"it's the experience, not the crown!"

Representing The Philippines on last years Miss Universe, nobody could ever forget how such a wonderful lady like Maricar Balagtas shocked the whole world. with elegance tied on her name and character, Maricar is one of the most memorable Filipina in the Miss Universe, and who represented her country well in the pageant.

A veteran

A veteran on pageants, before winning the Miss Universe Philippines title, she was already an international title holder, being crowned as the miss globe international pageant back in 2002. and on that same year, she won as 2nd runner up in the Miss Philippines universe pageant. she was one of the most talked about contestant before she arrived to Quito, Ecuador for the competition. That year pageant was said to be the battle of the veterans and that includes our very own Maricar. Her charisma has grown even bigger even before she set foot on Ecuador.

She was a scene stealer during the press presentation, she wore a tangerine two piece suit and waved vibrantly towards the crowd and photographers. she was one of the most talked of the town and instantly became a favourite to win the crown.
Although it may seem that Maricar could be overlooked because of her height, yet she didn’t consider this one as a hindrance. She continued to exude confidence, even on how she looked and dress up, she teaches everyone on how to make everybody's eyes on you!

She was as equally as good as Oleksandra during that time, but Oleksandra was very popular and everybody loved her. But the Filipinos never really left Maricar because they were confident that she could really make it! during the span of the competition, many fans and followers gave her roses and even this guy, who went out of his way just to give a flower to Maricar and wished her goodluck! Maricar giggled that time and knew that her chances are as equally as good than the others!

The Pageant

Her national costume wasn’t that impressive to the Filipinos. They quoted, that Maricar looked even better if she could have worn a Muslim inspired dress or any Maria Clara gowns. Her pintados costume was understated. And it created confusion on her identity. Her costume looked really similar to that of El Salvador and Costa Rica. But then, she was also impressive as she really looked sexy and sultry on that costume. She carried it well but the Filipinos was quite unwelcoming to the idea of a Miss Philippines wearing such costume.
The pageant night was the most awaited one. Every single pageant fan from different countries were watching and having their own judgement on each contestants. Many were stunners, but some, were complete shockers.
The people's eyes were glued on Maricar as sashayed down on the staged. during the evening gown, her brassiere gown with sequins embellishment made a statement! she was really elegant and it fit her well. She turned out really sensational and the audience was awed on her performance! everybody just loved that gown and Maricar did justice on it! even claiming a high stake on having a very good chance on placing in the top fifteen.

Her height was not a question during the swimsuit competition. Maricar has one of the best bodies and the most fit one. it is clearly evident that Maricar had discipline and really had a very good exercise. nice toned abs, broad shoulders and a perfectly shaped pair of legs! she even became more stunning and unbeatable as the people went crazy over her! they even kept an eye on her that she might be the dark horse to win the Miss Universe crown!
As a respondent from quoted, " her interview was interesting!". and that is really true! after her perfomance on the three categories, her followers and the rest of the Filipinos got as equally as excited for the final night!

The coronation night

On their Tadashi cocktails, the girls went out on stage dancing lively on a song specially composed for Miss Universe. and they were featured as they paraded in Ecuador’s different tourist destinations. as Maricar Balagtas went out on screen, everybody just cheered! and everybody felt her presence and charisma! and the excitement that she and her followers are confident enough that she could nail it!

A few portions of the opening number Maricar was featured and we could see that she danced gracefully! even on the national costume portion. Unquestionably, she will be able to make it!
But something was terribly not in place during the announcement of the top fifteen. When Miss Mexico was the last one to be called, nobody could see a glimpse of Maricar, even on the very popular Ukraine, the powerhouse Venezuela, Aruba and the others who were better off than the chosen one! that raised the brows to all the pageant fans. they were heavily disappointed by the results. Missing such good contenders, that is very unforgivable.

She admits during an interview of a Philippine daily inquirer correspondent that she felt numb when her name was not called as a semifinalist. And she felt a little depressed, but she was also happy that her roommate Danielle Jones of Trinidad and Tobago made it to the top fifteen.

She went back on stage, wept a little bit backstage and " in between sobs, saw Miss Venezuela wept as well". She realized that she shouldn’t cry that much because the pressure was much on Miss Venezuela. What made her deeply moved was when she saw miss Venezuela's mom blowing her a kiss!

She recovered quickly and even during the announcement of the top fifteen, she prayed a lot to God to give her the strength, and she said, " that if the crown was meant for me, then make it happen!" as she told the inquirer.
Definitely, Maricar gained her confidence back, and participated in the portions of the pageant, and was even featured in a little while in the evening gown competition, during the span of the pageant, she was very visible! she even went hurriedly down on the platform together with the candidates because they were so happy that Jennifer Hawkins won and not somebody else! they weren't supposed to do that as told by miss Egypt, Heba El Sissy, on an interview. but they did it because for same reasons, they really was glad the crown was given to Jennifer!

though Maricar didnt make it, truly, she still was a good contender and even a threat to some contestants. She made it very hard for others too! She became noticed everyday, and was even fetched by the richest Filipino in Ecuador! they even thought the president of Ecuador was coming, but it was Maricar who was sashayed to the limo with several entourages. I believe that she even placed higher than Ukraine.

Maricar was a reflection of a true Filipina! and even made Filipinos proud!


Our thanks to Jian Maverick Lasala (Philippines)


This anecdote is from the month: AUGUST 2005

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