Details you need to know about visit of Miss Universe beauties to the Philippines

by Nikko Tuazon
Dec 7, 2017
(L-R) Three Miss Universe queens: Philippines' Pia Wurtzbach (2015), France's Iris Mittenerae (2016), and South Africa's Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters (2017)

The idea of bringing the Miss Universe beauties here is not exactly an arduous task.

Pia Wurtzbach's victory in 2015 has made the country's ties with IMG Universe, the pageant's organization, stronger.

But it is quite an ambitious project given the logistics, security, tight timelines, and money (we heard the talent fees cost seven digits) involved.

RS Francisco and Sam Verzosa—president and chief executive officer, respectively, of FrontRow—were the two men who made things possible.

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They went to Las Vegas last month to watch the coronation night, and explore the possibility of flying in the beauty queens, particularly this year's winner, Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters, from the U.S. to Manila. (Philippine Entertainment Portal) caught up with RS in an exclusive interview last Wednesday, December 6, at Dusit Thani Manila in Makati City, where the presscon was held.

He recalled, "Meeting the organizers up close and the grand winner Demi, when I met Demi, that's when I told myself talaga na she really has to be in the Philippines.

"Her beauty, her energy would be very much embraced and welcomed in the Philippines.

"She was so warm, she was as warm as the first time we met."

The 22-year-old South African model arrived in Manila on Tuesday night, December 5.

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During the presscon, she was joined by Miss Universe 2016 Iris Mittenaere (2nd from left) and Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach (right).

Fourteen Miss Universe candidates are also in town.

Miss Universe Canada Lauren Howe, Miss Netherlands Nicky Opheij, Miss China Roxette Qui, Miss Italy Maria Miriam Polverino, Miss USA Kara McCullough, Miss Malaysia Samantha Katie James, Miss Russia Alexandrova Kseniya, Miss Great Britain Anna Burdzy, Miss Spain Sofia del Prado, Miss Korea Cho Se Whee, Miss Croatia Shanaelle Petty, Miss Ghana Ruth Quashie, Miss Brazil Monalyssa Alcantara, Miss Ireland Cailin Toibin, Miss Sri Lanka Christina Peiris, Miss Venezuela 2016 Keysi Sayago, and Miss India Shraddha Shashidhar

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Their visit was formally announced two days after Demi-Leigh was crowned Miss Universe last November 26.

RS said the negotiation was pretty smooth.

"...we just have to communicate with the Department of Tourism [DOT] because they also have their plans.

"They want to show the beauty of the Philippines and dito naman sa Frontrow, we want to show them the beauty of a Filipino businessman, creating livelihood, how it is to touch more people.

"So we just have to coordinate with DOT and all that."

FOR CHARITY. RS believes that the Miss Universe Organization and his company both share the same cause: "to inspire more people."

He explained, "Both organizations want to promote inner confidence and women empowerment.

"Basically, what Miss Universe Organization does is inspire people through empowered women, through their causes and beliefs.

"Sa FrontRow ganun din, we empower people by teaching them the beauty of entrepreneurship.

"So, I think, the common denominator is 'inspiring people' so FrontRow thought, 'Why not collaborate with Miss Universe para we'll be able to inspire a lot more?'"

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The highlight of the beauty queens's stay would be the Women of Significance gala night, which, at press time, is happening in Solaire Resort & Casino.

He told, "What I'm very excited about is this fashion show because we know, with this charity event, we'll be able to touch more lives and affect more people and create change for the better for a lot of people."

The ladies would wear designs of local talents—Michael Leyva, Patty Ang, Mark Bumgarner, Rajo Laurel, Albert Andrada, Francis Libiran, Randy Ortiz, Jot Losa, Mak Tumang, JC Buendia, Noel Crisostomo, Edwin Uy, among many others.

It was also announced a few minutes ago—around 11:30 p.m. of December 7—that the company will donate $100,000 (roughly PHP5 million) to Miss Universe Organization for the benefit of Hope for Change foundation.

But charity does not always have to be this grand.

The former TV commercial director cited the MRT guy Aldrin Ryan Alcon as an example.

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RS recalled, "He was bashed by a girl because he was seated there, and the girl posted his photo sa Facebook and sinabi na hindi man lang siya pinaupo.

"And then, he replied back, 'Sorry po kung hindi ko po kayo napaupo, galing po ako sa trabaho papunta po ako sa exam ko...'

"And then people started reacting on the girl and all that, and I didn't want him to feel unlucky..."

Hence, the company made Aldrin one of its scholars.

"We reached out and shouldered his school until he graduates," he said.

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(L-R) Three Miss Universe queens: Philippines' Pia Wurtzbach (2015), France's Iris Mittenerae (2016), and South Africa's Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters (2017)
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