. Spain's Diana Nogueira placed as 2nd Runner-Up. It all came down to Philippines' Quiambao and Botswana's Mpule Kwelagobe, and in the end, Quiambao placed as 1st Runner-Up, with Kwelagobe winning the Miss Universe title.

During the preliminary round of the evening gown competition, Quiambao slipped and fell on stage. As she walked, the heel of one of her shoes got caught in the trail of her evening gown and she slipped on the floor. Despite this incident she collected herself, regained composure, walked graciously, finished her walk, and drew applause from the audience. At the finals, Quiambao referred to the incident during an interview portion. She said "she felt she represented those women who have fallen both on and off the stage" and hopes to be "an example to the rest of the women in the world".


YearAwardCategoryNominated WorkRoleResult
2010Aliw AwardsBest EmceeLive EventsHost/PresenterWon
2010Gawad Urian AwardsBest Supporting ActressKimmy DoraGertrudeNominated
2008Aliw AwardsBest Female Host Title100% PinoyHostWon
2007Star AwardsBest Travel Show HostPinoy Meets WorldHostWon
2002PMPC Star AwardsBest Morning Show HostUnang HiritHostWon
2001PMPC Star AwardsBest Morning Show HostUnang HiritHostWon
  • Most Outstanding Bicolana Award, Ibalong 1999
  • Most Outstanding Alumna Award, UST 1999
  • Millennium Men and Women Award, Evian 1999
  • Clairol Herbal Essences Award, Miss Universe Pageant 1999
  • First Runner-Up, Miss Universe 1999
  • Bb. Pilipinas-Universe 1999





The Philippines
"The Filipina Barbie Doll"

Maria Venus Bayonito Raj (born July 7, 1988). She was crowned Binibining Pilipinas-Universe 2010 (Miss Universe-Philippines) on March 6, 2010 during the pageant's Grand Coronation Night at theAraneta Coliseum. She represented the Philippines in the 2010 Miss Universe pageant in Las VegasNevada, USA, and placed fourth runner-up to Ximena Navarrete of Mexico.

Maria Venus Raj was born to an Indian father and a Filipino mother, the youngest of five children.

For the first two decades of her life, Raj lived in a nipa hut made of wood, bamboo and anahaw leaves, with no electricity, in the middle of a sprawling rice field. She allegedly used rice paddy dikes for her early training, where she eventually developed her distinctive walk.

Raj obtained her bachelor's degree in Communication Arts, Major in Journalism, at Bicol University in Albay, with Latin honors (Cum Laude).

She graduated through the scholarship that she received from the Francis Papica Foundation. She initially worked as an Information Assistant for the Department of Environment and Natural Resources for Region V. It was at this time that she also worked as a part-time fashion model in both her native Bicol and Manila.


2008  Miss Bicolandia

2010 Binibining Pilipinas Universe (Miss Universe Philippines) 

2010 Miss Universe - 4th Runner Up

During the Miss Universe question and answer portion, Raj was asked by American actor William Baldwin about the biggest mistake that she made in her life and what she did to make it right, to which she simply replied that she had never made any big mistakes in her life. 

Raj received the highest rating in the Miss Universe website, with 3.54 points, the highest-ever for a Philippine delegate.

Venus is currently taking up her Masters in Community Development at the University of the Philippines Diliman and lends a hand to the group called “Care For Children.”

She is well-known  as a Filipino beauty queen, TV personality, model, and actress. 




The Philippines

Shamcey Gurrea Supsup (born May 16, 1986) is a Filipino beauty queen who holds the title Miss Universe-Philippines 2011 and represented the Philippines in the Miss Universe 2011 pageant, in which she was declared third runner-up.

Supsup moved with her family to General Santos City when she was three years old, where she was raised primarily by her father while her mother worked overseas. Before studying in Manila, she helped her father on a farm. She came first in the Philippines' national examination for architects in June 2011.

