A crownless Miss Universe 2015 Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach arrived without much fanfare early morning on Saturday for a scheduled meeting with President Rodrigo Duterte next week.
According to Department of Tourism’s media advisory, DOT Secretary Wanda Corazon Teo will accompany Wurtzbach to President Duterte on Monday afternoon for a courtesy visit and for a talk on the possibility of the country hosting Miss Universe’s next edition.
Miss U in the Philippines
The beauty queen’s homecoming came a few days after Teo said that Duterte has already approved the proposal ‘in principle.’
“The President agreed that sponsoring the event would be a tourism marketing coup with Philippines’ Miss Universe Pia Wurtzbach at the helm,” Teo declared in a statement.
“Sponsoring Miss Universe is our focus right now, with the plan and sources of funding in tow. We are ready to seize the moment,” the Secretary added.
Wurtzbach—who won the title in December 2015—has been very vocal in campaigning for the Philippines as the tilt’s next host country. In fact, during her last visit in Manila on April, the beauty queen has already confirmed that Philippines is on top of their list.
Should it push through, DOT is planning to have segments of the month-long pageant in some parts of Palawan, Boracay and Cebu—three destinations that topped the World’s Best Islands 2016 list by the Travel & Leisure magazine.
Another looming question is the date.
According to a report by TV Patrol, Miss Universe Organization is hoping to hold the pageant on January 30, 2017 in Manila.
“The problem is, it’s too soon. May Sinulog, Chinese New Year, medyo gipit. Siguro, we will ask them to move it. May would probably be the best month,” Teo explained, adding that the proposal can only be finalized by way of an executive order from the President.
Philippines last hosted Miss Universe during the its 43rd edition in 1994, where India’s Sushmita Sen was crowned the winner. CHRISTINA ALPAD