"What's the essence of being a woman?" The day was May 21, 1994 when Miss India's Sushmita Sen got asked the question, which she then beautifully answered it would earn her the Miss Universe crown. "Just being a woman is God's gift that all of us must appreciate. The origin of a child is a mother, and is a woman. She shows a man what sharing, caring and loving is all about. That is the essence of a woman."
Even after almost 24 years, just as much as her impressive answer, the question thrown at Sushmita has become a striking line among beauty pageant enthusiasts and even beauty queens themselves. It pushed one into pondering of how being a woman as most of history has dictated only focused on what she can do—but never of who she is in life and in the world. Sushmita, only at 18, managed to come up with that beautiful answer, going back to the basics of femininity, making the judges and audience rethink the value and importance of just being a woman. And for it, she won not just the title or the hearts of the Filipino showbiz scene after. She won the world's respect, too.
[related: In Focus: Iza, Gretchen, Marian, And Other Pinay WHIPs On Celebrating Women's Month All Year Long]
While its annual commemoration is held every March, ABS-CBN Lifestyle "continues" Women's Month by asking some of Philippine entertainment's modern women to answer that same Miss Universe 1994 question. Among these is host, businesswoman, and actress Iza Calzado. Check out her answer by clicking on the video!
Produced by Jeffrey Hidalgo | Cinematography by Christina Zabat | Photography by Vyn Radovan | Banner Image by Erika Ocampo