THE Philippines finally captured the elusive Miss World title when its representative, 23-year-old Megan Young, won the crown in Bali, Indonesia during the finals last Sept. 28, 2013.
Megan, a US-born actress and TV host, broke the urban legend that no Filipino will ever win the title. In the past, the Philippines has come close to winning the Miss World crown; the most recent when Gwedoline Ruais placed second to Ivian Sarcos of Venezuala in 2011. Actress Sharmaine “Ruffa” Gutierrez placed 2nd runner-up to Lisa Hanna of Jamaica.
Although the Miss World beauty pageant was founded in 1951 by Erik Morley, it was not until 1967 that the Philippines sent a representative; Vivien Lee Austria. That time, Vivien was chosen by the College Editors Guild of the Philippines to represent the country in London, England.
In 1968, Margarita Favis Gomez was proclaimed as Miss Philippines by the organizing agency that presented the selection of Top 10 Fashion Models of the Philippines. Among the 37 who participated, 9 were chosen for the chance to represent the country. At the end, it was Margarita or Maita, who was chosen.
Beauty World Ltd. became the new franchise holder of the Miss Philippines for Miss World and proclaimed Cecilia “Pinky” Amabuyok to represent the country and placed 4th runner-up in 1968.
In 1969, yours truly, took over the franchise with my company; Spotlight Promotions via Miss Republic of the Philippines. That year, we sent Feliza Teresa Nuesa Miro to the Miss World beauty pageant.
Others who represented the Philippines when I was still the franchise holder were Minerva Manalo Cagatao (1970), Onelia Jose (1972), Evangeline Pascual (1973, who of course, was first runner-up), Agnes Rustia (1974), and Suzanne Gonzales (1975).
Joy Conde, although the last Miss RP for 1977, became the first Mutya ng Pilipinas World title holder during the transfer of the franchise to the new organizer, Mutya ng Pilipinas. She represented the Philippines in the Miss World in 1976. I, in turn, had to give up the franchise because I migrated here in the US.
Yes, it’s been a long journey for us to capturing the Miss World title. Although we have had successes in other international beauty pageants like Miss Universe and Miss International, the Miss World crown almost seemed impossible to get.
But Megan has changed history for us, as she is now the most beautiful woman in the world. Aside from also winning the title, the Miss World organizers has placed her in three of the five challenge events: Top Model, the Multimedia category, and was among the 11 finalists in the Beach Fashional final.