On December 21, Philippine time, 2015 Binibining Pilipinas-Universe Pia Wurtzbach will compete in the prestigious Miss Universe pageant to be held in Las Vegas, USA.
But did you know that prior to Pia joining beauty contests, she was in show business?
Among the television programs she did in the past included the teen-oriented show K2BU, comedy series Bora and teleseryes It Might Be You and Sa Piling Mo.
Pia is just one among the several Miss Universe candidates who did not only trained to become a beauty queen, but also honed their talents onscreen. Who are the other Miss U beauties?
1. Gloria Diaz
Gloria Diaz won the Miss Universe title in 1969.
Several years later, she pursued an acting career and starred in the movie Ang Pinakamagandang Hayop sa Balat ng Lupa for which she won a FAMAS Best Actress award. From then on, she continued making movies and then television series including film Kasal, Kasali, Kasalo and its sequel Sakal, Sakali, Saklolo where she played the high-maintenance mother of Ryan Agoncillo’s character.
The most recent TV series she did was Dream Dad starring child star Jana Agoncillo and actor Zanjoe Marudo.
2. Maria Isabel Lopez
Maria Isabel Lopez represented the country at the Miss Universe pageant after she was hailed Binibining Pilipinas-Universe in 1982.
Following her stint in the international beauty pageant, she entered showbiz and starred in several films such as the 2009 movie Kinatay that premiered in the prestigious Cannes International Film Festival in France.
She is currently a cast member of Pangako Sa ‘Yo.
3. Anjanette Abayari
Anjanette Abayari won the Binibining Pilipinas-Universe title in 1991 but was dethroned due to residency issues.
Nonetheless, Anjanette entered showbiz and took on the iconic role of Darna in 1994.
She is currently residing in California, USA with her kids.
4. Dindi Gallardo
After Dindi Gallardo won Binibining Pilipinas-Universe in 1993, she pursued an acting career and starred in movies like the 1997 Fernando Poe Jr. film, Ang Probinsyano where she was FPJ’s leading lady.
However, her showbiz career was put on hiatus after she moved to United States in 2001.
Now, Dindi has returned to the country and starred in 2015 Cinema One Originals entry, Dahling Nick as Imelda Marcos.
5. Charlene Gonzales
Winning Best in National Costume and the Ivory Best Hair Award, Charlene Gonzales landed in the top 6 of Miss Universe 1994.
Pursuing both acting and hosting, Charlene played the iconic role of Dyesebel and got to host her own talk show called Feel At Home with Charlene, among others.
She is married to actor Aga Muhlach. They have twins, Atasha and Andres.
6. Tisha Silang
Like Anjanette Abayari, Tisha Silang won Binibining Pilipinas-Universe 1998 but was dethroned due to issues with her citizenship.
Nonetheless, Tisha became a TV host but later moved to Canada.
In 2008, she joined The Amazing Race Asia and finished first runner-up.
7. Abbygale Arenas
Abbygale Arenas represented the country in the Miss Universe 1997 where she won Miss Photogenic.
She then became an image consultant and a mentor in the GMA talent show contest Starstruck in 2009. This year, she hosted the show Magbago Tayo in TV5.
Currently 21 weeks pregnant, Abbygale is married to photographer Jun De Leon with whom she has a teenage son.
8. Miriam Quiambao
Miriam Quiambao rose to stardom after she finished first runner-up at the Miss Universe 1999 where she also took home the Clairol Herbal Essence Style Award.
Miriam became a celebrated host and won several awards for it. Having established herself as a host, she also tried her luck in acting through movies like Kimmy Dora, among others. In 2010, she starred in the ABS-CBN teleserye Kung Tayo’y Magkakalayo.
Currently married to book author Eduardo Roberto Jr, Miriam also got to publish her autobiography entitled He Can Catch When You Fall.
9. Nina Ricci Alagao
Nina Ricci Alagao represented the country in the Miss Universe 2000 pageant.
Having entered show business, she has starred in ABS-CBN drama series such as Magkaribal in 2010 and in two KathNiel shows namely, Princess and I in 2012 and Got To Believe in 2014.
This year, Nina made waves after she criticized Toni Gonzaga’s hosting at the Binibining Pilipinas pageant.
10. Bianca Manalo
After winning Binibining Pilipinas 2009, Bianca Manalo entered the world of show business, appearing in TV series like Wansapanataym and hosting Kapamilya programs such as Happy Yipee Yehey.
In 2010, she got a starring role as Juanita Villa in Juanita Banana.
Currently, Bianca plays the role of Tiffany, the older sister of Nadine Lustre in the top-rating primetime drama series, On The Wings of Love.
11. Venus Raj
After winning 4th runner-up during Miss Universe 2010, Venus Raj became a host of the Kapamilya morning show, Umagang Kay Ganda and the Sunday variety show, ASAP.
She also starred in the drama anthology Maalala Mo Kaya twice: one portraying her life story and the other portraying the life story of deaf beauty queen Christine Balaguer.
Venus pursued a Master’s degree in Community Development at the University of the Philippines.
12. Shamcey Supsup
Shamcey Supsup won as third runner-up in the Miss Universe 2011.
Entering show business, Shamcey focused on honing her hosting skills. She had hosting stints on It’s Showtime, Binibining Pilipinas and Miss Universe 2012’s online coverage, among others. This year, she became a host of CNN Philippines’ Real Talk.
Currently, she is 34 weeks pregnant with her first child with husband Lloyd Lee.
13. Janine Tugonon
Janine Tugonon was crowned first runner-up in the 2012 Miss Universe pageant.
Although did not really jump into acting locally, Janine had a series of guest appearances in the shows of ABS-CBN such as Gandang Gabi Vice and Kris TV.
Working as a model in the United States, Janine is currently back in the Philippines. A week ago, she posted a photo on her Instagram account that she is back with ABS-CBN, with a hashtag suggesting that she will appear on Kapamilya Deal or No Deal.
14. Mary Jean Lastimosa
Mary Jean Lastimosa finished in the top 10 of Miss Universe 2014.
A lucky star in Kapamilya Deal or No Deal, MJ is part of the Sunday youth-oriented show Luv U and had a special cameo role as a fairy in the afternoon drama series, All of Me.
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