MANILA -- LCS group chief and former governor Luis "Chavit" Singson was awarded with his very own "Mr. Universe" sash after the Miss Universe Organization (MUO) thanked him for "making the Miss Universe pageant happen in the Philippines."
"Governor Chavit, this is my honor," MUO chief Paula Shugart said. "Thank you, Philippines."
The token was awarded to Singson at the media tent beside the Mall of Asia Arena where the first press conference of Miss Universe 2016 Iris Mittenaere was also held.
"I'd like to thank everybody, especially the media, for the successful hosting of the Miss Universe in the Philippines," Singson said.
Singson earlier told ABS-CBN News that he had spent at least $14 million to bring the pageant to Manila. The tab included the purchase of a luxury yacht that the candidates used to cruise from Manila to Batangas.
"Hindi na namin iniisip na ma-recover but for sure baka malugi na kami dito dahil continuous ang gastos," he earlier said.
(We are not thinking about recovering our expenses. We could post a loss because the costs are continuous.)
Singson, Japanese gaming tycoon Kazuo Okada and Philippine television network Solar are among the sponsors of Miss Universe, which the Philippines is hosting for the third time in 43 years.
Singson was coy when asked if he was willing to shell out resources once more to host the Miss Universe in the Philippines again in the future.
"Mahirap... Ngayon walang gastos ang gobyerno so medyo hirap kami ngayon... Hindi namin iniisip na malulugi kami kasi in the long run, mababawi din," Singson said.
(It's hard. The government is not spending any money. But we are no longer thinking about it as a losing investment because we can earn profit out of it in the long run.)