Miss Gloria Diaz, the first Filipina to ever win the Miss Universe crown, made headlines weeks before the 65th Miss Universe pageant because she strongly suggested that Miss Philippines Maxine Medina should get an interpreter.
In a news report by ABS-CBN, the 1969 Miss Universe winner recommended that Maxine use the Filipino language to better answer the Q&A round. In a social media post, Gloria was quoted in saying that “This is the first time I will meet Maxine and the first thing I will tell her is to get an interpreter if she feels that she can better express her thoughts using our vernacular language. She is a Filipina and I don’t think it will make her less of a beauty queen if she will decide to use our language on the Grand Coronation.”
However, in following interviews, Gloria believed that Maxine had a one-in-a-million chance of winning the prestigious pageant, a remark which drew criticism from fans. The beauty queen even defended and justified her opinions in an interview with ABS-CBN News’ Marie Lozano.
Based on the outcome last Monday, Miss Diaz’s prediction was correct.
However, her statements still drew the ire of netizens, who began scrutinizing Gloria’s answer in the 1969 Miss Universe Q&A portion.
Some netizens had these comments over Diaz’s own answers:
Rodel T. Emnace wrote: “Wala talagang pinag-aralan makapagsalita tong si Gloria. ‘Kala mo naman ang galing nung sagot niya. ‘Di ko alam kung mga lasing ‘yong mga judges at siya pinanalong MissU noon”
JR Saldua wrote: “Paano kasi nung nanalo siya ng MU (Miss Universe) hindi pa uso tao nun. Kung makapagsalita akala mo ang ganda ng sagot niya during final Q and A”
Jhastine Diaz wrote: “Yung panahon nga niya, walang kwenta sagot niya e. Makapagjudge na feeling expert”
Other netizens have looked back at how Miss Diaz handled herself during her Q&A round.
It’s important to note that the pageant’s production was still relatively simpler and less grandiose back in 1969.
The questions were decidedly less political during that time and had less to do with broader social issues.
The following Youtube video featured the questions answered by the Top 5, as well as the winning moment for Miss Philippines. Gloira was asked “In the next day or so, a man will land on the moon. If a man from the moon landed in your hometown, what would you do to entertain him?”
This was in reference to the historical Apollo 11 Mission, when astronaut Neil Armstrong became the first human to walk the surface of the moon.
Gloria’s winning answer was very simple and direct.
She answered: “Oh, just the same things I do. I think if he has been on the moon for so long, I think when he comes over he wants to change, I guess.”
Her plainly specific answer was apparently enough for the judges to declare her the victor.
Nevertheless, Miss Diaz’s win was followed by controversy. Rumors persisted that the pageant was rigged in favor of the Philippines.
In the globalbeauties.com blog post, many netizens considered the win to be a political victory. At the time many Filipinos were against the country’s participation in the Vietnam War. Supposedly the USA used the 1969 Miss Universe victory as a way of taking the Philippines under their control. The same post also noted that the 1969 Miss Universe was overshadowed by the very same Apollo 11 landing they were referencing.
Simply put the 18th Miss Universe pageant at the time was not a popular news item.
Do you think Gloria Diaz’s criticism of Maxine was justified? Do think she deserved the 1969 Miss Universe title? Let us know what you think in the comments section!