Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Remembering July 21, 1969: Gloria Diaz Shines Brighter than the Man on the Moon

In July 21, 1969, the world celebrated as images of the first man on the moon were broadcasted everywhere. Most were glued to their television sets, eagerly watching a new dawn for mankind.

Filipinos, however, were celebrating something else aside from this. Gloria Diaz, at 18, won the Philippines' first ever Miss Universe crown specifically after answering the question of "If the man on the moon should come down to Earth and visit your hometown, what would you do to entertain him?"

Enlightening the entire world with her quick response, Gloria Diaz said that she would offer the man on the moon a change of clothes, and perhaps a cup of coffee. Her charm made her win the hearts of the judges, earning her the coveted crown to her country's triumph.

How did the former beauty queen feel when she passed on her crown?

“Right that very minute onstage, I realized that nothing was permanent and that you were really, really replaceable. How can I ever teach that to my children? I don’t know. It’s very hard to have that awakening. As soon as I gave up my crown, I lost my limousine to the new winner. It’s a good thing that my mother had arranged for somebody to take us back to the hotel. They were still very nice to me but I was given 24 hours to vacate my room." (taken from Ricky Lo's FUNFARE article)

This line struck me the most because she speaks of what is mostly felt by most girls right now. The feeling of being replaceable is what haunts those whose confidence hangs in the balance, and of those who feel that they have to be different just because they have to.

I'm not going to be too optimistic here and say that no, you will always leave a mark on everyone in this world, nor will I harp the usual you-are-special speech. To be realistic, we are replaceable. A few decades from now the marks that we want to leave on earth such as our achievements, our wealth, our connections will all be forgotten. No matter how much we want to leave a legacy, it can only last so much as the memories of the people around us now do remember.

This will teach us all the value of humility. Too much pride in one's own self can make or break you, but knowing how to be humble and down-to-earth will always make one a better person. The fact that we can all relate to one another is a unifying factor: we might be replaceable, but we are never alone. Experience teaches us that everyone goes through what we do, and we must not be afraid to question and learn from those around us.


  1. Beautiful post. I must say I'm amazed! :D

  2. thanks dear! gloria diaz is a true inspiration for me.


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