President Rodrigo Roa Duterte welcomed the candidates of the 65th Miss Universe pageant with great pride and honor in a courtesy call in Malacañan on Monday, January 23.
“We thank the Miss Universe organization for allowing us to host the 65th edition of the prestigious international competition,” the President said in his welcome message.
“It is truly a great honor for us to be sharing you our most beautiful destinations including the rich culture and history behind each of these gems,” President Duterte added.
The Miss Universe contestants toured various tourist spots and culturally-rich destinations in the country, such as Vigan, Cebu, Baguio, Batangas, and Davao, as part of their pre-pageant activities.
The Department of Tourism (DOT) is the government agency tasked to lead the Philippines’ hosting for this year’s Miss Universe pageant in coordination with partners in the private sector.
“More than presenting beauty and brains, the Miss Universe competition,” the Chief Executive said, “is an opportunity for the candidates to represent their country, promote their advocacies, and advance women empowerment.”
“More importantly, this is chance for you to make an impact, to inspire change, and even be the change that you wish to see in the world,” President Duterte concluded.
A total of 84 candidates, led by Miss Philippines Maxine Medina, made a courtesy call on the President.
Two candidates from Finland and Switzerland, were not able to make it due to fever.
“They have to rest. The doctor’s advice,” Tourism Secretary Wanda Corazon Tulfo-Teo said. Teo is hopeful President Duterte would grace the event.
She confirmed an invitation to the Miss Universe pageant night had already been sent to the President.
The coronation of the Miss Universe will be on January 30 at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.