MANILA - Former Ilocos Sur Governor Luis "Chavit" Singson revealed Wednesday that the owners of the Miss Universe Organization initially canceled the Philippine staging of the global pageant.
"Natuloy din. Maraming tumulong," Singson said.
(It pushed through. Many helped.)
Singson is the biggest investor in the staging of the Miss Universe pageant in Manila. According to Singson, his group shouldered about $12.9 million for the Philippine event.
He belied rumors that the Miss Universe pageant in the Philippines lacked financing.
"There was a time na kinancel ha. Kako, hindi pwede kanselahin kasi bayad kami, fully paid," Singson said. "We signed a contract and it’s a breach of contract."
(There was a time that the staging of the pageant in Manila was canceled. I said, this can’t be since we have paid in full and we have already signed a contract.)
"Na-kancel na. Nakiusap ako na huwag i-announce," he added.
(It was canceled. I just pleaded that they don’t announce it yet.)
Singson said the owner of the Miss Universe Organization, Ari Emanuel, is a brother of President Barack Obama's chief of staff, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
"Ang mga may-ari, mayayaman eh. Miss Universe, gusto nila, pero mga may-ari, ayaw na. So, kako, sabi ng may-ari, babayaran namin mga damages. Well, sumulat ako na hindi ako magdedemanda maski na fully paid kami, may signed contract. Hindi ako magdedemanda kasi nakakahiya naman I'll take advantage," Singson said.
(The owners of the Miss Universe Organization are rich. The owners said they are willing to pay damages. I wrote them a letter and told them we will not file charges even if the pageant gets canceled. I don’t want to take advantage of the situation.)
Singson did not delve into the details of the reasons behind the cancellation of the pageant. However, he hinted that it could be related to politics.
"Parang politics. But after the elections, okay na lahat," the former governor said.
(It seemed to be politics. But after the elections, everything was in order.)
Representatives of the pageant, the Department of Tourism, and sponsors on Wednesday signed a partnership contract sealing their commitment to the staging of the 65th Miss Universe pageant in the country on January 30, 2017.
The Philippines is fielding Maxine Medina, a 25-year-old interior designer and model, in the pageant. She will attempt to succeed Pia Wurtzbach, the first Filipina to win the Miss Universe title in over four decades.