MANILA – Tourism Secretary Wanda Teo is relieved that in the end, the next Miss Universe pageant will still be held in the Philippines.
In a press conference on Thursday, Teo announced that the next edition of the international beauty contest will take place on January 30, 2017 at the Mall of Asia Arena.
As she shared the good news, Teo looked back at the “stressful” process they first had to go through.
“Actually sa totoo lang, na-stress talaga ako (Honestly, I really got stressed over this),” she admitted. “I almost got sick when I was told that it was called off.”
“We had to pray hard… Really, really hard,” she added.
Teo revealed that plans to hold the next Miss Universe in the Philippines were cancelled several times, and some of them even had to fly to the United States to iron things out.
“Remember when I’m supposed to have a press con because I’m going to make an announcement?” she told reporters. “Then, doon na nag-start na nag-alangan sila (That was the time when they started having doubts).”
“Naayos naman (But we were able to fix it),” she said. “[From there it was] On, off, on, off, and finally [it pushed through].”
When asked about the reason why the staging of Miss Universe in the Philippines was initially called off, Teo said: Huwag na nating pag-usapan. Ang importante natuloy, ‘di ba? (Let’s not talk about it. What’s more important is that it will push through, right?)”
It was back in July when Teo first announced that the Philippines will host the next Miss Universe. The pageant has so far been held in the country twice – in 1974 and 1994.
Last month, leaders of various women’s groups sent a letter to the Miss Universe organizing committee, asking it to reconsider holding the pageant in the country.
They cited the “objectionable, scandalous and demeaning sexist attitude demonstrated by the newly elected leaders of our country, by no less than President Rodrigo Duterte, and his cohorts towards humankind.”
According to Teo, President Duterte is happy about the latest development in the preparations for the upcoming Miss Universe.
When asked if the President is interested in becoming one of the judges in the international pageant, she replied: “If he really wants, I can give my slot.”