THE Department of Tourism said Friday it is considering six possible locations for the Miss Universe pageant, which the Philippines will host next year.
“We are considering Davao, Cagayan de Oro, Boracay, Cebu, Palawan, and of course, the main event would be in Manila,” said Tourism Secretary Wanda Corazon Teo said in a television interview..
All six locations are popular tourist destinations. Both Boracay and Palawan are recognized for their picturesque beaches while Cebu’s Sinulog Festival regularly attracts both local and foreign travelers.
Davao and Cagayan de Oro, meanwhile, have recently gained particular significance. The former is the hometown of President Rodrigo Duterte while the latter is where reigning Miss Universe Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach grew up.
The pageant will be held on Jan. 30, 2017 at the Mall of Asia Arena, with the private sector shouldering the cost of running the tilt.
“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,” Teo said.
Beauty queens competing for the crown will start arriving by January 15 and will spend about two weeks in the country.
Wurtzbach along with the officials from the Ms. Universe Organization last week met with Duterte in a courtesy call at Malacañang to personally convice him to accept the Philippine bid to hold the pageant here in the country.
The Philippines last hosted the Miss Universe tilt in 1994, which crowned Sushmita Sen of India as winner. The country first hosted the pageant in 1974, when Margie Moran relinquished her title to Amparo Muñoz of Spain.
Binibining Pilipinas Universe Maxine Medina will represent the Philippines in the pageant.