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Miss Universe Little Sister Reconnects with Miss Philippines 1984

Miss Universe 1984, the 33rd Miss Universe pageant, was held on 9 July 1984 at the James L. Knight Convention Center in Miami, Florida, USA. Yvonne Ryding of Sweden emerged as the winner.  81 contestants competed in this year and one of them was Desiree Verdadero of the Philippines.

During the evening gown competition  from 1983 to 1995,
every Miss Universe delegate was assigned a “Little Sister” – an adorably cute local girl usually between the ages of five and nine and from the host-city who would also wear her country’s sash.
 But those paired with a woman in the top 10 got their own moment in the spotlight and one of those was Jennifer Weiselberg Auerbach who was 7 years old then.  She walked down the aisle with her big sister Desiree Verdadero during the 1984 Miss Universe Pageant in Miami.

Miss Philippines Desiree Verdadero was the third runner-up that year, and walked with Auerbach by her side. Auerbach said she still remembers the day well.

“It was amazing,” she said. “There’s a huge audience. It’s broadcast around the world and you’re exposed to these beautiful women who are trying to do great things in the world.”

Later in her life, she moved to New York, where she worked for nearly 13 years. While there she worked for fashion designer Rafe Totengco. When talking to her direct boss, the sister of Totengco, who was also from the Philippines, Auerbach learned that she and Verdadero had modeled together years before.

Earlier last year, Auerbach saw her boss tagged in a post on Facebook with Verdadero.

“I friended her and sent her a message saying it’s been a really long time since we connected,” she said. “She knew exactly who I was.”

The two exchanged pictures and stories about what they were doing now, and talked about what a great tool social media can be, she said.
(story source : REBECCA SAVRANSKY/ Miami Herald)

Jennifer Weiselberg Auerbach

Desiree Verdadero 

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