No other non-Filipina Miss Universe winner has ever been loved by Filipinos other than Miss Universe 1994 Sushmita Sen of India. In fact, her name recall is so strong that even a little over a decade, she is still remembered by Pinoy pageant fans.
Sushmita is the second of of three Miss Universe crowned in the Philippines yet she still reverberates in pageant fan psyche with her “essence of a woman” answer during the 1994 finals in the Philippine International Convention Center. It is no wonder that she still is loved and would gather cheers whenever she goes during the recent 65th Miss Universe pageant in Manila. In fact at the finals in the MOA Arena, she reciprocated the love saying “Mahal kita Philippines”, a clear shout-out to the Filipino people.
In an interview with Jessica Soho of GMA’s Kapuso Mo, Jessica Soho, the 5’9″ beauty gushes about how the love from the Philippines still permeates to this day. She even recalls how several years after passing her title, fellow Miss Universe alum Miriam Quiambao traveled to India to interview her. The Indian beauty still interviews extremely well and here is a video courtesy of GMA Public Affairs as proof of that…
Personally, I now see Sushmita as possibly one of the most iconic Miss Universe winners to emerge in its 65-year history. Nobody would ever forget how an underdog came in and emerged as winner in the 1994 edition of the pageant.