Miss Caltex 1969, Manila, Philippines – My Mother the Beauty Queen

Yesterday my mom Amy Gustilo Lopez was featured in the Philippine Star Newspaper.  The article , “Walking the Ramp of History”, by Edu Jarque, was about a beauty contest called Miss Caltex.


Mr. Jarque writes, “It may have been one of the most significant marketing strategies of its time — an advertising and publicity guru’s dream project. It may even have been the stuff of genuine pop culture. But not many people these days can recall just how prestigious being Miss Caltex was back then — some would even argue it was absolutely more distinguished and esteemed than the still-running pageants. However, many remember with great fondness these ladies’ names, if not only by being Miss Caltex, then by the myriad roles they have come to assume after winning the most-coveted title. After all, being a beauty queen then — most especially being Miss Caltex — truly meant being more than just a beauty queen. It declared having both brains and beauty, so one could carry oneself with exemplary grace and meaningful impact in the world.

In such times, it’s good to catch up with five of the winners of the most laudable search we all miss. Launched in 1961, Miss Caltex is a landmark not only in beauty contest history, but in the history of the Philippine pop culture at large. These winners bring us back to an era when we looked up to beauty queens not only for their good looks but for their beauty— that is to say good looks mixed with a sophisticated mind.”

In 1969 my Mom became a beauty queen and the winner of Miss Caltex.


In the Philippines Miss Caltex was such a prestigious award that only a handful of women were chosen.

Winners were treated like social royalty and many, like my mom, had their fan clubs and adorers.

After winning the pageant Caltex wanted to send my mom to the USA to do additional promotional work for the oil company.  My mom chose to settle down, get married and have children.  She also gave all her winnings to impoverished children in the Philippines.



I have often asked her if she has any regrets about choosing family over a career that could have brought her many possibilities.

Her answer has always been that family was the most important thing.  In her eyes her successes are my sister Angela and me, and her grand kids Massimo and Rocco.

Beauty is only skin deep. My mother is not only beautiful outside but inside.  I have learned so much about kindness and strength from her.

Today she is still creating beauty, but in a musical way.  She is now a composer of spiritual music.

I hope you have a wonderful day!  (And if you can, give your Mom a hug!)


11 responses to “Miss Caltex 1969, Manila, Philippines – My Mother the Beauty Queen

  1. Lisha Perry Fink via Facebook

    Wow. I played her Ave Maria. It’s beautiful. 🙂

  2. Amazing that article came out a day before Dad’s Birthday.

  3. Your Mom was a Ms. Caltex? Wow. I know that’s one of those really prestigious beauty contests in the old days.

    It seems your Mom’s decision to settle down and raise you was her way of saying ‘I choose happy now’, too. 🙂

  4. Bienvenida Fuentes Yap (LEGIRL)

    I knew your mom..she is always mentioned to us on our table by my Auntie Candy or Deling)…your mom’s family became a closed friends of my Auntie (Mrs. Candelaria Tocol) way back in Manapla & US… we still have her pictures (Miss Caltex) in my Auntie’s family album…she’s so BEAUTIFUL and Intelligent woman…I think I saw your picture too in the album when you’re still a baby taken in US with my Auntie… Nice reading your site…
    Bien /Legirl Yap

    • Hi! Small world! I am going to mention it to my Mom! I have such fond memories of Manapla. She will be so happy that we have connected.

      Thank you for making my Day! God Bless you!


  5. Bienvenida Fuentes Yap (LEGIRL)

    Thanks’ Louise for your reply….first I was thinking if you are Apple your elder sis…now its clear to me your the younger one hahaha!!! I like reading your site ..thank you for sharing it…GOD BLESS you too!

    • Hi! I am the younger one! Thank you so much for reading my blog. I told my Mom about you and she was so happy!

      I hope you have a wonderful day!


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