Wednesday, July 22, 2009


This week marks the 40th year anniversary of the moon landing, undertaken by the crew of Apollo 11 lunar mission. While Neil Armstrong’s words “One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind..” was reverberating in space, Miss Philippines Gloria Diaz was also making waves in Miami Beach by being elected as the 1969 Miss Universe, the first Pinay to win the coveted title. (And that’s how Filipinos became pageant-crazy!).

Both the conquests of the moon and the universe were reported as headlines of this Manila Times newspaper, 21 July 1969 issue, purchased from a collectible shop in Tiendesitas for a hundred bucks, brittle pages and all. (That’s why you should keep dailies with historic headlines—they make good future references as well as great cabinet liners).

Today, Neil Armstrong is 79 years old, and a member of the Astronaut Hall of Fame. Over a dozen schools, buildings, streets and even a song was named after him. As for Gloria Diaz, she is now an endorser of ..., hmm, a geriatric food supplement.

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