Miss Universe in the Philippines is in full throttle as the weekend saw the beginning of the beauties jam-packed pre-pageant activities in different parts of the country.
A total of 16 candidates jetted off to the world-famous party island of Boracay on Saturday, while 20 other candidates—comprised of Misses Belgium, Brazil, British Virgin Islands, Bulgaria, Cayman Islands, Czech Republic, Great Britain, Guatemala, Malaysia, Netherlands, Nicaragua, Philippines, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovak Republic, Thailand, USA, Uruguay, Venezuela and Vietnam—experienced the singular culture of Vigan, Ilocos Sur amid the breathtaking sites of this UNESCO Heritage City.
To keep readers up to speed with the earliest Miss Universe events thus far, below is a roundup of the highlights.
Beauties and the “beasts” came together at the famed Baluarte Zoo where they also tried their hands on jar making.
At the Baluarte press conference, the Philippines’ own Maxine Medina had her first chance at the international spotlight when asked what she wanted to teach fellow candidates about the Filipino culture. Speaking in Tagalog, The Manila Times Entertainment columnist MJ Marfori reported Medina performed very well as she cited the polite nature of Filipinos, especially for the elderly, and their use of “po and opo.”
Come nightfall, the ladies traveled back in time as they experienced Calle Crisologo—a former Spanish neighborhood where the ilustrados used to live—dressed in the Philippine terno no less for a fashion show featuring the designs of top Filipino couturiers. More on this in The Manila Times Fashion & Beauty section on Thursday.
Former Ilocos Sur Governor Chavit Singson and proponent of the Philippine staging of Miss Universe announced that he will take 40 candidates on his “Happy Life” luxury yacht for a night of fellowship and revelry.
Miss British Virgin Islands, one of the participants of the Vigan tour, found herself trending on January 14 when she mistook Singson as President Rodrigo Duterte on her Instagram post. The candid candidate immediately corrected herself.