MANILA – Unlike other national pageants that give out multiple titles, the first-ever Miss Universe Philippines (MUP) will only focus on one crown.
MUP organization creative director Jonas Gaffud made the statement to ABS-CBN News on Wednesday as he shared what the public can expect from the pageant, which will be held on May 3 at the Mall of Asia Arena.
“We will have runners-up, and then the winner will be for Miss Universe Philippines only. We will only have one winner,” he told ABS-CBN News’ Dyan Castillejo, saying that they want to focus on meeting the requirements of the Miss Universe pageant.
Gaffud went on to note that the runners-up will also be busy with advocacy work, just like the MUP titleholder.
“They will be managed well as runners-up because we have a lot of advocacies that we would like to pursue. Like we would like to have an assistance fund for OFWs, for financial literacy, sana magkaroon din kami ng calamity fund, ganun,” he explained.
“And then we have women empowerment and sustainable tourism. Ito ‘yung work ng kanya-kanyang runners-up. And then si Miss Universe Philippines, she will head the whole advocacy of the organization.”
When asked if candidates who have competed in other international pageants can still join MUP, Gaffud replied: “Yes, as long as you’ve never competed in Miss Universe.”
The new rules set by the MUP organization state that all candidates need to be registered with an “accredited partner” from a city or province to join the national pageant.
According to Gaffud, they are currently working with a total of 104 accredited partners in different parts of the country. Each partner, he said, can only have one candidate.
“We call it the accreditation partner program or APP,” he said. “So like every province and identified highly urbanized city, may kanya-kanyang representative, may kanya-kanyang partnership.”
He went on: “We are announcing the accreditation soon, but also [the partners] can adopt. For example, you’re from Batanes and you want Batanes to be shown through your candidate. You can appoint someone from Manila and support her, as long as she will advocate for the tourism of Batanes.”
But since they are still finalizing the details of the accreditation program, the MUP organization is more lenient in accepting walk-in candidates for the 2020 pageant, which will then be delegated to partners.
Unsurprisingly, the new MUP pageant will share similarities with the latest edition of the Miss Universe pageant, with a preliminary round that will determine which candidates will make it to the semifinals.
Gaffud stressed, however, that he will still have his “own direction” for the competition as creative director.
He said, for one, that all official candidates will undergo training for two months, particularly on the question and answer round, before the coronation night.
“Sa Miss Universe wala pang training ‘yun, di ba? [For them] you’re supposed to be trained already. Here, we will train the girls for two months,” he said.
“[They’ll] train with a lot of former beauty queens, mga directors, and experts in the field of beauty,” Gaffud continued. “So I think during the finals, napiga mo na ‘yung Q&A nang husto.”
Miss Universe 2011 third runner-up Shamcey Supsup serves as the national director of the newly formed MUP organization, which is also composed of familiar names such as Albert Andrada and Jonas Gaffud.
The announcement, which was made in December 2019, marked the end of an era as Binibining Pilipinas Charities Inc. let go of the Miss Universe franchise in the Philippines after more than 50 years.