President Rodrigo Duterte and Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach met for the first time in Malacañang on Monday.
Despite her busy schedule, Wurtzbach flew back to the Philippines last weekend to pay a courtesy call to the President and to discuss the possibility of the Philippines hosting the next Miss Universe pageant.
They also talked about their similarities as they won their respective titles as the first Mindanaoan president and first Mindanaoan Miss Universe
Wutzbach was accompanied by Miss Universe Organization’s top officials: president Paula Shugart; vice president for Marketing and Business Development Shawn Maclaine; and founding manager Esther Swan. Also present were her talent manager and beauty pageant trainer Jonas Gaffud and Tourism undersecretary Kat de Castro.
The reigning Miss Universe, wearing a pink Bessie Besana jumpsuit, was seen taking a selfie with the President. She expressed her gratitude as she met Duterte and was hopeful that the promised change will be carried out.
“What an honor it was to meet our new President, Rodrigo Duterte. First Mindanaon President and first Mindanaon Miss Universe. #changeiscoming #Philippines,” she said in an Instagram post.
Earlier, Wurtzbach went to the Department of Tourism office to meet with DOT secretary Wanda Corazon Tulfo-Teo. Previous reports announced that Teo said Duterte has approved the proposal to have the Philippines as the next host country for Miss Universe in 2017.
“I’d like to emphasize that this undertaking would practically entail no expense on the part of the government. More importantly, it would give a big boost to business and livelihood of millions of people, in line with our ‘shared tourism’ program. That means it is our goal to include and involve every Filipino. This dream is within our reach, and there’s no better time to seize the opportunity than now,” Teo said in a statement.
Meanwhile, according to Wurtzbach, she will continue to be the ambassador of the Philippines as she go through her reign this year and for years to come.
“It’s always been a dream of mine to be an ambassador for the Philippines and to promote tourism. And I will still continue on pursuing that goal of being a tourism ambassador, as I go throughout my reign, as I visit different countries around the world as Miss Universe. I will continue on doing that,” the Miss Universe said.
“I don’t think it’s a secret; it’s a public knowledge that it is my personal dream, and I think the dream of a lot of Filipinos, the majority of Filipinos, that someday we’ll see the Miss Universe pageant to be held here. And we are keeping our fingers cross,” she added.
The last time the country hosted the Miss Universe pageant was in 1994.