MANILA – The Philippines will officially host the upcoming Miss Universe beauty pageant early next year.
“I would like to inform everybody that the Miss Universe Beauty Pageant will be on January 30, 2017 here in the Philippines,” Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary Wanda Teo announced on Thursday, July 28.
“We have a president who comes from Mindanao, and our Miss Universe is from Mindanao, so I think this is the best time for us to do the Miss Universe here in the Philippines,” she said.
According to Teo, the DOT is considering holding the event at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City, while President Rodrigo Duterte requested the organizers to stage other Miss Universe-related events outside Metro Manila to avoid adding to the traffic. Among the possible event venues include Davao, Cagayan de Oro, Boracay, Cebu, Palawan, and Vigan.
Earlier this month, Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach paid a courtesy call on the president to convince the latter to agree with the DOT’s plan to host the next Miss U pageant.
The president subsequently expressed his approval but clarified that the Philippines will not spend a single centavo.
“Dili ko (I will not [spend for it]),” Duterte emphasized.
Teo also reaffirmed that “the private sector will shoulder” the $11 million budget for the pageant.
The DOT secretary divulged that after she took office, she personally planned to host the next Miss Universe pageant as the event will boost the country’s tourism economy.
“Once Pia announces that Miss Universe is going to happen here, people abroad will start looking at the map and see where the Philippines is. And, we’re saying, we’d love to have you in Philippines,” she noted.
This will be the third time the pageant will be held in the country.
The Philippines first hosted the event in 1974 at the Folk Arts Theatre where Amparo Muñoz was crowned.
In 1994, the country hosted the pageant for the second time at the at the Plenary Hall of the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC), where Sushmita Sen of India took the crown.