Not in Korea, 68th Miss Universe Pageant is going to be in the Philippines?
MANILA, PHILIPPINES | Last week, reigning Miss Universe Catriona Gray, the Australian-born Scottish-Filipina winner of the 67th Miss Universe Pageant held in Bangkok, Thailand last December 2018, had a Grand Homecoming to the Philippines fit for a Queen. In a series of events, Catriona regaled the Filipinos who waited two months to celebrate her victory on the international stage.
GRAND HOMECOMING PARADES
2 Grand Homecoming Parades brought the Filipinos out to the streets to raise their flags and celebrate the 4th win of a Philippine Representative to the country’s most beloved international beauty pageant. Hundreds of thousands (reports claimed it reached to the millions) lined the streets of the first parade that took 4 hours and brought Catriona around a 3-city-route (Manila-Pasay-Makati) on February 21, 2019. The second parade happened two days after in the home turf of The Binibining Pilipinas Pageant right at the Araneta Center in Quezon City. In both parades, Filipinos were so jubilant in celebrating Catriona and her win in Bangkok.
WATCH Catriona’s Triumphant Homecoming Parade in Ayala Avenue in Makati City
Photo credits to the original owners
RAISE YOUR FLAG
A Special Tribute Show dubbed, “Raise Your Flag” took place on February 24, 2019 at the Araneta Coliseum as part of Catriona’s Grand Homecoming Festivities. Produced by ABS-CBN, Binibining Pilipinas Organization’s telecast partner, Raise Your Flag brought out the Philippines’ gorgeous Misses Universe Philippines in the last decade, headed by no less than Miss Universe 2015 herself Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach. Having a telecast date on March 10, 2019, the Tribute Show has Misses Universe Philippines from 2010-2017 (minus MUP2012) gracing the show, namely, Venus Raj (MU2010 4th Runner-up), Shamcey Supsup (MU2011 3rd Runner-up), Ariela Arida (MUP2013 3rd Runner-up), Mary Jean Lastimosa (MU2014 Top 10 Finalist), Maxine Medina (MU2016 Final 6), and Rachel Peters (MU2017 Top 10).
Photos Courtesy of Araneta Coliseum
LIMITED EDITION STAMP
The Philippine Post Office also issued a limited edition of the Catriona Victory Stamp which started to be available last February 27, 2019. In the two stamps, Catriona is seen during her victory wave in the first, and her official Miss Universe Portrait in the second one. They have done this philatelic Tribute on all Philippine Miss Universe Winners all throughout years.
Photos courtesy of PhilPost
CROWN AND HEART
Of course, Catriona’s Grand Homecoming wouldn’t be complete without her putting the spotlight on her favored charities and advocacies. Last February 27, Catriona went to YOUNG FOCUS in Tondo at 8 in the morning. She spent time with the children beneficiaries of the program that she has been active in since 2016. At 9:30am, she then proceeded to the Shaw Boulevard Branch of her AIDS Awareness advocacy LOVE YOURSELF in Mandaluyong to put emphasis on the need for HIV Testings and Awareness amongst young people who is now having the highest statistic among people with HIV in the country.
Catriona then lent her presence to a Miss Universe Partnership with the SMILE TRAIN Program at the Smile Train Wing of the East Avenue Hospital in Quezon City at 1:30 PM. She then proceeded after to a Charity event at the St. Peter Church along Commonwealth Avenue also in Quezon City at 3 PM.
Photos Courtesy of Binibining Pilipinas
68TH MISS UNIVERSE PAGEANT IN THE PHILIPPINES?
Catriona also did the rounds with the local and national leaders in the country. She made courtesy calls with City Mayors, the House of Representatives, and of course, the Philippine Senate. At the end of this round, Catriona, together with the delegation from the Miss Universe Organization and representations from the Binibining Pilipinas Charities, Inc., paid a courtesy call to the Department of Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat.
This particular visit is very telling, as Philippine President Rodrigo Roa Duterte wants to tap Catriona as a Tourism Ambassador after her reign as Miss Universe 2018.
Photo courtesy of Department of Tourism
It can be recalled that Secretary Puyat halted the talks of a Philippine hosting of the Miss Universe pageant in the country just 4 days into her new position as Tourism Secretary back in May 2018. Mentioning budgetary constraints as the reason, Secretary Puyat effectively stopped talks about the probability of another Miss Universe Pageant in the Philippines which was floated by her immediate predecessor.
Secretary Puyat qualified her decision by saying that having the pageant hosted here in the country should have a prerequisite of a situation that would justify the pageant being held here. She then used the example of Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach’s win and turn-over as a very good reason for the Philippines to host the pageant once more.
“In that case, we can have the pageant here in the Philippines again, that’s a good reason to have it here,” Secretary Puyat said last May 2018.
Now, our trusted sources have told us that talks of having the Miss Universe 2019 Pageant here in the Philippines have just started and the DOT Secretary is very amenable to it now. Especially after the recent pronouncements of President Duterte about Catriona, the 68th Miss Universe Pageant in the Philippines is getting more real now.
Photos courtesy of the Department of Tourism
“The MUO Team is seizing this opportunity, now with the ‘partnership’ between LCS Group of Companies and BPCI, this hosting is going to be so much better than the last one we hosted. If talks become successful, we will be seeing Catriona do her farewell walk right here in our county, “ – TPP Source.
Photo courtesy of the Department of Tourism
Well, let’s hope for the best and if we will be hosting the 68th Miss Universe Pageant, we hope that Philippine Culture becomes the centerpiece of the pageant unlike the Miss Universe 2016.