The Philippines has been known to be a powerhouse when it comes to beauty pageants; with the Filipinas’ beauty, talent, and wit, we’ve conquered continents, the world, and even the universe. Here are some of the beauty queens who've made us proud whether they won or not:
1. Miriam Quiambao
Even though she slipped during the evening gown presentation, Miriam Quiambao handled it with grace. And out of the 84 countries eyeing the crown, she was crowned first runner-up, with Miss Botswana winning the pageant in 1999.
2. Pia Wurtzbach
The Filipino-German stunner and reigning Miss Universe is the title holder hailing from Mindanao. It took her three tries before bagging the Binibining Pilipinas - Miss Universe title, proving that dreams do come true if you set your eyes, and heart, on the prize.
3. Kylie Verzosa
It was just last year when Kylie Verzosa was crowned Miss International in Tokyo, Japan. She’s the sixth Pinay to take home the title. The first was won by Gemma Cruz in 1964, followed by Aurora Pijuan in 1970, and Melanie Marquez in 1979. More recently, Precious Lara Quigaman won in 2005, while Bea Rose Santiago was hailed Miss International 2013.
4. Gloria Diaz
She was the first Filipina to be crowned as Miss Universe in 1969. Although it has been years since she won the prestigious title, her beauty, grace, and confidence still shine through!
5. Megan Young
She was the first Filipina to win the Miss World title in 2013. The 26-year old actress also hosted the Miss World pageant in 2014 and 2015 and said that it was an honor for her. “Not every Miss World gets a chance to do this so I think it is a great opportunity that Julia Morley has given to me and entrusted me with,” she said.
6. Margarita Moran
After Gloria Diaz won in 1969, Margie Moran made Filipinos proud again when we took home the Miss Universe title in 1973. The pageant was held in Athens, Greece.
7. Catriona Gray
Despite Miss Puerto Rico being crowned Miss World 2016, Catriona accepted her defeat gracefully. On her social media account, she assured her fans that she’s doing fine. “I truly believe that God always knows what’s best and I trust in his plan and perfect timing.” The 23-year old Filipina-Australian finished in the top 5–not bad at all!
8. Jeslyn Santos
The 23-year old beauty is the first ever winner of Miss United Continents coming from Asia. She wowed the judges with her speech–in Spanish! And just like Pia Wurtzbach, her fighting spirit is amazing; she joined the Binibining Pilipinas twice before winning the title.
9. Janine Tugonon
Janine Tugonon was the first runner-up in the 2012 Miss Universe pageant. Although she was a bit disappointed with her loss, Gloria Diaz praised her for her performance.
“I just thought she was gorgeous and she gave a very good answer. That’s the way that I felt about Venus (Raj, 2010 Miss Universe fourth runner up), Shamcey (Supsup, 2011 Miss Universe third runner up) and Miriam (Quiambao, 1999 Miss Universe first runner up). Parang there was no other choice,” she said.
Janine eventually pursued a career in modeling full-time in 2013, and last year, she became the first Pinay to be a Victoria's Secret model.
10. Shamcey Supsup
The 30-year old beauty represented the Philippines during the 2011 Miss Universe pageant, and although she didn't win the title, she was best known for her runway strut called the "tsunami walk."
She's now married and has a cute little baby girl!
This story originally appeared on Femalenetwork.com.
* Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.