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Miss Republic of the Philippines: A look into the past and fast forward to the future

3:54:00 PM

As I attended the Press Launch of the newly-revived Miss Republic of the Philippines, I cannot help but admire the courage and determination of Miss Lynette Padolina for taking on the difficult task of resuscitating a long-dormant brand. As we joked together, I guess the reason is "for the love of pageantry". I told her I represented the young pageant fans, those who lived in this generation and were probably unaware of our retro queens, the ones who paraded with grace and yet kicked ass in the international pageant stage, the former Misses of the Republic of the Philippines, our representatives to the Miss World pageant. I guess we cannot go forward into the future without looking back on the lessons of the past.
From 1966 to 1976, the Miss Republic of the Philippines pageant is the springboard of young hopefuls who want to become Miss World and in a short span of 10 years, boasted of a success rate unmatched by any other organization who handled the Miss World franchise until only recently, when current franchise holder CGQ Global Quest was able to produce our very first Miss World in 2013.

As Miss Lynette asked me "Give them history." Well here it is:
1966 Vivian Lee Austria (official name: Emraida Kelly Kiram). Yes, she is a real Muslim princess.
1967 Margarita Favis Gomez. She got more popular as an model and later a revolutionary in the mountains. RIP Miss Gomez
1968 Arene Cecilia Anas Amabuyok-Fourth runner-up. She was known as the novice who joined a beauty pageant which later turned out to be Untrue. She got noticed because of it nevertheless. She was one of the favorites to win during her year.
1969 Feliza Teresita Nuesa Miro. The woman who defeated Vida Doria. Her victory was hotly contested by the other candidates but she kept her title and went on to Miss World. She later became an actress.
1970 Minerva Manalo Cagatao -Top 15 Semifinalist. A crossover from Mutya ng Pilipinas 1970, Minnie had very long tresses, all the way to her buttocks. One of the few Asian beauties who placed in a historic year where the first Black beauty queen was crowned.
1971 Onelia Ison Jose. Asians were shut-out during her year but the creation she wore made of capiz shells won Best Original Gown!
1972 Evangeline Rosales Reyes-Top 15 Semifinalist. The other Evangeline, as they say. Some say that the Karilagan model was the prettier one. Needless to say she had her own success during her year.
1973 Evangeline Luis Pascual -First runner-up. Who could ever forget her? She was almost our first Miss World. No matter what version we might hear of reason for her refusal to take over the responsibilities of dethroned Miss World Marjorie Wallace, we still love her.
1974 Agnes Benisano Rustia. She competed in a tumultuous year where the eventual winner Helen Morgan was also stripped of the title like her predecessor.
1975 Suzanne Talam Gonzales. Suzanne later became a popular actress, and was a very effective villainess.
1976 Josephine Salazar Conde. The brave Miss Philippines who withdrew to protest against the two-Miss South Africa Policy at Miss World. Later on that policy would get abolished.

Other famous alumni of the pageant were Elizabeth Oropesa (1972 Miss Luzon), an award-winning actress, Anna Bayle (1975 Miss Luzon), the first Asian supermodel, and Bessie Badilla (1975 2nd Runner-up), international model.

After 10 years, the Miss World franchise was then acquired by Mutya ng Pilipinas and Miss RP Lay dormant until it was revived and given a facelift by the new Miss RP Team headed by CEO Miss Lynette Zamora and managed by National Director Edu Pillora.

The new Miss Republic of the Philippines is a competition which awards scholarship for college and graduate schools tom deserving young Filipinas beetween the ages of 17 and 24. Miss Republic of the Philippines will travel extensively and promote her particular platform of choice. This contest is open not just for Philippine-based Filipinas but also Filipinas from overseas Filipino communities, single, age 18 at the time of the competition and must not be 25 by October 2015; natural-born females who have never given birth, at least high school graduates, at least 5'4" tall with at least one direct Filipino grandparent.

Screening: May to July 2015

For inquiries, email romina.gervacio@gmail.com and missrppageant@gmail.com Special thanks to Mr. Tony P for the interesting bits and pieces of info.

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