Filipinos become Miss Universe judges – Manila bulletin


Pinoys who were once those who chose the most beautiful woman in the universe

There are only a very few moments in history when the best of the best from countries around the world come together for a single purpose. There’s the United Nations and their world affairs, the bustling Olympics, and then there’s the Miss Universe pageant. Each year, the international beauty pageant not only brings together the most beautiful ladies from each nation in one stage, it also brings together a diverse group of notable figures and tasks them with choosing a woman who epitomizes everything the organization stands for – a lady who is “confidently beautiful with a heart” and everything.

In previous editions of the competition, he has brought political leaders, change makers, Olympic medalists, artists, fashion designers and activists to his jury. During nearly seven decades of its journey, the organization has hosted a number of Filipino wonders to help choose a representative to bestow its shining crown.

From left to right: Lea Salonga, Kuh Ledesma, Josie Natori, Richelle Singson-Michael, Pia Wurtzbach, Monique Lhuillier, Don Emilio T. Yap, Manny Pacquiao and Carlos P. Romulo (Art by Ariana Maralit)

As we move into a new season of Miss Universe, let’s take a look at the former Filipino personalities who served on the pageant’s selection committee:

1974: Carlos P. Romulo

It was in 1974 that Miss Universe first arrived in the Philippines, making it the first Asian host country for the contest. On July 21, the competition was held at the newly constructed Folk Arts Theater in Manila, and its panel of judges included the former President of the United Nations General Assembly, the late Carlos P. Romulo. The event ended with the 1973 winner, Margarita Moran-Floirendo, now president of the Cultural Center of the Philippines, crowning Spaniard Amparo Muñoz.

1989: Josie Natori

Located in Cancun, Mexico, the 38th Miss Universe Pageant had Filipino international fashion designer Josie Natori on its selection committee. Angela Visser from the Netherlands was the crowned winner.

1991: Kuh Ledesma

Filipino singer Kuh Ledesma became one of the judges of the 1991 Miss Universe pageant, which was held in Las Vegas, Nevada in the United States. Prior to his appearance in the competition, Kuh exhibited his musical prowess at concerts in New York and London. She, along with the other panelist, chose Mexican Lupita Jones as the winner.

1994: Don Emilio T. Yap

The Philippines hosted the prestigious competition for the second time in 1994, with the ceremony held at the Plenary Hall of the Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay City. One of the judges was the former chairman of the board and vice chairman of the executive department of the Manila Bulletin, Don Emilio T. Yap. Meanwhile, Dayanara Torres of Puerto Rico, who became an actress in the Philippines, crowned Sushmita Sen of India.

2011: Léa Salonga

After nearly two decades, a Filipino once again graced the competition as a judge, and it was award-winning singer and actress Lea Salonga. The “Miss Saigon” star asked the question “If you could change one of your physical characteristics, which one would it be and why?” to Angola Leila Lopes, who became the winner. The competition took place in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

2014: Manny Pacquiao

Senator Manny Pacquiao also became a judge in the Miss Universe pageant. At the 2014 competition held in Miami, Florida, the boxing champion asked American Nia Sanchez a question about global terrorism. The candidate placed first behind the Colombian Paulina Vega.

2017: Pia Wurtzbach

Sacred Miss Universe 2015, Pia Wurtzbach returned to the competition by sitting on the other side of the table as a judge. The 2017 competition was held at the same stadium Pia won two years ago, at AXIS at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas. Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters of South Africa was crowned winner in 2017.

2018: Monique Lhuillier and Richelle Singson-Michael

Two Filipino women were part of the all-female jury for Miss Universe 2018 in Thailand. They are international fashion designer Monique Lhuillier and architect and businesswoman Richelle Singson-Michael. Catriona Gray won the fourth Miss Universe crown for the Philippines at the event.

Currently, Filipino actress Marian Rivera is slated to be the 10th Filipina to become a judge with her next appearance at the 70th Miss Universe Pageant, to be held in Eilat, Israel, on December 13, 2021 at 7:30 a.m. (PT).




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