NEWLY crowned Miss Universe 2017 Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters of South Africa began her four-day tour around the Philippines on Wednesday with historic Intramuros as her first stop.
With her were Miss Universe 2016 Iris Mittenaere of France who was crowned in Manila by Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach back in January; Top 10 placer Binibining Pilipinas-Universe Rachel Peters; and several other candidates from around the world who competed in Las Vegas in November.
Accompanied by Miss Universe Organization president Paula Shugart, the bevy of beauties were invited to the country by the Department of Tourism (DOT) as part of its “Bring Home A Friend To The Philippines” campaign.
The 2017 Miss Universe contestants – Miss USA, Miss Canada, Miss Great Britain, Miss China, Miss Russia, Miss Italy, Miss Netherlands, Miss India, Miss Malaysia, Miss Spain, Miss Singapore and Miss Korea – made a stop at Rizal Park and took photos by the national hero’s monument.
They also explored nearby Intramuros and Fort Santiago, marvelling over Spanish architecture from the 16th to 18th centuries, which survived Japanese bombings in World War 2.
Later on Wednesday, the most beautiful women of the universe proceeded to Resorts World Manila for a press conference. Nel-Peters shared the spotlight with Mittenaere and Wurtzbach.
Nel-Peters shared how excited she was to be in the country and revealed that friends had called her up to suggest that she visit Siargao and Cebu.
Mittenaere laughingly admitted that she was looking forward to “eating more mangoes,” as Wurtzbach beamed at playing host to her fellow Miss Universe winners.
With a full schedule in the capital on Thursday, the beauty queens will only begin their out of town trips on December 8 as follows: Nel-Peters’ group will go to Batanes and Camiguin; and Mittenaere’s to Bohol.
Finally, Saturday will see the culmination of their visit with a fashion show at the “Women of Significance Gala Night” mounted by Front Row Philippines. The event will be held at Sofitel Philippine Plaza.
Nel-Peters, Mittenaere and the rest of the 2017 Miss Universe contingent are scheduled to depart Manila on Sunday. TESSA MAURICIO ARRIOLA