MANILA -- The Philippines has been offered the hosting rights to the next edition of the Miss Universe pageant this November, Department of Tourism (DOT) chair Wanda Teo revealed.
"Pinagaaralan pa namin iyan pero that's true, they are asking us to host it again this year," Teo told ABS-CBN News' Mario Dumaual.
The DOT chief shared that members of Miss Universe Organization were pleased with the job they did, especially since the pageant in Manila, they claimed, overshadowed the pre-events of the recent Super Bowl -- one of the biggest sporting events in the US.
"Usually, number one iyan (Super Bowl) pero trending pa rin ang Miss Universe," she said, referring to the days after the pageant. "So they really want it badly here in the Philippines."
Should they accept, however, Teo said that her department will be pushing for more control over the event. "We want it na we would be the one controlling it," she said.
She also added that they, much like last time, will be looking for sponsors to shoulder the expenses.
The Philippines played host to the prestigious pageant last January. France's Iris Mittenaere won, succeeding Pia Wurtzbach.
Teo earlier described the country as the "runaway winner," saying the event gave the local tourism industry a major boost.
"Our islands, food, and the biggest smiles of our people are all over the news and social media these past few weeks," she said.
"The world now knows how beautiful our islands are, how delectable our cuisines are, and how friendly and warm Filipinos are -- just ask the Miss Universe candidates themselves."
The 2017 Miss Universe is scheduled for November. This year, the country will be fielding Filipino-British beauty queen Rachel Peters.