Dayanara is back
The arrival of Dayanara Torres in Manila last January 24 caused quite a stir. Pinoys have clearly not gotten over the beauty queen, actress, and dancer, whom they’ve taken a fancy to, considering her a naturalized Pinay.
It may be recalled that Dayanara, as the reigning Miss Universe 1993, first came to Manila in 1994 to pass on the Miss Universe crown to the next queen—who happened to be Miss India Sushmita Sen.
Dayanara obviously fell in love with our bayang magiliw, because she decided to stay in the country longer. She eventually became a TV and movie star who also took on hosting jobs and product endorsements.
Before she knew it, she had already spent five years in the Philippines. In those five years, she learned to speak Tagalog well and took a liking to our sinigang na baboy and lumpia. She also stole the heart of Aga Muhlach, then the country’s number-one matinee idol, as well as the hearts of showbizloving Pinoys.
When she left in 1999 to return to her home country, Puerto Rico, where she would pursue her acting and singing career, her Pinoy fans—whom she had charmed with her down-to-earth attitude and friendly nature—were heartbroken.
But Dayanara did what she had to do. Subsequently, she was also able to penetrate Hollywood, where she met the future father of her two sons, the Grammy award-winning Latin American singer-songwriter Marc Anthony.
Her 2017 homecoming of sorts to Manila had to do with the 65th Miss Universe pageant, which the Philippines was hosting for the third time (the first two times were in 1974 and 1994). Dayanara, who had earlier been nicknamed Yari by her Pinoy fans, was tasked to be one of the judges of the pageant, alongside other Miss Universe queens—Miss Universe 1994 Sushmita Sen (India), Miss Universe 2007 Riyo Mori (Japan), and Miss Universe 2011 Leila Lopes (Angola).
This wasn’t Yari’s first visit to Manila, though. In 2006, she was here for four days to fulfill her duties as endorser of the beauty clinic Beverly Hills 6750.
The good news is that Dayanara, after her Miss Universe duties as pageant judge, may opt to stay longer in the country—again. We heard that she’s now being represented by Manila Genesis, the event and talent management agency run by Angeli Pangilinan-Valenciano.
Yari, who is now 42, can still speak Tagalog—or Filipino, to use the official name of our national language. In fact, when she was about to fly to Manila, she started to include Taglish and Filipino in her English and Spanish posts on social media. Since then, she has been giving her Pinoy fans daily doses of trilingual captions, shoutouts, and hashtags.
For instance, on January 24, when she posted her Manila arrival video on her Instagram account @dayanarapr, she announced: “Finally Here! Philippines Mi 2ndo Hogar...! Na Miss Ko Kayo...
” As you can see, she refers to the Philippines as “Mi 2ndo Hogar,” or “My Second Home.”
Her Instagram post came with the hashtags #missuniverse #MissUniverse93 #2017 #ThisIsIt #ItsANewDay #Philippines #MissNaMissKoKayo #MommyAtWork #Blessed #Bendecida #Happy.
And our collective shoutout goes: Na‑miss ka rin namin, Yari!