- Miss Universe Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach paid a courtesy call to Pres. Rodrigo Duterte
- Both Wurtzbach and Duterte hail from Mindanao
- Wurtzbach hopes that the next Miss Universe pageant will be held in the Philippines
Miss Universe Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach paid a courtesy meeting with President Rodrigo Duterte in the Malacañan Palace.
Wurtzbach noted the significance of the occasion, especially that she and the President come from the southern island of Mindanao. The reigning Miss Universe hails from Cagayan de Oro City while President Duterte was long-time mayor of Davao City before ascending to the Presidency.
“What an honor it was to meet our new President, Rodrigo Duterte. First Mindanaon President and first Mindanaon Miss Universe,” she wrote on her official Instagram account.
The visit is in line with plans to possibly host the next Miss Universe pageant in the Philippines.
Wurtzbach was accompanied by her manager Esther Swan, Miss Universe President Paula Shugart, Vice President for Marketing and Business Development Shawn Maclaine, Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary Wanda Teo, and DOT Undersecretary Kat de Castro.
“I’m very happy that I’m back home after a while. The last time I was here was during the coronation night of the Binibining Pilipinas pageant. And now I’m back here to work actually. I don’t think it’s a secret; it’s a public knowledge that it is my personal dream, and I think the dream of a lot of Filipinos, the majority of Filipinos, that someday we’ll see the Miss Universe pageant to be held here. And we are keeping our fingers crossed,” she had earlier told Rappler.
Meanwhile, DOT Secretary Teo had previously said that the President had approved “in principle” the staging of the pageant in the Philippines; noting its possible boost for tourism in the country.
“We are really hopeful that the President will grant our request, especially now that the private sector have come together to shoulder the production costs of Miss Universe. I’d like to emphasize that this undertaking would practically entail no expense on the part of the government,” Teo said.