Philippines eyed as Miss Universe 2018 host, Tourism chief insists

Deni Rose M. Afinidad-Bernardo - Philstar.com
Philippines eyed as Miss Universe 2018 host, Tourism chief insists

In this file photo, former Ilocos Sur governor Chavit Singson, sponsor of Miss Universe 2016, poses with newly crowned Miss Universe Iris Mittenaere. Philstar.com/Efigenio Christopher Toledo IV

MANILA, Philippines — Even after the Miss Universe 2017 was held in Las Vegas recently, the Miss Universe Organization’s (MUO) request still stands: Please host the pageant again in the Philippines!

In an interview with Philstar.com on Monday, Department of Tourism Secretary Wanda Corazon Teo said MUO considers the Philippines the best venue for Miss Universe, which is why the organization has asked again for the 2018 pageant to be held in the country.

“Dito pinakamaganda sa’tin as compared to other countries,” Teo said. “They want the beaches, they want our food. They love being in our country. They see that the Philippines is a very nice country.”

According to Teo, MUO actually asked for the Philippines’ back-to-back hosting of the pageant, from 2016 to 2017, but President Rodrigo Duterte did not give it a go because it was supposed to coincide with the country’s hosting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations’ (ASEAN) Summit and 50th anniversary.

As Teo explained: “This year, they (MUO) want it here. And then they want it again next year. Actually, they already told us last month. I was asked again by Miss Universe if they could host it again in the Philippines next year. I said, ‘I have to ask the permission of the president (Rodrigo Duterte)’.”

The DOT said the Philippines’ hosting of Miss Universe 2016 had been successful as it contributed to an 11 percent increase in tourist arrivals from January to August 2017.

Teo hopes that the visit of Miss Universe 2017 winners and candidates would help her department reach its target tourist arrivals for the year.

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