Beauty queen-turned-activist Maita Gomez dies

Posted at 07/12/2012 6:48 PM | Updated as of 07/13/2012 11:23 AM

Former beauty queen-turned-activist Maita Gomez 

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATE) -- Former beauty queen-turned-activist Maita Gomez died on Thursday from a heart attack, a family source said.

Many of her friends and colleagues confirmed her death on microblogging site Twitter.

"Paalam at pagpupugay sa iyo, Maita!" Bayan Muna Rep. Teddy Casiño said.

"Mapulang pagpupugay sa buhay na inilaan sa paglilingkod sa sambayanan, Ka Maita!" the Kilusang Mayo Uno labor group said.

Other partylist lawmakers also praised and eulogized Gomez after hearing news of her death.

Gomez won the 1967 Miss Philippines beauty pageant and represented the country in the Miss World contest in the United Kingdom.

She was also a model for local fashion designer Pitoy Moreno and was even compared to the British model Twiggy.

She made headlines when she later joined the communist guerilla movement to fight the Marcos dictatorship.

She was once married to folk singer Heber Bartolome, with whom she had two children.

After the EDSA revolution in 1986, she became a political, economic, and women's rights advocate.