Miss World Philippines' Arnold Vegafria: Pageants are returning to normal

Earl D.C. Bracamonte - Philstar.com

MANILA, Philippines — The global pandemic has greatly affected lives and enterprises, including pageant platforms on the national and international levels. In 2020, only a handful succeeded in holding their annual searches.

In the Philippines, Miss World Philippines (MWP) was one of two organizations that did not hold their yearly search in 2020. Like the Binibining Pilipinas Charities Inc., MWP's 2019 queens are some of those with the longest reigns.

"It's reassuring to know that we've all gotten through the worst of last year's crisis and we are slowly, but surely, making our way back to normalcy. We are glad to be back on track this year with a very promising batch of Filipina beauties, and I am confident that we can replicate, if not surpass, the winning streak that we had in 2017.

"The final show will be live-streamed on the KTX, iFlix, WeTV, and Globe Upstream platforms as part of our pay-per-view campaign starting at 7 p.m. So much has happened since 2019 and we are so happy to be getting back on track. We will also be crowning a winner for the new pageant platform Miss Environment Philippines," MWP National Director Arnold Vegafria announced at yesterday's candidates' presentation in Okada Manila.

In a Philstar.com exclusive interview during last week's Sports challenge, Vegafria shared his thoughts about holding a pageant during a pandemic. "We had no pageant last year. The IATF (Inter-Agency Task Force), finally, gave us a signal to go on. This year is hard because of the protocols, which made the production kind of expensive because of them.

"The important thing is that I make sure that the candidates are safe, as well as the people working around them - like the production crew. They have antigen tests every day and then every seven days, they do their RT-PCR tests."

The tests may be bothersome to some but it is always better to be safe than sorry.

"When it comes to staging... we cannot accommodate a hundred percent of the seating capacity - only half of that... Fans can watch it online in all digital platforms, including pay-per-view. There will also be a public broadcast over the GMA-7 network."

Finding suitable entrants may be a sourcing problem to most pageant systems because of the travel restrictions. While some resort to online screening, the MWP does theirs with the physical presence of the hopefuls, including those from outside Metro Manila.

"Despite the pandemic, we received 800 applicants - that we trimmed down to 45 - coming from cities and provinces all over the Philippines. This time, we have eight titles and two runners-up, a total of ten winners. So there will be eight opportunities for our country to be represented in the international arena.

"Thank you to all our sponsors. Without them, there will be no show. To the candidates, thank you for making the Miss World Philippines organization your home and pageant of choice. Enjoy the journey and have fun. To fans and followers, please support us. We are not just a mere pageant but an advocacy. Money generated from the pay-per-view platform goes to charities of our foundation, as well as to young girls we send to school."

Out of the 45 official candidates in this year's search, there will be two runners-up and eight winners who will each wear the titles of Miss World-Philippines, Miss Supranational Philippines, Reina Hispanoamericana Filipinas, Miss Eco Philippines, Miss Eco Teen Philippines, Miss Multinational Philippines, Miss Tourism Philippines and Miss Environment International Philippines. The 2021 Miss World Philippines final show will be aired over the GMA-7 Rainbow Channel on July 25. — Video by Jazmin Tabuena

RELATED: Miss World Philippines 2021 candidates meet the press, final show venue changed

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