Las Piñas

Las Piñas’ Beauty Queen Village

It is said that in the Philippines, all you need to know is that it has a passion for 3 B’s: basketball, boxing, and beauty pageants. And as far as beauty pageants are concerned, the recently concluded Miss Universe pageant was proof enough how passionate we are for such, a passion greatly rewarded that after 42 years, a Filipina has been crowned Miss Universe in the person of Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach.

image courtesy of Rappler via Ethan Miller/Getty Images/AFP

Today however, the Urban Roamer is not going to talk about the event (and the controversy that still surrounds it) or of beauty pageants in general since I am not the authority to talk about such. In the context of this site however, I am dedicating today’s entry to that fascination for beauty pageants and beauty queens, much so that there is a village in the metropolis named after Filipina beauty queens of the past.

I am referring to the BF Resort Village located in Talon Dos in the southern city of Las Piñas which first opened its door to future homeowners in 1968. While it does share the same developer and was developed around the same time as BF Homes in Parañaque, BF Resort Village is a different residential development altogether with a unique character of its own.

BF Resort Village (courtesy of Google Street View)
BF Resort Village (courtesy of Google Street View)

One of those traits that make it unique is with regards to its streets as many of them have been named after the various Filipina beauty queens who have especially made their mark in international beauty pageants from the 1950s up to the 1980s.  It is said the reason for this set-up was that apparently, Tomas Aguirre, the man behind Banco Filipino and BF Homes, is an admirer of beauty queens and even wooed some of them too. (unfortunately, we don’t know which of these beauty queens whose streets were named after Aguirre dated)

What makes it more interesting is the fact that many of the beauty queens after whom the streets were named are still very much alive, (at least at the time of this writing) an uncommon practice when it is usually after one’s death does a street gets named/renamed after that person. And I heard somewhere that it is against the law to name a street after a person who is still living, (I hope someone clarifies this one if this is so) I can surmise Aguirre and BF were able to get away with its since 1) it is a private development so they can pretty much name a street after anyone, and 2) the streets were named possibly before the possible aforementioned law  was enacted so they are not covered anymore.

Gloria Diaz and Margie Moran (courtesy of the Philippine Star)

Some of the street names in the village should be familiar to many, like the ones named after Miss Universe 1969 Gloria Diaz and Miss Universe 1973 Margie Moran. Some are less familiar names and may be forgotten by now. So allow me to devote some space here to get you acquainted with some of the other beauty queens whose names are immortalized in the village.

  • Gemma Cruz – Miss International 1964, currently an active figure in heritage conservation.
Gemma Cruz (courtesy of Missosology)
  • Melanie Marquez– Miss International 1979, currently an actress
Melanie Marquez (courtesy of Missosology)
  • Evangeline Pascual – Miss World Philippines 1973 who would have been the first Filipina Miss World after the winner of the 1973 Miss World was fired. She declined to assume the throne as she thought the competition was unfair to Asian candidate. The country would have to wait until 2013 when Megan Young became Miss World that year. Currently an actress and radio host.
Evangeline Pascual (courtesy of Missosology)
  • Aurora Pijuan – Miss International 1970, also known as the former wife of basketball coach Tommy Manotoc and mother of broadcaster TJ Manotoc
Aurora Pijuan (courtesy of Maiden of Beauty Pageants)
  • Pilar Pilapil – Binibining Pilipinas Universe 1967, later became known as an actress
Pilar Pilapil (taken from Pinterest)
  • Lalaine Bennett – Finalist, Miss Universe 1963
  • Yolanda Dominguez – Second Runner-Up, Miss International 1972
  • Maricar Zaldarriaga – Bb. Pilipinas-Young International 1971, also known for having a relationship once with 2016 presidential candidate Mar Roxas, with whom she had a son
  • Alice Crisostomo – 1st Runner Up Miss Asia Quest 1970, also known as the former wife of actor Tony Ferrer and the mother of Mutya Crisostomo, 1990 Bb. Pilipinas first runner-up
  • Myrna Panlilio – the first Binibining Pilipinas winner, represented the country in the 1964 Miss Universe pageant
  • Ma. Lourdes Vallejo – Bb. Pilipinas-Young International 1972
  • Nelia Sancho – 1971 Queen of the Pacific, later becoming a prominent anti-Marcos activist
  • Carolyn Masibay – First Runner Up, Miss Asia Quest 1971, also rumored to be the mother of music artist Pharrell Williams but others say that claim is false.
  • Jane de Joya – the first Mutya ng Pilipinas winner in 1968
  • Evangeline Reyes – Semifinalist, Miss World 1972
  • Cynthia Ugalde – Miss Philippines-International 1962
  • Editha Vital – Semifinalist, Miss International 1960. Interestingly, the winner of that pageant Stella Marquez would marry Jorge Araneta of the Araneta business empire and become a figure in Philippine pageant history when she took over the management of Binibining Pilipinas Charities
  • Nenita Ramos – Semifinalist, Miss International 1968
  • Margaret Montinola – Semifinalist, Miss International 1969
  • Evelyn Camus – 2nd Runner Up, Miss International 1971
  • Suzette Nicolas – Mutya ng Pilipinas-World 1981
  • Josephine Estrada – Runner-Up, Miss Philippines 1960, later on became an actress
Josephine Estrada (courtesy of Missosology)
  • Ana Maria Arambulo – 1st Runner-Up, Binibining Pilipinas 1972
  • Vida Doria – Miss Photogenic, Miss Universe 1971, later on became a fashion designer
  • Jean Saburit – Bb. Pilipinas-Young International 1975, later on became an actress
  • Anna Kier – Bb. Pilipinas Universe 1977
  • Simonette delos Reyes – Bb. Pilipinas Universe 1970
  • Nini Ramos – Semifinalist, Miss International 1968
  • Clarinda Soriano – Semifinalist, Miss Universe 1966
  • Evelyn Camus – 2nd Runner-Up, Miss International 1971
  • Monina Yllana – Semifinalist, Miss International 1963
  • Cynthia Nakpil – Bb. Pilipinas-Maja International 1976
  • Annabelle Arambulo – Bb. Pilipinas-Maja International 1977
  • Louise Vail Aurelio – Semifinalist, Miss Universe 1965
  • Onelia Jose – Miss Philippines World 1971
  • Ligaya Pascual – Bb. Pilipinas-Maja International 1978
  • Maria Elena Ojeda – 4th Runner-Up, Miss International 1973
  • Joy Conde – Miss Philippines World 1976, who withdrew from the contest in protest of South Africa’s apartheid policies
  • Peachy Sacasas – Semifinalist, Miss International 1981
  • Charina Zaragoza – Binibining Pilipinas-Universe 1968

Given the developments in the Philippine beauty pageant scene since the 1980s, the question some now have is this: would there be new streets in the village or somewhere else that would be named after the contemporary Filipina beauty queens like Wurtzbach, Miss World 2013 Megan Young, Miss International 2005 Precious Lara Quigaman, Miss International 2013 Bea Rose Santiago, Charlene Gonzales, Ruffa Gutierrez, Venus Raj, Miriam Quiambao, Shamcey Supsup, and others? Or would some of those existing streets be renamed after them?

Then again, it will be interesting how this could be pulled off now since naming streets after living persons is being discouraged now.

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