MANILA -- Expect to see KC Montero on the Miss Universe Philippines (MUP) stage on October 25 as he hosts the first-ever edition of the national pageant.
In a virtual interview with ABS-CBN News' Dyan Castillejo, Montero said he considers the new stint as a highlight of his hosting career.
"I've always been wanting to be involved sa Miss Universe, right? And I've hosted so many pageants, some of the biggest pageants in the country, and so finally Miss Universe Philippines. This is kung baga 'yung Manny Pacquiao of the pageant world, di ba?" he said.
"I'm super excited... In pageants, it doesn't get bigger than this one," he added. "When you think of Miss Universe, it's the one. So for me, to be part of Miss Universe Philippines, [I feel like] I have
arrived as a pageant host."
Montero went on to describe the MUP 2020 candidates as a "super strong" batch, believing that the judges will have a "difficult time" in choosing a winner.
And while there are frontrunners just like in most pageants, he pointed out the possibility of "dark horse" candidates that can "steal the show."
"As much as I think, 'Ah okay ito. This girl's got a shot. She's going to win,' sometimes she's not the one. And I'm sure everyone else also has their favorites. And then you know, someone will come up with a really stellar great answer or a great performance in the final rounds and just steal it," he said.
When asked if he has an idea about the program flow for the pageant, Montero replied: "I haven't seen yet but from the looks of it, I think that I will be pretty far from everybody. And I think they are taking all the precautions."
"Alam ko lahat 'yung mga girls have been tested. That's the ordinance in Baguio. I will also be tested when I get there. So it's the Miss Universe Philippines bubble," he said.
'ALL ABOUT THE WOMEN'
Dubai-based Filipino designer Furne One, on the other hand, has been tapped to design the swimwear of this year's MUP candidates.
He said the partnership started after he was approached by MUP creative director Jonas Gaffud and design council head Albert Andrada.
"It all started when Albert and Jonas messaged me," he said in a separate virtual interview with Castillejo. "They have these ideas and they invited me to dress up the candidates."
"I feel so honored and humbled, because my heart is in the Philippines," he added.
Furne One has designed both one-piece and two-piece swimsuits so candidates have more options, saying that his creations are "all about the women."
"As a couture designer, details are very important. I'm integrating my DNA, [but] at the same time I'm always thinking about the women. It should be [about] them because it's a competition," he stressed.
The designer then described the swimwear color for the pageant: "We have to think that beauty is in simplicity and purity, so I'm giving you a hint of the color already."