Filipino movies have traditionally mined the ranks of beauty contest winners to develop actresses as far back as the early years of Philippine cinema. Though there were instances when actresses vied for a beauty title and won hands-down. But it is usually the other way around—beauty contest winners scintillating as movie queens.
This alphabetical list of actresses who were once beauty queens has already reached the forty mark. These beauty queens turned movie queens are as follows:
Rich Asuncion – A recent Miss Philippines and eventually a Miss Universe runner-up, Rich now appears in the teleserye Sisid with Jackie Rice, Dominic Roco and JC Tiuseco.
Jackie Lou Blanco – She was a Miss La Salle during the university week in 1979. She was a contract star of Mother Lily’s Regal Films for several years. She married actor icky Davao and still appears in TV teleseryes and sitcoms.
Cita Capuyon- The 1983 Miss Philippines, she appeared opposite Fernando Poe Jr. in Ako Ang Katarugan which was produced by FPJ Productions. She married actor Greggy Liwag.
Dang Cecilio – She was Miss Philippines in 1979 and appeared in several films. including Kapag Buhay ang Inutang with Fernando Poe Jr., produced by FPJ Productions in 1983.
Olivia Cenizal –She was crowned Miss Mindanao in the 1951 Miss Philippines beauty pageant. In the same year, she appeared in Palahamak and El Jugador with Jose Romulo. She was married to composer/musical scorer Josefino Cenizal who is up to now the president of UFIMDAP. Her real name was Gloria Ruiz Maigue.
Meldy Corrales- She vied for the Miss Goldwyn Girl of the Philippines in 1956. A contract actress of Sampaguita pictures, she appared in the film outfit’s youth films, including Kaming Mga Talyada, an all-star cast movie.
Alice Crisostomo- She was Mutya ng Pilipinas in 1970 and first runner up of Asia Pacific Quest the same year. Se appeared in several films, including My Golden Girl. She married action star Tony Ferrer.
Mutya Crisostomo- The daughter of Tony Ferrer and Alice, she was Mutya ng Pilipinas in 1992. She later finished second runner-up in the Asia Pacific Quest. She also appeared in several films.
Matimtiman Cruz – More popular as a comedienne, she was actuallyMiss batangas in 1937 and Binibining Ilang-Ilang ng Silangan later that same year.
She appeared in Tindahan ni Aling Epang with Jose Mari and Liberty Ilagan for Sampaguita Pictures. Maria Josefa Cruz was her real name.
Marlene Danden-She also vied for the Miss Goldwyn Girl of the Philippines, a beauty contest which had the manila Red Cross as a beneficiary. She later became a Sampaguita Pictures contract star. Marlene appeared in films and garnered awards as best actress. Her first starring role was Rosa Rossini as a ballet dancer.
Marilou Destreza- She vied for the Mutya ng Pilipinas beauty ageant and later appeared in the several films, cinlduing Santuario with Fernando Poe Jr. for FPJ Productions. She also appeared in Basketball Stars with some professional league players with a bevy of young actresses as their leading ladies,
Gloria Diaz- The country’s first Miss Universe title holder, she appeared in the original and first Pinakamagandang Hayop sa Balat ng Lupa, directed by Celso Ad. Castillo. She later appeared in some movies opposite Vic Vargas.
She is still active in films, playing mother roles like in Kasal, Kasali, Kasalo and Sakal, Sakali, Saklolo with Judy Ann Santos, Ryan Agoncillo, Ariel Oreta and Gina Pareno; and the dramatic Sagrada Familia which was directed byJoel Lamangan.
Bong Dimayacyac- In 1983, she won as Mutya ng Pilipinas Asia and followed this up with by winning the Miss Asia Pacific Quest. She appeared in TV sitcoms.
Tita Duran- Teresita Durango in real life, she became Miss Mabini Elementary School. Her reel and real-life partner was Pancho Magalona and their tandem mae several box-office hits, including Maria Went to Town and Bella Filipina. The late pop-star Francis Magalona was hwer son and her grandchildren include Maxene Magalona and Elmo Magalona.
Josephine Estrada – She was the 1962 Miss Philippines. She eventually became a Sampaguita Pictures contract actress and appeared in Bird of Paradise.
Pacita Franciso- She was Miss Luzon in 1947.She appeared in films like Kumakaway Ka Pa, Irog (1949) and in Hihintayin Kita (1952).
Dindi Gallardo – She was Miss Philippines in 1993. She later starred in several films opposite the more popular actions stars of tha time.
Charlene Gonzales-The 1994 Bb. Pilipinas winner and declared one of the finalists durng that same year’s Miss Universe contest. She appeared opposite FPJ in the bio-flick Epimaco Velasco for FLT Films. She is the daughter of Bernard Bonnin and Elvie Gonzalez. She is married to actor Aga Muhlach.
Elvie Gonzalez –A 1964 second runner-up for Bb.Pilipinas, she won the Miss Philippine Press Photography contest in 1966. She appeared in Dugay Ka na sa Maynila., Tonto Ka Pa Rin.
Shirley Gorospe – As the first Miss Philippines USA winner in 1956, one of her prizes included a trip to the country. She appeared in several films produced by Premier Productions, including You’re My Everything and Basta Pinoy with an actor who eventually became her husband, Zaldy Zshornack.
(Continued next week)
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