Reigning Miss Universe Pia Wurtzbach is the main reason why the Philippines is hosting the 65th edition of the world’s most prestigious beauty pageant, and the third time since its inception as a bikini contest in 1952.
Wurtzbach is the country’s third Miss Universe after Gloria Diaz in 1969 and Margarita Moran in 1973. She also got the right to wear the powerful Philippines sash on her third try in joining Binibining Pilipinas.
Giving more weight to her win as the “most confidently beautiful” candidate was her announcement as First Runner-Up to Miss Colombia by host Steve Harvey but made correction that it was the other way around, which caused pandemonium at The Axis at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino on December 20, 2015 (December 21 in Manila) in Las Vegas, Nevada and all over the globe via television and social media.
Even with President Duterte’s pronouncement that he’d never spend a single peso for the holding of Miss Universe in the country, Wurztbach worked so hard coordinating with the Miss Universe Organization (MUO), the Department of Tourism (DOT) and former Ilocos Sur Governor Chavit Singson and daughter since there is no time other than this time to hold the pageant again in Manila – with a Filipina titleholder bequeathing her crown.
The fact that Filipinos are also the most ardent fans and supporters of the contest, plus the only country that placed successively in Top 5 from 2010 to 2013, then Top 10 in 2014, MUO really could not pass the call of the times.
Meanwhile, DOT officials have high hopes that Wurtzbach is given a bigger role during Coronation Night on January 30 at the SM Mall of Asia Arena other than do her farewell walk and crown her successor.
“We have high hopes for Pia Wurtzbach to take a major part in the show and not just pass on her crown. I hope so [that she’d co-host the Finals Night with Steve Harvey]. Why not, she’s a good host and she’s proved herself again and again hosting a lot of segments in the US,” DOT Undersecretary Kat De Castro said in December.
Loved by many, including the President of Miss Universe Organization Paula Shugart, the announcement may come as soon as the first batch of the 90 candidates arrive in Manila on January 13.
“Paula Shugart loves Pia. Everybody in Miss Universe loves Pia. Let’s just wait for their announcement, but of course it would bring us so much honor here in the Philippines if she is considered as a main co-host,” De Castro said.
Affordable pre-pageant tickets
Expectedly, tickets to the Pageant Night would cost much, but not so much as high as P50,000 for VIP which made beauty aficionados all over the country and the region whimper. Worse, there are no more available tickets even if Juan would pawn his car to see what’s going on stage at close range.
But it’s good news that during the National Costume phase of the contest, tickets cost only P500.
De Castro said in a press conference on Wednesday that this bit of good news would appease those who have been complaining about the exorbitant prices of the Coronation Night tickets.
“Rest assured that definitely the pageant fanatics will get their chance to buy the cheaper tickets for the National Costume show,” De Castro told the media, adding that there’s still no definite venue.
“That’s what was promised to the Department of Tourism—that fans can get it for as low as P500. So this is really meant for pageant fanatics, because as we all know, the National Costume is one of the shows they really look forward to,” the DOT Undersecretary finally noted.