MANILA—Miss Universe Organization (MUO) president Paula Shugart on Monday described the Philippine hosting of the prestigious beauty pageant as the ‘best show’ she has ever done.
“This is the best show I’ve ever done. I’m honored to have a panel that consists of former winners,” Shugart told media in a press conference after Miss France Iris Mittenaere was proclaimed the new Miss Universe.
Shugart even gave former Ilocos Sur Gov. Luis “Chavit” Singson of the pageant host committee, LCS Group of Companies a sash that read “Mister Universe” as a token of gratitude for the country’s successful hosting.
In an interview with reporters, Singson said that even if Miss Philippines Maxine Medina did not bring home the coveted crown, all Filipinos were still winners especially because the event is expected to boost tourism numbers.
“She did her best. That’s how it is in beauty pageants. But I don’t consider it a loss because the country’s hosting of the pageant is also an investment,” Singson said.
Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary Wanda Teo meanwhile said that the effect of the country’s hosting “will be (that) lots of tourists would come.”
Teo also said that it proved that the Philippines is “still safe” because the agency was able to bring the 86 candidates to different provinces in the country namely Vigan, Cebu, Davao to name a few.
She meanwhile expressed hope that the next boxing fight of boxer-senator Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiao with Australian boxer Jeff Horn would take place in the Philippines instead of the two countries he is considering — Australia or United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Pacquiao was only one of the VIPs present during the coronation show. He was seated next to the common-law partner of President Rodrigo Duterte, Honeylet Avanceña. Presidnet Duterte was not spotted in the event although invited.
New DOT ad
The new DOT TV commercial also made an international debut during the Miss Universe pageant. It highlighted the Philippines not as just a tourist destination but instead gave another answer to the question why it’s “More Fun in the Philippines.”
It opens with a male blonde-haired tourist visiting the prized Enchanted River in Surigao and while admiring the natural wonder before him, is approached by a Filipino woman.
“The fish are eating, so should you, anak,” the woman said offering him kakanin (rice cake) which her children were also eating.
The tourist thanks her, takes a bite and asks a man what “anak” meant to which he replies, “It means ‘my child.’”
He is later introduced as Jack Ellis, a traveler. The commercial then faded to reveal the quote: “When you’re with Filipinos, you’re with family.”
The ad was done with the help of global advertising agency, McCann Erickson, which won the bid to develop the slogan during the previous administration under then DOT Secretary Ramon Jimenez Jr.
Asked about the general reception for the ad, Teo said: “The crowd loved it!”
“Everybody liked the DOT ad, even the foreigners, it reflects the hospitality of the Filipino people. Everybody loved the new ad because it’s touching,” she added.
She also looks forward to the country’s hosting of several other international events including the biggest gastronomic event, Madrid Fusion Manila,UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) conference and hopefully the next Pacquiao fight.
Several Miss Universe candidates have also expressed their desire to return to the Philippines sometime soon, she added. The DOT expects to acquire around 7 million tourist arrivals by yearend.