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Mario Bautista, has been with the entertainment industry for more than 4 decades. He writes regular columns for People's Journal and Malaya.

Jul 15, 2019


ice now/ aiza then/ catriona gray when she joined the pageant

LITTLE MISS PHILIPPINES is undoubtedly one of the most entertaining segments in “Eat Bulaga”. We’re glad that after five yeas, as EB celebrates its 40th anniversary, they now bring back Little Miss Philippines on the air. Viewers have really missed it a lot.

The segment started in 1984 and since then, it became the stepping stone for many little girls who went on to become top actresses, singers, beauty queens. One contestant even went on to become an EB co-host and later on married and had a kid with one of its senior hosts. (Guess who.)

Gladys Reyes joined the very first Little Miss Philippines pageant in 1984. And look at her now, one of local showbiz’ top contravidas both in the movies and TV shows. She has won several acting awards. This after she became a child villain in the long-running show, “Mara Clara”. Her marriage to Christopher Roxas is now one of the most stable in local showbiz.

Aiza Seguerra joined the pageant in 1987. She was only 4th runner up but she was so cute and precocious that she became more famous than the other winners. EB made her a mainstay and she did several hit movies were she played the title role no less, like “Wake Up, Little Suzy”, “Super Inday and Golden Bibe”, “Petrang Kabayo and Pilyang Kuting”.

She also played Vic Sotto’s daughter in the long running hit sitcome, “Okay Ka Fairy Ko”. She also made it as a popular singer with her hit song “Pagdating ng Panahon”. She has since outed himself as a transman and is now married to FDCP Chair Liza Dino.

Other stars who started with Little Miss Philippines are Camille Prats (who hit it big as a child star in ‘Sarah, Munting Prinsesa’), Lady Lee (who became an award-winning child actress in “Kailan Ka Magiging Akin”), Dindin Llarena (who became a regular in EB and a good singer), Jessa Zaragoza (then known as Richelle Loyola), Francine Prieto (formerly Anna Marie Falcon), Julie Anne San Jose (she didn’t win anything), Kim Domingo (4th runner up), Ella Cruz (best known for the mermaid fantasy series, ‘Aryana’), Ryzza Mae Dizon (who became a regular and is still in the show up to now), Jillian Ward (who joined it in 2009), Catriona Gray (who joined it in Australia in 1999 and now 2018 Miss Universe).

Now, it’s very entertaining to see the new batch of contestants in Little Miss Philippines. When they were introduced, they performed with gusto with Ryzza Mae Dizon. They are all cute, talented and energetic. Some of them wear such big gowns with long trains that they have difficulty in walking around on stage. One 4-year old contestant from Lipa City named Zendra speaks only in English and told hosts Maine Mendoza and Jose Manalo: “I don’t speak Tagalog.”

Later on, she cried because of the difficulty of communicating with the hosts, but still sang “Let It Go” from “Frozen”. Another 4-year old girl, Bryce, claimed she and her parents just walked all the way going to Manila from their home in Olongapo City. There are other lovable contestants we’ve seen these past few days. Let’s see who among them would win and who would really make it big in local showbiz later on.