This is one parade that took decades in the making.
It will certainly trigger traffic gridlocks, but since the country has not produced a Miss Universe for more than four decades, motorists and commuters should perhaps just bear the inconvenience.
A grand parade from Makati City to Quezon City will be the highlight of the homecoming of Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach, the reigning Miss Universe.
Binibining Pilipinas Charities Inc. (BPCI) confirmed that Wurtzbach will arrive on January 23.
She will hold a brief news conference at the airport and will attend to several personal appearances the following day.
Airport officials said Wurtzbach will be treated like a queen upon her arrival because she has been allowed to use the Presidential Lounge of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 2 that can only be used by Presidents.
On Monday, January 25, Wurtzbach will make a courtesy call in Malacañang and the Senate.
After her Senate visit, she will ride a carosa for her grand homecoming parade that will start at 2 p.m. at the Cultural Center of the Philippines.
The parade will passed through major streets of Manila, Makati City and Quezon City.
The Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) advised motorists to brace for heavy traffic in areas where the parade will pass, include V. Sotto, Jalandoni and Bukaneg streets; Roxas Boulevard; Padre Burgos; N. Lopez; A. Villegas to Taft Avenue; Quirino, Buendia and Ayala avenues; and EDSA.
The MMDA said it will release alternate routes later for motorists.
On Tuesday, Wurtzbach will again make courtesy calls to the offices of city mayors and to the House of Representatives in Quezon City.
Makati City has prepared a huge assembly for the beauty queen.
Makati Mayor Kid Peña said residents and employees are eager to see Wurtzbach in the flesh.
“Makati is very proud of Miss Wurtzbach for reclaiming the Miss Universe crown for the Philippines after 42 long years. She has inspired millions of people around the world, including the people of Makati, with her indomitable spirit and extraordinary determination to realize her dream,” Peña added.
On January 27, Wednesday, Wurtzbach will attend to her other official duties.
To cap the beauty queen’s schedule of activities, the BPCI will stage the Miss Universe Homecoming Special at Smart Araneta Coliseum where Wurtzbach is expected to make the victory walk, which many believed was taken from her because of pageant host’s Steve Harvey’s infamous blunder.
This event will be open to the public.
Wurtzbach earlier confirmed in several interviews that the Miss Universe Organization has granted her an extended stay in the country so that she can attend the wedding of her best friend, actress Pauleen Luna, to veteran comedian Vic Sotto on January 30.
She is said to be part of the wedding entourage.
With BENJIE VERGARA