Supsup obtained her Architecture degree from the University of the Philippines Diliman, graduating with magna cum laude. She had been a valedictorian in grade school and salutatorian in high school.

For the question-and-answer portion, judge Vivica Fox asked her, "Would you change your religious beliefs to marry the person you love?

Her response was : "I would not change my religion because I love my God who created me, and if that person truly loves me, [he] should love my God too."


2011  Miss Universe-Philippines
2011 Miss Universe - 3rd Runner Up

Supsup has also served as a host for the ANC lifestyle program CityScape.

She will soon tie the knot with Chinese-Filipino handsome businessman, Lloyd Lee, on December 2013.





The Philippines

Janine Mari Raymundo Tugonon (born 19 October 1989 in Orion, Bataan) is a Filipino beauty pageant titleholder who holds the titleMiss Universe-Philippines 2012 and placed first runner-up in the Miss Universe 2012 pageant.[1] She also placed first runner-up inBinibining Pilipinas 2011, where her roommate, Shamcey Supsup, won.

Tugonon finished her Pharmacy degree with Latin honours (Cum Laude) at the Pontifical and Royal University of Santo Tomas in Manilaand became a Licensed Pharmacist in June 2010.

Tugonon also attended the Ballet School of Manila as a ballet protégé while attending university.


2010  Miss Pharmacy 
2010  Miss Thomasian Personality at the University of Santo Tomas, her alma mater.
2011  Miss Universe Philippines - First Runner UP
2012  Miss Universe Philippines
2012  Miss Universe - First Runner Up

She was asked this question via Twitter and read by judge Nigel Barker: "As an international ambassador, do you believe that speaking English should be a prerequisite to being Miss Universe? Why or why not?"
She replied: "For me, I think being Miss Universe is not just about knowing how to speak a specific language – it is being able to influence and inspire others. So whatever language you have, as long your heart is to serve and you have a strong mind to show to people, then, you can be Miss Universe".

National Costume

Evening Gown


The Philippines

Ariella Hernandez Arida (born November 20, 1988 in AlaminosLagunaPhilippines), also known as Ara Arida, is a Filipinobeauty queen who holds the title Miss Universe-Philippines 2013. Prior to her win at Binibining Pilipinas, she was a runway model and was also a contender at the Miss Philippines Earth 2012 representing Alaminos, Laguna.

Ara Arida was born in Alaminos, Laguna, Philippines to Public School Teachers, Estella (née Hernandez) and Arlesito Arida. She is a graduate of the University of the Philippines Los Baños with a degree in Chemistry. She is a sportswoman who loves the outdoors, especially the beach. Prior to winning the title, Ara competed at Miss Philippines Earth 2012 and was a former Binibining Laguna contestant.

During the Miss Philippines competition, Judge, Philippine National Police chief, Director General Alan Purisima was the one who questioned her. Her answer is this:
"One lesson in life that we, women, can teach men is being sensitive. Because we all know that men are more logical when it comes to decision. They usually are more rational, straight forward. Unlike we, women, we use our heart and we tend to get emotional in some of our decisions. For me, sensitivity is something that we can teach men."

The only Asian among Spanish speaking representatives.

Ara was one of the Top 5 Finalists and the only Asian candidate to compete with the other four Spanish-speaking candidates. (The Philippines was under the Spanish influence for more than 300 years during the 15th - 18th century.)

Her crowning glory that matched her beautiful face that caught the million viewers' attention is her long shiny, smooth, straight hair which has become the envy of many as she strutted onstage wearing swimsuit & elegant yellow evening gown.

During the much-awaited final round at the Miss Universe 2013, Ara was the only one who answered in English and sans the use of an interpreter. Her question from judge Tara Lipinski's was: "What can be done about the lack of jobs for young people starting their careers around the world?"

Her response was: "For the people who have lack of jobs, I do believe that we people should invest in education and that is my primary advocacy, because we all know that if everyone of us is educated and well aware of what we are doing, we could land into jobs and we could land a good career in the future. Education is the primary source and ticket to a better future."


