Pageant veteran Gloria Diaz reminisces her crowning moment during the online press-conference for “Beauty Queens”

22 Jul 2020 | Camilla Suarez

Gloria Maria Aspillera Diaz professionally known as Gloria Diaz is a Filipino multi-awarded actress of film and television, model, and beauty queen who rose to fame after being crowned Miss Universe 1969, becoming the first Filipina to hold the Miss Universe title.

In a recent interview, while promoting and talking about her upcoming series for iWant ‘Beauty Queens’, Gloria shared that the year 1969 will always hold a special place in her heart not because she was crowned as the first Miss Universe Philippines but because her life changed in the same year for which she will always be grateful.


Pageant veteran Gloria Diaz reminisces her crowning moment during the online press-conference for “Beauty Queens”


Gloria was 18-years-old and was studying in college when she was scouted by a pageant connoisseur and was convinced to join the sixth edition of Binibining Pilipinas. The pageant connoisseur felt that Gloria’s looks would captivate the attention of the audience but it was also her wit and intelligent answers that kept the audience and judges captivated throughout her stint at Binibining Pilipinas 1969 and she was eventually crowned as Miss Universe Philippines 1969.

Later, the diva was sent to represent the country at Miss Universe 1969 on 19th July 1969 at the Miami Beach Auditorium in Miami Beach, Florida, United States. She was appreciated for her performance throughout her stint and was eventually crowned as the Miss Universe 1969 and became the first Filipino and third Asian to win the Miss Universe title. During her reign, Díaz travelled through several countries to promote the advocacies supported by the Miss Universe Organization as well as appeared in many public and television events in the United States.


Miss Universe 1969 Gloria Diaz


Post her reign as Miss Universe 1969, Gloria pursued acting career in the Philippines, and in 1975, she was casted in her breakthrough performance as Isabel in the critically acclaimed ‘Ang Pinakamagandang Hayop sa Balat ng Lupa’. Her performance in the film was met with praise by film critics and she was considered as one of the most promising actresses in the Philippine cinema. She was also nominated for a FAMAS Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Lead Role.

Gloria has continued to act and is now playing the role of Dahlia Rodriguez-De Veyra in the new upcoming iWant series; ‘Beauty Queens’. Dahlia is a beauty queen who won the Miss Universe title in 1969. She is determined to keep the tradition by encouraging her two daughters, Daisy and Tingting, to join beauty pageants despite them having other plans in life. Meanwhile, her only son Rico joins Miss Gay Universe much to her surprise.

During an online media conference for the series, the actress was asked about her thoughts on Filipino pageant fans remembering forever the year she brought honor to the country. To which she answered, “Of course I’m thrilled. And 1969 is a special day and year for me. I was 18-years-old and I didn’t know what was happening. But afterwards, you realize that it’ll change your life. And that’s how I am here. I always think it’s sentimental and I always meet a lot of people who remember exactly the year. So, you cannot even cheat on your age. And how long ago was it? 50 years ago.”


Miss Universe 1969 Gloria Diaz


Gloria also added that she is very sentimental about that year not only because she won Miss Universe 1969 but also because it was the same year that two US astronauts – Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin landed and walked on the moon.

‘Beauty Queens’ also stars Maxine Medina, Winwyn Marquez, Ross Pesigan, Maris Racal, Lotlot de Leon, and James Blanco. The series is directed by Joel Lamangan and is available on iWant