Nagtatag ng sariling national beauty pageant ang Miss International 2005 at dating co-host ni Willie Revillame sa Wowowee na si Precious Lara Quigaman. Kasama ang dalawa pang ex-beauty queens na sina Karen Loren Ostrea (Binibing Pilipinas-Universe 2002) at Denille Lou Valmonte (Binibining Pilipinas-Internaitonal 2006), binuo nila ang Turismo Pilipina 2008.
"We would like to invite all the young Filipinas out there who aspire of becoming an ambassador of Philippine tourism. The search is open to all natural born Filipinas, single, 18 to 25 years old, at least 5'5" tall, and a high school graduate with outstanding beauty and personality," pahayag ni Lara sa ginanap na launching ng Turismo Pilipina na ginanap sa ABE restaurant sa TriNoma mall, Quezon City.
GOING BACK TO WOWOWEE? Kasunod nito ay natanong si Lara kung willing pa rin ba siyang bumalik sa Wowowee kung sakaling alukin siya ulit na mag-co-host sa show ni Willie.
"Not anymore. Ah, I have...sabi nga nila, I might change my mind pero as of now what I'm feeling is not to go back."
Nilinaw ni Lara na wala siyang galit o sama pa ng loob sa programa. Pero bakit sinara na niya ang pinto ng posibilidad na bumalik siya sa Wowowee?
"It's just sad...sabi ko nga when I was still in the show ang dami kong na-realize na mga bagay na I can do if I'm not there. And it's hard to work in a place you're not wanted in the first place. No hard feelings, really. Pero I don't want parang dagdagan pa yung problema ko sa buhay na ipagpipilitan ko yung sarili ko when I know in the first place that they don't want me there. So, yun."
Hanggang ngayon, wala pa ring nakukuha ang Wowowee na kapalit ni Lara sa show.
"I don't think they need a new one. They can handle it very well, everyone else."
E, sa tingin ba niya ang nababalitang girlfriend ngayon ni Willie na si Nadine Ignacio ang ipapalit sa kanya bilang isa sa mga co-hosts niya sa Wowowee?
"Kilala ko yun."
Ano'ng masasabi niya na si Nadine na raw ang bagong pag-ibig ni Willie?
"Oh, that's good for him. I hope they will take care of that."
THEY LIED. Dumadalaw ba sa kanya ang boyfriend niya sa taping nila ng That's My Doc?
"No. You know what? Hindi ko nga na-explain nang mabuti when I was interviewed about it, pero he's never been on the set of Wowowee. Never. Unang-una, bawal ang lalaki doon. May mga guard doon na nakatayo. Ultimo kapatid ko na ten years old na lalaki, he was not allowed inside. So, all those lies that they've said that he kept on loitering? It's not true. None of those. He doesn't even watched the show, never."
Nagkausap na ba sila ni Willie?
"No, we haven't."
Nakaapekto ba sa kanyang career ang pagkakawala niya sa Wowowee?
"No, no naman. Sabi ko nga, I still believe in the show. Siyempre malungkot ako na natanggal ako sa show na ‘yon. Pero sabi ko nga, it's a blessing in disguise, na I work from Monday to Saturday, every week for six months. And that's the only thing I can do, di ba?
"I can't do anything else after that, di ba? Even before that. So, after that, ang dami rin talagang pumasok na mga offers na work and it's really a blessing in disguise.
"A lot of people were there to support me and encourage me."
Sa kabila ng nangyari, mananatili pa rin daw siya na isang Kapamilya.
"Of course. My loyalty is with ABS-CBN."
Nagkita na ba sila ni Willie?
"No, we haven't. I have never seen or talk to him since May, since the Hawaii issue. Kahit sa ABS-CBN hindi kami nagkikita.
"Pero I did visit the dressing room once. But that was after the show, because I had a taping."
Binisita niya si Willie?
"No, not him, the staff. I didn't see him. Pero all the staff, we're all happy. We were all happy to see each other again. Nami-miss ko sila. Valerie [Concepcion] wasn't there anymore. Kasi mga 4 p.m. na yun, so, they were having a staff meeting. Pero it's good to be back for a while."
May offer ba na ibang show sa kanya ang ABS-CBN?
"Ah, there are some but I'm not sure if I can speak about it yet. It's all under negotiations."
DOING SEXY ROLES? Aarte na ba siya sa isang drama show?
"Uhm, not really. No, no, no. Magse-sexy star na po ako. Ha-ha-ha!
"Sana may tumanggap! Feeling... ‘O, humarap ka, iha. Humarap ka!' Nakaharap na po ako," tawa ulit ni Lara.
But seriously, kaya niya ba ang sexy roles?
"No, I don't think I can do it. Sa hosting pa rin ako. I don't mind that. Sabi ko nga, gusto kong subukan kung paano magkaroon ng isang The Tyra Banks Show.
"You know, that's something I'm praying for," tapos ni Lara.
"Turismo Pilipina's screening dates are on August 23, 24, 30 and 31; and September 6 and 7 from 1 to 6 pm in Hotel Rembrandt, Tomas Morato, Quezon City. Applicants must bring two-piece swimsuit, high-heeled shoes, close-up and fully-body photos.
Magaganap ang Turismo Pilipina, the Pageant coronation night on October 10, 7:30 pm at the AFP Theater. Available na ang application forms sa Turismo Pilipina Hotel Office sa #10 Kasing-Kasing Street, East Kamias, Q.C., at puwede ding i-download ang application from www.turismopilipina.com