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‘Amazing Shamcey’

MANILA, Philippines – President Benigno S. Aquino III is amazed at the beauty and brains of Miss Universe 2011 third runnerup Architect Shamcey G. Supsup, who arrived early yesterday at 7 a.m. onboard Philippine Airlines flight PR 103 to a rousing welcome at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), and is open to tapping the towering Filipino beauty queen to boost the country’s tourism industry.

Supsup thanked her fans and supporters who rallied with her in Sao Paolo, Brazil, to the online voters who placed her on top of the fan voting, and those who stayed glued to their television sets during the coronation night last week.

She said she was glad to be home after representing the country in the Miss Universe. “I am glad to be back home after more than a month of being away. I so miss the Philippines. Thank you for being here for welcoming me,” she said at a press conference after her arrival.

Presidential spokesman Edwin F. Lacierda hailed Supsup as an “asset to the Philippines” following her remarkable feat in the beauty pageant.

The President was expected to personally congratulate Supsup late last night in a meeting at the NAIA before leaving for the United States. Aquino will be in New York City and Washington D.C. to attend a global summit on open governance and meet top executives of US firms, among others. He will return to Manila on September 23.

“It will be an occasion for the President to congratulate Miss Shamcey Supsup. As you know, we are very, very proud of her achievement and the President said he learned she won, Supsup is beauty and brains,” Lacierda said over government radio. He said Supsup, from General Santos City, accomplished a rare feat when she landed in the top five in the Miss Universe.

The Palace welcomed proposals to tap Supsup as the country’s tourism poster girl. But Lacierda said it is up to the Department of Tourism (DoT) to decide on the matter. “We can talk to (Tourism) Secretary (Ramon) Jimenez about that. Why not? She is definitely an asset to the Philippines,” he said.

Supsup will have a hectic schedule in the next few days. Reports said she will have a parade in her honor around Makati City and an afternoon visit to her alma mater, Makati High School, where she graduated valedictorian, today. (Genalyn D. Kabiling, Raymund F. Antonio, and Anna Liza T. Villas)