Ten ladies who made their mark during Miss Universe 1994

by Karen A.P. Caliwara
Jul 31, 2016
Three of the ladies who made Miss Universe 1994 memorable were Miss Australia 1994 Michelle van Eimeren, Miss Universe 1993 Dayanara Torres, and Miss Belgium 1994 Christelle Roelandts.

Now that Philippines has been officially chosen to host the Miss Universe 2017 pageant, we’re on a flashback mode.

The 90s babies will never forget the Miss U hoopla in 1994, a time when people heavily relied on television and print for updates.

Noel Orsal, the resident photographer of PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal), was able to keep some photos when he covered the pageant.

Of course, the first person that came to mind was Charlene Gonzalez, the Binibining Pilipinas Universe 1994 who represented our country.

And who would forget her epic answer to the question on the number of islands the Philippines has.

She then quipped, “high tide or low tide," which became the Pinoys’ customary reply each time a foreigner would ask about our islands.

Here’s to enumerate the names who mattered to Pinoys that year, and recount their contribution to showbiz in the 90s.

If not for Miss Universe 1994…

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1. Charlene would not have probably bagged the iconic role Dyesebel.

2. Miss Universe 1993 Dayanara Torres would not have become ABS-CBN’s “Dancing Queen” and a movie star.

She starred in Hataw Na and Basta’t Kasama Kita, where she was paired with her ex-boyfriend Aga Muhlach.

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3. Miss Australia 1994 Michelle van Eimeren would not have become the wife of Ogie Alcasid.

Michelle also tried her hand at acting and hosting.

The two are no longer together, but they remain friends.

They have have two daughters.

4. Miss Mauritius 1994 Viveka Babajee (bless her soul!) would not have figured in the 1994 Metro Manila Film Festival, where she immortalized the line “Take it, take it!”

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To those who may have forgotten such incident, Viveka asked Rocky Gutierrez to “take” the envelope bearing the name of Best Actress and Best Actor winners.

Instead of Aiko Melendez and Edu Manzano, the names of Ruffa Gutierrez and Gabby Concepcion were called.

Gabby, Ruffa, Viveka, and Rocky’s manager Lolit Solis later on admitted that she orchestrated the “envelope switching.”

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5. Miss Universe 1994 Sushmita Sen would not have become India’s first Miss Universe.

Or it probably was her destiny given the way she defined “woman” during the answer and question portion.

“Just being a woman is God’s gift that all of us must appreciate. The origin of a child is a mother, and is a woman. She shows a man what sharing, caring and loving is all about. That is the essence of a woman.”


6. Christelle Roelandts?

She was on top of Pinoys’ favorites, but didn't make it to the semi-finals.

The country on her sash was also misspelled. Instead of Belgium, it read "Beligum."

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7. Carolina Gomez?

She emerged as the pageant’s first runner-up.

Joseph Estrada, who was then the vice president, joked he will have his wife assassinated if Miss Colombia will agree to become his mistress.

8. Minorka Mercado?

Miss Venezuela 1994 finished second runner-up.

Standing at 6' 2", she was then the tallest candidate.

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9. Areeya Chumsai?

She’s Miss Thailand 1994, but was “made in the Philippines.” Her parents met while taking up Education as exchange students in University of Manila.

Her dimple won her the Miss Kodak Smile award.

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10. Brenda Robles?

Miss Puerto Rico was courted by Charlene’s brother Richard Bonnin.

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Three of the ladies who made Miss Universe 1994 memorable were Miss Australia 1994 Michelle van Eimeren, Miss Universe 1993 Dayanara Torres, and Miss Belgium 1994 Christelle Roelandts.
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