2012  Miss Earth - Philippines
2013  Miss Philippines - Universe
2013  Miss Universe - 3rd Runner Up

ON HER WAY. Miss Universe-Philippines 2013 Ariella Arida leaves Oct 21 for Moscow, Russia. All photos by Niccolo Cosme for Rappler




SHE GLOWS. Miss Universe-Philippines Ariella Arida at the National Costume competition on November 3, 9pm at Vegas Mall in Moscow. She wears a terno designed by Alfredo Barraza. All photos for Rappler by Jory Rivera/OPMB

SHE GLOWS. Miss Universe-Philippines Ariella Arida at the National Costume competition on November 3, 9pm at Vegas Mall in Moscow. She wears a terno designed by Alfredo Barraza.

ARA ASKS FOR YOUR VOTE. Ariella Arida's official Countries of the World portrait posted in the Miss Universe website. Photo courtesy of the Miss Universe Organization LP, LLLP


OFFICIAL GLAM SHOT AND SWIMSUIT PHOTO. Photos courtesy of the Miss Universe Organization LP, LLLP


ALL SET. Miss Universe-Philippines 2013 Ariella Arida. Photo courtesy of the Miss Universe Organization LP, LLLP

OFFICIAL EVENING GOWN PHOTO AND HEAD SHOT. Photos courtesy of the Miss Universe Organization LP, LLLP

OFFICIAL EVENING GOWN PHOTO AND HEAD SHOT. Photos courtesy of the Miss Universe Organization LP, LLLP


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RADIANT IN YELLOW. Miss Philippines Ariella Arida in her Alfredo Barazza evening gown. All photos for Rappler by Jory Rivera/OPMB


Miss Canada

Miss Gabon


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Miss Universe - Philippines (3rd from Left) , With Miss Universe - Miss Gabon (First from the Left - Half Filipino)

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Miss Universe - Canada (Full Filipino, raised in Canada)

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Miss Universe-Philippines

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Miss Universe- Canada





Riza Santos (born August 31, 1986) is a Canadian television personality and beauty queen. She competed and won Miss Earth Canada 2006Miss World Canada 2011 and most recently Miss Universe Canada 2013. She competed in the Miss Earth 2006 pageant, in which she was given the Miss Photogenic and Miss Fontana awards. She also competed in Miss World 2011 contest, where she placed 29th out of 113 contestants.
In the Philippines, during her participation with Pinoy Big Brother: Celebrity Edition 2, she played for Bantay Bata, ABS-CBN Foundation's charitable institution. On Day 84, she was proclaimed the second place winner of the show. In 2008 and 2009, she hosted the Asian Poker Tour. 

She also landed at number 18 in the FHM's 100 Sexiest Women in 2008.

Santos' parents are from Bataan and Bulacan in the Philippines but she was raised in Canada. She is of Filipino ancestry. She studied Biological Science at the University of Calgary. Her grandparents influenced her in pursuing a career in the military in which she completed training with the Canadian military forces and became a news reporter for the Army News. Due to this, she left her acting career in the Philippines and returned to Canada in 2009. She is currently studying engineering at the University of Calgary's Schulich School of Engineering, and is "working as an engineering student" at the Provident Energy Ltd. in Environment Health and Safety.

Riza appeared in several TV series and movies in the Philippines. 

     Ms. Earth 2006


Pinoy Big Brother Contestant (PBB)





Ruth Jennifer Ondo Mouchita, Miss Universe Gabon, Africa 2013

Ruth Jennifer Ondo Mouchita (born 1992) is a Gabonese beauty pageant titleholder who was crowned Miss Gabon 2013 and the representative of Gabon in Miss Universe 2013. She is the second Gabonese Beauty Queen who is of mixed race with Filipino and Gabonese Ancestry. The first one being Channa Divouvi who represented Gabon in Miss Universe 2012 pageant. Ruth is fluent in EnglishFrenchTagalog (or Filipino) and Fang

(To be contiued)

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