Miss Universe 2015 titleholder Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach has been in the Philippines since last week to celebrate her 27th birthday with her friends and loved ones.
Aside from discussing her week-long celebration, the Filipina beauty queen additionally gave an update on the upcoming Miss Universe 2016 pageant through her latest Facebook Live video.
Last July, Tourism Secretary Wanda Corazon Teo affirmed that the prestigious international pageant will be organized in Pia’s “home court” on January 30, 2017.
When asked what her birthday wish was, Pia said, “I’m really hoping and praying that the pageant will be held here and we’re working very hard in making that happen. It’s always been a dream of mine to have the pageant here.”
According to Pia, even Miss Universe Organization’s president Paula Shugart wants the event to be staged in the country.
“It’s always been a dream of hers as well to have the pageant here. It’s kind of like everybody’s dream. We want the pageant to be in the Philippines. We’re waiting, working hard, and making sure everything’s okay. We’d get the approval of everyone so that it can finally happen,” Pia said.
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The Filipina beauty queen added, “I’m keeping my fingers crossed and if that happens, it’s gonna be historical. I may not have had my first walk but I will have my final walk here, at home.”
Before passing on the crown, Pia also plans to go back to her hometown.
“I will make sure, before I pass on my crown, I will go back to Cagayan de Oro and maybe do a quick pass by to Iligan City,” she said.
Starting July, the Department of Tourism has been looking at six possible locations for the pageant—including Cagayan de Oro.
According by Teo, “Kino-consider namin ang Davao, Cagayan de Oro, Boracay, Cebu, Palawan, and obviously, ang headliner would be in Manila.”
The Philippines is home to two different Miss Universe titlists — Gloria Diaz (1969) and Margarita Moran-Floirendo (1973) — and has hosted the coronation twice before, once in 1974 and again in 1994.