IF you’ve been reading my columns or following my posts on Facebook, you’d probably notice that I have three things that hold a special place in my heart: passion, pleasure and beauty pageants – particularly the Miss Universe pageant.
And what could be more awesome but to have my favorite event of all time hosted in my motherland! Yes, you read that right! After two decades, it’s finally happening!
The Miss Universe pageant will be held in the Philippines. According to Rappler, the announcement was made on Thursday, July 28, at a press conference in Makati City by Tourism Secretary Wanda Teo.
It was also stressed that funding will come from the private sector. DOT Secretary Wanda Teo also confirmed that among the sponsors are Henry Sy and Japanese casino mogul Kazuo Okada.
“I would like to inform everybody that the Miss Universe pageant will be on January 30, 2017 in the Philippines. The government is not going to spend any single centavo. It will be the private sector who would shoulder the expenses.” said Teo.
It was reported earlier this month that President Rodrigo Duterte said he would not spend government funds on hosting the Miss Universe pageant. Which explains the transparency on where the funds will come from. Teo said she assured the President that the government will not shoulder any of the expenses, which will amount to $11 million.
Tourism Undersecretary Kat de Castro said President Duterte never said he didn’t like the idea; he was just concerned about the expenses. De Castro said her department got in touch with Shawn McClain, the vice president of business development and marketing at the Miss Universe Organization, to clear the issue.
Reports confirmed that President Duterte have met with officials of Tiger Resort Leisure and Entertainment Incorporated led by Okada, executive assistant to the chairman Sumire Kamura, and chief operating officer Takahiro Usui at the Music Room in Malacañang Palace on July 18.
As I recall, there have been talks about hosting the pageant but nothing was confirmed until now. I agree with de Castro when she said in an interview that hosting the pageant can bring many opportunities to the country such as creating jobs and increasing revenue.
In addition, de Castro said that hosting the pageant will give the country a good image.
“We know that the Miss Universe is one of the prestigious pageants that we have right now in the entire world. Kumbaga kapag kaya natin gawin natin dito sa (In other words, if we can hold it here in the) Philippines, it would show a very good image of the country para sa ibang mga bayan na yung mga ganyang prestihiyosong pageant ay kaya na natin gawin (to the international community that we can hold such a prestigious pageant),” she said.
It would be surreal to watch the reigning Miss Universe Pia Wurtzbach to crown her successor in the Philippines. In a previous interview, Wurtzbach said, “I am actively campaigning and we all want the pageant to happen here. We want to happen. It hasn’t been confirmed yet.”
This will be the third time that the Philippines will host the pageant. The country hosted Miss Universe in 1974 where Miss Universe 1973 Margarita Moran passed her crown to Spain’s Amparo Muñoz. In 1994, the country hosted the pageant for the second time, where India’s Sushmita Sen was crowned by 1993 Miss Universe Dayanara Torres of Puerto Rico.
To say that “I wouldn’t miss this for the world” is an understatement. I’d definitely want to see everything unfold. Plus, I’ve pledged my full support to our candidate Maxine Medina. It is my wish that we (Filipinos) show the world – the universe rather – that the Philippines is truly amazing and the Pinoys are one of the most wonderful people they will ever encounter in their lifetime.
Good luck to my Kababayans and may the entire universe be in your favor.
Monet Lu is a Marikina-born, award-winning celebrity beauty stylist with his own chain of Monet Salon salons across Southern California and Las Vegas, Nevada. Ultimately, Monet is known as an all-around artiste who produces sold-out fashion and awards shows as well as unforgettable marketing campaigns. Monet is also the founder of the revolutionary all-natural beauty products such as Enlighten, your solution to discoloration. To contact Monet, please visit www.monetsalon.com or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org