Gemma Cruz, 1st Filipina International Beauty Queen

miss international 1964 winner philippines gemma cruz araneta

Gemma Teresa Guerero Cruz (now Gemma Cruz-Araneta) is the first Filipina to win an international pageant. She competed in the Miss International 1964 Pageant in Long Beach, California. She is also the 1st Asian to win the coveted crown.

Her paternal great grandmother was Dona Maria Rizal, sister of the Philippines' national hero, Jose Rizal.

Gemma Cruz received an "Outstanding Manileña" and a "Golden Heart" Presidential decoration from President Diosdado Macapagal.



She earned the right to represent the country by winning the Miss Philippines pageant, sponsored by the City of Manila in 1964. Cruz donated the US$10,000 prize money she won as Miss International to Boys Town and Girls Home, a place where indigent and out of school youth are housed in Marikina City in the Philippines. This led Congress to pass a resolution to exempt her from paying taxes.

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