Tsunami, Cobra, Infinity, Lava: A look at the many walks of Miss Universe Philippines

December 14, 2018 - 6:18 PM
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Miss Universe Philippines 2018 Catriona Gray stunned spectators and her fans when she executed her signature walk in the preliminary swimsuit competition of the beauty pageant.

The 24-year-old showed off her pink asymmetrical swimwear that was designed by Thai Princess Sirivannavari Nariratana and did a slow yet graceful turn when she reached the end of the runway.

Her turn was coupled with an equally gracious hair flip that showed off her sleek tresses.

It was called the “lava walk” and stylist Patrick Henry Mergano Carlos described how the movement was achieved through an Instagram story that featured Gray practicing her walk.

“Glide, sway, pivot, erupt like a molten rock,” he shared.

The movement was choreographed by Carlos Buendia Jr., who named the walk after Gray’s birthplace—Bicol—that is famous for Mount Mayon or the Mayon Volcano.

He referred to her as a “daragang magayon” or a “beautiful lady” in an Instagram video and compared the effect of her whole execution to that of an exploding volcano.

Last November, Gray’s shoemaker revealed what the walk would be called and likened it to how the lava of Mount Mayon flows during an eruption—an almost synchronized combination of a fast and slow movement.

Signature walks form a large part of the candidate’s appeal since it shows how they carry themselves and captivate the audience with their stage presence.

How other local beauties walked before 

Gray’s walk prompted some Filipinos to recall how other Philippine representatives executed their own signature catwalk in the most prestigious beauty pageant through the years.

Venus Raj

It all started when the signature walk of Miss Universe Philippines 2010 Venus Raj was given a name—”Pilapil Walk.”

It was called such since she practiced the particular movement by walking on the rice field’s borders or the pilapil when she was young.

“We live in the middle of rice fields, so they are pertaining to the rice paddies,” Raj said in an interview before.

“Wala naman kasing choice, doon ka dadaan! Pangarap ko nang maging beauty queen, kahit noong bata pa po ako,” she added as she recounted how she would practice her walk in the rice field’s narrow pathways.

Shamcey Supsup

Miss Universe Philippines 2011 Shamcey Supsup impressed the spectators with her “Tsunami Walk” where hip-swaying was emphasized in a way that made her movements appear fluid-like.

The beauty queen shared that it was coined from her Spanish friend who would always tell her to “Walk like a tsunami.”

Supsup said that the goal was to “blow away” the judges with her movement.

Bb. Pilipinas Universe and personality development instructor Abbygale Arenas de Leon noted that it was a “unique catwalk skill” where the beauty queen is supposed to “detach” her hips from her body and execute a wave-like sway.

Janine Tugonon 

Miss Universe Philippines 2012 Janine Tugonon had the “Cobra Walk” where she explained that it was named such since her walk is supposed to be a display of power.

Cobras are among the most feared species of snakes.

The walk is partly inspired by Supsup’s “Tsunami Walk,” although Tugonon’s is more focused on the stride of the legs instead of the hips.

Ariella Arida 

Miss Universe Philippine 2013 Ariella Arida had the “Arriba Walk” which focuses on the projection and the glide of the hips. The shoulders must also be relaxed upon the execution.

“Arriba” is translated as “up” or “above” in Spanish.

Arida explained, “When you glide, you feel like there’s air always, and you’re floating.”

Mary Jean Lastimosa

Miss Universe Philippines 2014 MJ Lastimosa executed the “Camel Walk” that gives homage to her Filipino-Saudi Arabian roots.

Lastimosa’s walk got its name because the hips are supposed to sway in an ostentatious-like manner like that of a camel’s.

Spectators also dubbed it the “Diyosa Walk” since it fully emphasizes the movement of the hips and the stride of the legs, giving the illusion of a powerful walk.

Pia Wurtzbach

Miss Universe Philippines 2015 Pia Wurtzbach had the “Tanim Bala Walk” that was called such since it was accompanied by her fierce expression and steely gaze.

Apparently, it was coined by host-comedian Vice Ganda who had asked her what her signature walk would be. When Wurtzbach demonstrated it to him, he referred to it as the “Tanim Bala Walk.”

“‘Yung mata niya nanlilisik eh, parang matalim ‘di ba? Bakit ‘di natin pangalanang tanim-bala walk ‘yan?” he quipped.

Unlike her predecessor, Wurtzbach’s walk was more simple in movement but is accompanied by her attention-grabbing expression.

It was later on referred to as the “Papaya Walk” to allude to her noticeably voluptuous figure.

Maxine Medina

Miss Universe Philippines 2016 Maxine Medina had the “Alta Walk” where she slightly sways her hips and walks in measured steps.

The name of the walk was coined by her fans who probably attributed it to Medina’s tall height, as “alta” means “tall” in Spanish.

Rachel Peters

Miss Universe Philippines 2017 Rachel Peters had the “Infinity Walk” where the movement of her hips is supposed to follow an “infinity form” or a figure eight.

Catwalk trainer George “Mommy G” Garrido noted that the particular walk was conceptualized to give emphasis to Peters’ long legs.

“Ginamit ko sa kanya ‘yung movement of hips, naglagay ako ng infiinity form,” he shared in an interview.

— Featured video by Uela Altar-Badayos