The United States of America conquered the moon when Neil Armstrong took its first human step on it but the Philippines conquered the Universe when Ms. Gloria Diaz bagged the Miss Universe title on July 21, 1969 in Miami Beach Florida, USA. She was the first Filipina to win the title and third Asian to do so. With her natural charm and wit, she confidently answered the final question on how to entertain the first man from the moon if he landed in her hometown. Her immediate response was, “Oh! Uh, just the same I do. I think if he has been in the moon for so long, I think when he comes over he wants to change, I guess”
Diaz was studying business at St. Scholastica’s College when she entered the Binibining Pilipinas Universe pageant and was crowned the winner. She then flew to Miami Beach, Florida where she completed the 18th Annual Miss Universe Beauty Pageant. During the pageant, Diaz never came out as a front runner. She was then a petite young lass standing 5 feet 5 inches and weighing 115 pounds with black hair and black eyes, typical among many Filipinas. But despite this, Diaz still emerged as the best among 61 delegates.
She was born in Ilocos in 1950 to Jaime Diaz and Therese Aspillera. She was raised in a family of twelve siblings with two brothers and nine sisters. Diaz eventually married the politician Gabriel “Bong” Daza with whome she had three children: Isabella, Ava and Rafael. Her separation from her husband allowed her to get into a new relationship with banker Mike de Jesus.
Gloria Diaz is a popular movie and television icon in the Philippines. After becoming a beauty queen, Diaz debuted as an actress with the lead role in Celso Ad Castillo’s movie Ang Pinakamagandang Babae sa Balat ng Lupa (1974). She has starred in many movies and TV shows since then. Through the years, she was able to portray different roles. Diaz has also received awards and recognitions from the industry.
When asked what is the best thing about being Miss Universe, she answered “I guess having done my best for the country”