MANILA – The next Miss Universe pageant is already set in stone.
In a press conference on Thursday, Tourism Secretary Wanda Teo said the coronation ceremony of the next edition of Miss Universe will be held at the Mall of Asia Arena on January 30, 5 a.m.
The announcement was made amid rumors that the upcoming pageant will be cancelled, and a petition to reconsider holding it in the Philippines.
"After all that’s been said and done, I happily welcome on behalf of the DOT the latest announcement of the Miss Universe Organization (MUO) through Pia Wurtzbach that finally the Philippines will indeed play host to the much awaited 2016 Miss Universe pageant," Teo said.
"The Miss Universe 2016 in Manila is brought to you by the DOT, MUO, LCS Group of Companies ...in partnership with Okada Manila, SM Group of Companies, Solar Ent Corp, our broadcast partner."
"This is one proud moment for all of us Filipinos to be a witness to the reigning Miss Universe Pia Wurtzbach of Cagayan De Oro as she takes her final walk and passes her crown in her home country, the Philippines."
"We are counting on you, our media partners, event partners, sponsors, to join us as we welcome the Miss Universe candidates, their followers, and their supporters from all over the world. Together, let us show them the soul of the Philippines, and our warm Filipino hospitality," Teo said.
It was last July when Teo 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.
The Philippines will be fielding Maxine Medina, a 25-year-old interior designer and model, in next year’s pageant.
She will attempt to succeed Pia Wurtzbach, the first Filipina to win the Miss Universe title in over four decades.
The two other Miss Universe from the Philippines include Margie Moran (1973) and Gloria Diaz (1969), mother of actress and model Isabelle Daza.