BAGUIO CITY – Local officials and organizers of the 22nd Baguio Flower Festival or Panagbenga believe the scheduled visit of some twenty-four contestants of the Miss Universe beauty pageant to the city by January next year will set the tone for tourists during the month-long festivities.
Anthony de Leon, general manager of the Baguio Country Club (BCC) and co-chairman of the Panagbenga Executive Committee, said the 24 beauty contestants of the prestigious international beauty pageant will visit the city on January 18, 2017, and they will have a glimpse of the city’s crowd-drawing event through a mini-float and streetdancing parade from the Panagbenga Park along South Drive up to the premises of the only exclusive club in the city.
De Leon said winners of the elementary and secondary streetdancing competition in last year’s grand streetdancing parade will go with the four flower-decorated floats where the beauty contestants will ride the 5-kilometer parade route to allow residents and visitors to see the beauty contestants who will be in the city for at least a day.
“Representatives of the Miss Universe organizers are satisfied with the security preparations and the accommodation facilities for the contestants and how the local organizers are preparing for the pageant contestants,” de Leon stressed.
Baguio Country Club and the Hotel and Restaurant Association of Baguio (HRAB) took the initiative of inviting the Miss Universe delegates to include the city as one of the selected destinations before the beauty pageant proper at the SM Mall of Asia on January 30, 2017.
Aside from the mini-float and grand streetdancing parade, the beauty contestants will also join a golf tournament, tree-planting, and strawberry-picking activities inside the premises of the club and the traditional fashion show where a select ten empowered women will be feted side by side with the visiting beauty contestants.
Reigning Miss Universe titlist Pia Wurtzbach of the Philippines will ride the main float for the parade while the 24 beauty contestants will be equally distributed among the remaining three floats.
The New York Police Department will serve as the close-in security of the visiting beauties while the Baguio City Police Office will provide the route security from the Loakan airport and along the parade route and the security personnel of the Baguio Country Club will take charge of their security once they arrive in the premises of the club.
By Dexter A. See