Dayanara Torres held back tears when she reminisced about the series of "miracles" that happened to her life before winning the Miss Universe title in 1993.
At 17, she was already set to become a dentist when someone offered her the chance to represent Toa Alta, a Puerto Rican municipality, in a local pageant.
That paved the way for the young Dayanara to become Miss Puerto Rico and, eventually, Miss Universe at the age of 18.
The beauty queen grew up in the mountainside of Toa Alta, so the possibility of becoming a Miss Universe candidate appeared unreachable to her then.
During her guest appearance on the Kapamilya morning show Magandang Buhay on February 7, the blue-eyed Latina said, “Situation with my family was tough, so it was a dream come true when somebody saw me.
“It was like a miracle.”
SUCCESS IN MANILA. Dayanara’s life naturally made a complete turnaround when she won the prestigious title.
But the “miracles” continued to happen even after she relinquished her crown to Sushmita Sen at the 1994 Miss Universe competition in Manila.
“I won in Mexico City, but when I finished, it could have been any country.
“I was lucky that it was here.”
Filipinos were captivated by Dayanara’s beauty and bubbly personality that even before the pageant concluded, there had been a clamor for her to stay.
“All the opportunities, being in showbiz. I could never imagine!
“I got the offers to work in the movies, TV, and I’m like, ‘Sure! Let me check my schedule.’”
It didn’t take her much convincing to stay in Manila after the competition.
“I was like, ‘Absolutely! I’ll try it, you know, I’ll give six months.’
“I stayed for five years.”
Dayanara relived her "SayawNara" days when she made her ASAP comeback last February 5, on the Sunday variety program's 22nd anniversary special.