MANILA — With the “end of an era,” in the words of Miss Univese 2018 Catriona Gray, begins a new one, marked Monday by the search for the Philippines’ representative to the 2020 pageant.
For the first time in pageantry history in the Philippines, a separate Miss Universe Philippines (MUP) pageant has opened applications for aspiring queens.
“The first step for an empowered, confident, and beautiful Filipina to conquer the Universe begins today. The application process for the first-ever Miss Universe Philippines Pageant happening in 2020 is now officially open!” the MUP group announced on its social media channels.
In the last 55 years, Binibining Pilipinas Charities, Inc. (BPCI) had been sending winners, from the same pool of annual candidates, to various international pageants, including Miss Universe, Miss International, and at one point, Miss World.
Under the Araneta group, the country produced four Miss Universe winners — Gloria Diaz in 1969, Margarita Moran in 1973, Pia Wurtzbach in 2015, and Gray in 2018 — nine runners-up, and ten top 20 finishes.
Among the runners-up is 2011 titlist Shamcey Supsup, who is now MUP's national director. She is collaborating with established names in the Philippine pageant scene, including Albert Andrada (design council head) and Jonas Gaffud (creative director).
Further details about the 2020 pageant will be announced “soon,” MUP said Monday, but already, fans are looking forward to an “all-star” competition including previous Binibining Pilipinas winners, excluding Miss Universe bets.
Under BPCI, title winners are not allowed to re-join succeeding pageants for another shot at a different title, including the coveted Miss Universe Philippines sash.
As the MUP group is an entirely different organizer, fans are speculating that the likes of Ahtisa Manalo and Patch Magtanong, the Binibining Pilipinas-International winners in 2018 and 2019 respectively, can aim again for the Miss Universe Philippines crown.