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Madam Auring: The Prophet of Winners

Madam Auring rose to international fame in 1974.
IMAGE Daryl Simon Pecson | Facebook
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Aurelia Sabalboro, professionally known as Madam Auring, has passed away today, October 30. She was 80. Her grandson, Daryl Simon Pecson, announced her passing on Facebook. 

“I feel sad and happy. Sad because I will never see you again, your wisdom, your corny jokes, happy bondings, and pinching my cheeks until they become red,” Pecson wrote.

“[I’m] happy because you have done everything you could to make us feel loved the way you know how [and] your struggles are over. You fought your battles silently,” he added.

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Madam Auring, Prophet of Winners

Madam Auring shot to fame when she correctly predicted the winner at the 1974 Miss Universe title. The pageant was held at the Folk Arts Theater in Manila. There were 65 contestants, but Madam Auring predicted Spain’s Amparo Muñoz will take the crown, and she did. 

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Her accurate prediction caught the attention of international celebrities, including legendary boxer Muhammad Ali, who was in Manila at the time of the pageant. Ali was preparing for the “Thrilla in Manila,” which would later be dubbed as the most legendary boxing match in history. 

When Ali sought the advice of Auring, she told him he would win against Joe Frazier in the match. Phyllis Bury, an American fortune teller, predicted a Frazier win. When Ali knocked out Frazier in the ring, he went to the press after the match and told the whole world of the Auring’s prediction. Ali was the one who supposedly gave her the title “Madam,” which stuck with the press. After that interview, everyone was calling her Madam Auring. 

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Madam Auring’s fame reached Hollywood. A handful of American actors sought her advice, including Robert Duvall and Franco Nero. 

Unlike other “prophets,” Madam Auring’s specialty was not predicting disasters or interpreting omens. She was the go-to seer for predicting victories or triumphs, which was why her word was just as credible as any election poll or opinion surveys. 

Local politicians also lined up for her predictions, Imelda Marcos and Joseph Estrada were among them. In politics, she predicted the win of Fidel Ramos over Miriam Santiago in the 1992 presidential elections. She also correctly predicted Gloria Arroyo would remain president until 2009, despite controversies that surrounded her presidency. 

Madam Auring lived a colorful life, part of which was lived in the spotlight of showbusiness. Although some people do not believe in her fortune-telling, she remained an indelible icon in Philippine pop culture, being the first celebrity fortune teller in the country. 

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To her family, she was more than just an icon: She was a mother, a grandmother, and a source of warmth and laughter. She will surely be missed. 

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Mario Alvaro Limos
Features Editor, Esquire Philippines
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