General Admission

Our country is the winner in Miss Universe

By Al S. Mendoza

 

WHO will be crowned Miss Universe tomorrow?

Almost definitely, not our very own Maxine Medina, I guess?

Woe to Maxine—and to the entire Filipino people as well—that we can’t seem to win the pageant this time.

If Maxine wins tomorrow, we could be accused of favoritism?

Such is the predicament of a host country, which is not supposed to win the pageant.

Indeed, history is not on Maxine’s side: No country has won the Miss Universe tiara two years in a row.

After our own Pia Wurtzback was crowned Miss Universe in Las Vegas last year, it is almost a foregone conclusion that her successor would not be a fellow Filipina.

But that downside is easily overshadowed by the country’s goodwill being laid out and appreciated on the world stage.

Just like in 1974 and 1994 when we hosted the Miss Universe event, this year’s pageant is not an exception.

It will reap the same rewards of 1974 and 1994:  The nation being the global toast as we highlight once more the Philippines’ world-class tourist spots all over the archipelago.

Add to this our iconic Filipino hospitality that has been the global rave since time immemorial.

Sushmita Sen, the 1974 winner from India, and Dayanara Torres, the Miss Universe from Puerto Rico in 1994, are in town as pageant judges.

Expectedly, they were accorded the usual VIP/red carpet treatment the Filipino way, sending both to fits of ecstasy as they recalled the fond memories of their dramatic victories here of years ago.

Ms. Torres had the most memorable stint in the Philippines, having stayed here five years after her coronation in 1994.

Dayanara was both the girl friend of screen heartthrob Aga Muhlach and a highly-paid actress in the silver screen.

If only for the record, should Maxine score a monumental upset and win tomorrow, she’ll become the fourth Miss Universe from the Philippines.

The previous winners were Gloria Diaz in 1969, Margarita Moran in 1973 and Pia Wurtzback in 2016 since Finland’s Armi Kuusela became the first Miss Universe in the pageant’s inaugurals in 1952.

At first, almost everybody thought the Miss Universe would be a financial disaster, considering the tremendous amount of money involved in hosting it.

Today, the pageant has become a huge success, not only monetarily but image-building wise as well on the global forum.

Billions of pesos had been poured into the event that drew 86 beauties, with San Miguel Corp. alone initially shelling out P70 million to the show that’d be beamed to no less 400 million people worldwide on live TV, reaching almost 197 countries via satellite.

Never mine if Maxine wouldn’t win it—although who knows what the future brings?

We just have to say Mabuhay Pilipinas! With all our heart, might and soul.