It is interesting to write about the Folk Arts Theater at this time in the midst of the preparations for the country’s 3rd stint to host the Miss Universe pageant that will happen on January 2017. That is because the Folk Arts Theater itself came into being because of the Miss Universe pageant, when the Philippines hosted it for the first time in 1974. Reportedly, then First Lady Imelda Marcos pushed hard for the country to host the pageant, especially after the country’s Miss Universe candidate, Margarita Moran, won the title in 1973, becoming the second Filipina Miss Universe after Gloria Diaz.
With the hosting secured, Mrs. Marcos had the idea of holding the pageant not at an existing venue like the Araneta Coliseum, but at a new one. For this project, she turned to Architect Leandro Locsin, who by then was already the most sought-after architect and country and also in the First Lady’s good graces for his work on the Cultural Center of the Philippines Theater. However, there was a problem: Locsin only had a short time to complete that dream venue with the pageant just a few months away. Nevertheless, Locsin was one who rises to any challenge and this was no exception. Continue reading