MANILA - The local government of Vigan, Ilocos Sur will implement a three-day liquor ban when the contestants of the prestigious Miss Universe pageant visit their historic city this week.
Vigan Mayor Carlo Medina said he has signed an executive order that prohibits drinking, selling and buying alcoholic beverages from Saturday (January 14) to Monday (January 16) as part of security measures for the Miss Universe events that will be held in the city on January 15.
Senior Superintendent Rey De Peralta, officer-in-charge of the Ilocos Sur police, said his office also requested permission from the Philippine National Police headquarters to implement a gun ban in the entire metro Vigan.
Authorities will also close off Plaza Salcedo, Plaza Burgos and Calle Crisologo during the Miss Universe events.
During the pageant's "terno"-themed fashion show in Calle Crisologo and Plaza Burgos, spectators are advised not to wear caps, approach the candidates for selfies or bring backpacks, bottled beverages, pointed objects, and liquor.
The local government also instructed souvenir shops along Calle Crisologo to keep their premises open but not sell to customers.
All empanada stalls in Plaza Burgos will be closed for security purposes, while restaurants, fast food chain outlets, and grocery stores will be open. Customers, however, may not bring any item they bought to the fashion show venue.
"We are doing this for everybody, isang araw lang ito kaya pagpasensyahan lang natin. This is something very special. During our life, baka hindi na maulit na magpunta sila sa Vigan. Kaunting tiis at sakripisyo lang po," Medina said.
(We are doing this for everybody. This will only last for a day so let's bear with it. This is something very special. During our life, Miss Universe contestants may not return to Vigan, so let's show some patience and sacrifice.)
Around 1,000 policemen and other security forces will be deployed to the venue.
"Mas maganda ng parang overkill kaysa naman may mangyari... Kapag may masama kasing mangyari magiging tatak na 'yan ng Vigan at ng buong Pilipinas," said De Peralta.
(It's better if our efforts appear as overkill rather than for an untoward incident to happen. If something bad happens, that will be a stamp on Vigan and the whole Philippines.)
Some 20 Miss Universe candidates are set to arrive in Vigan on Sunday noon. They will tour the Baluarte Zoo and give a short press conference before resting at Hotel Luna and starring in the evening fashion show.