BAGUIO CITY – Organizers of the upcoming visit of some thirty three contestants of the Miss Universe beauty pageant to the city are now making the final preparations for their one-day stay in the country’s undisputed Summer Capital on Wednesday, January 18, 2017.
Andrew Pinero, media officer of the Hotel and Restaurant Association of Baguio (HRAB), said 32 Miss Universe contestants and reigning Miss Universe beauty titlist Pia Wurtsbach will be arriving in the city early morning of January 18, 2017 and will immediately participate in a 3-kilometer parade from the rotunda of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) along Upper Session road up to the Baguio Country Club (BCC) premises.
Wurtsbach and the 32 Miss Universe beauty contestants will be on board four beautifully decorated floats courtesy of the HRAB and will be accompanied by streetdancing contingents from Tabuk City, Kalinga, La Union and some schools in the city during the mini-float and streetdancing parade.
While in the city, the beauty contestants will join a mini-golf tournament at the BCC fairway and will be entertained by the performances of the Tam-awan artists who will showcase the rich culture and traditions of the Cordillera and representatives from Easter Weaving who will showcase the identity of the Igorots in terms of their attires.
HRAB paid the Miss Universe organizers the sum of $500,000 or P25 million as hosting fee for the visit of the selected beauty contestants to the city for a day while local organizers will shoulder the incidental expenses, withholding and value added taxes, chartered flights of the visiting contestants to and from Metro Manila, food and accommodation and the performers during the parade among others.
Pinero claimed despite the previous setback that the organizers and the local government suffered from the failed conduct of the Christmas bazaar, all is well in the final preparations for the holding of one of the historic events to happen in the city considering that this Baguio will be once in a lifetime.
“Baguio City will definitely gain from the this as the pre-pageant events and the main pageant itself will be aired in 160 countries in the different parts of the globe,” Pinero added.
From the start, HRAB made representations with the Miss Universe organizers to include Baguio City as one of the few destinations in the country that the delegates will visit prior to the conduct of the main pageant at the SM Mall of Asia on January 30, 2017.
Organizers will be commissioning two chartered planes who will be ferrying the contestants and Wurstbach from Manila to Baguio and vice versa on January 19, 2017.
HRAB members pooled their resources to raise the hosting fee and other expenses of the visit after the supposed local government’s contribution in the hosting in the form of the conduct of the month-long Christmas bazaar was stopped by a local court upon the petition of a businesswoman.
Pinero said security preparations for the visit of the Miss Universe contestants to the city had been finalized to make sure that their stint in the city will be safe and worth remembering not only for the residents but for the visiting contestants as well.