MY FIRST IMPRESSION ON THE FIRST
BATCH OF DELEGATES
by Joseph Vitug
I have a confession to make: I have never met international pageant
delegates up close. I was merely four years old when the Miss
Universe Pageant was first held here, and when it came back 20
years later, I didn’t have the connections (though I got to
witness the Santa Cruzan procession of the 1994 Miss Universe
delegates at Rizal Park – I remember eventual winner Sushmita
Sen greeting the watchers with “I love you” and I think
she’s also telling them that phrase in Tagalog, if I’m not
mistaken). The arrival of the Miss Earth delegates is going down in
my personal history as a milestone – as being a member of Mabuhay
Pageants I got the privilege of finally meeting the beautiful women
from around the world whom I simply admired or reviewed from afar.
So when the delegates arrived and I got the message from Boyet about
an initial gathering of the delegates who have already arrived by
today (October 7), I took the opportunity after my usual family
Sunday ritual (mass and a movie – today it’s “America’s
Sweethearts”; a fine comedy in my opinion with Julia Roberts,
Catherine Zeta-Jones, and Billy Crystal in top form – very
worthwhile treat) to hie off to the hotel where they and the
Carousel staff were all billetted.
I got to see the people from Carousel Productions up close
hard at work putting the pageant together. I appreciated their
efforts greatly – and I think they are doing a good job so far
amidst a lot of obstacles (compounded by the tragic events of
September 11 that led to a lot of fear and trepidation for many
countries planning to join). I’m definitely grateful for the
wonderful treatment they are giving us.
From the 12 ladies that were already here so far, I can
expect a high level of competition. With the likes of Mz.
Brazil and Kazakhstan still on the way,
prepare for exciting moments ahead.
Anyway, here are my impressions of 11 of the ladies I met today at
the poolside and the hotel (Miss USA cannot come down
because she’s still have to overcome her jet lag)…
DENMARK. Statuesque Nordic blonde who isn’t afraid
of wearing a string bikini like the hot black number you’ll see
soon in this page. Looks like a very bright lady – she’s a law
student, by the way.
ESTONIA. Everything that is written about her
personality is absolutely true. And, as Gerry said, she’s also
more gorgeous in person. I’d like to have a down to earth
conversation with her, but I cannot quite manage it because I’m so
in awe with her. I cannot help but lavish her with praise because
she really deserves it. Among my platitudes: how we need people like
her especially in times like these, and how I admired the fact that
she exudes such joy and a zest for life. She also has exquisitely
smooth fair skin that is very noticeable when she wore her swimsuit.
A front-runner in my opinion.
INDIA. Her modeling experience has served her very
well, as she seems prepared for everything – and we first met her
when she just arrived from the airport. She looked fresh, polished
and stylish – remember how a typical person would look beat down
and worn down after hours of travel, Shamita was definitely not that
kind of person. She is also intellectually sharp and articulate –
and very gracious and friendly, too. Definitely a leading contender
in this pageant and a much better delegate than the Miss
International representative Kanwal Toor or arguably even the Miss
Universe rep Celina Jaitley.
ITALY. Watch out and prepare to be enthralled by this
girl. She’s a sweet, innocent 18-year old ingenue who’s wrapped
in a sizzling, smoldering, ssssssssssssmoooookin’ package. Long
and lissome legs, smooth olive skin, beautiful curly black hair, and
irresistible green eyes – men will definitely turn their heads
when they see her.
JAPAN. A very sweet Psychology graduate taking further
studies – I’m so surprised when she’s actually familiar with
my work at the mere mention of my name.
LATVIA. Two words: Ashley Judd. Way more gorgeous than
her initial photograph and statuesque at 5’10” to boot. She’s
a hard-working student taking two separate courses at two different
universities. I ask her how she manages to juggle such a potentially
punishing schedule, she explained very simply: “day and night”
(it means, one university has day courses, the other night courses).
MALAYSIA. She’s as sweet as Miss Japan. Very, very
PHILIPPINES. She’s much better now (and in person)
than earlier photos would indicate. She looks chic, modern, and
stylish. And she’s fit enough to look good in a two piece bikini.
She has a strong chance to make inroads to the Top 10.
PUERTO RICO. Very attractive spicy Latina. Statuesque
at 5’10” (definitely she isn’t 5’6”).
SINGAPORE. She has a sophisticated vibe about her.
She’s currently studying in art school and has experience in
Hawaiian Tropic and Miss Chinatown International pageants.
THAILAND. She, Miss Malaysia, and Miss Japan are
sweet, charming, and adorable girls. Very oriental-looking despite
the fact that she’s actually half-German.
As it is, we have a high-quality field. If the remaining 30 other
delegates arrive, it will make for some exciting and enthralling
competition ahead. I wish all ladies well, and whether win or lose
they’ll make a strong impression to the Filipino public. I pray
for Miss Earth’s success…