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Demand for Miss U tickets soars – organizers

LET the game begin!

These were the words of former Governor Chavit Singson of Ilocos Sur who led the kick-off ceremony for the Miss Universe 2016 beauty pageant held at the Conrad Hotel in Pasay City as demand for pageant tickets started to soar.

“And so I say, Miss Universe is on! Let the game begin,” said Singson, host committee chairman of the Miss Universe pageant, as the crowd cheered.

Tourism Undersecretary Kat de Castro said that the prices of the tickets will be released later on. (Related story on Page 11)

“I’m still not sure but we’re trying to come up with lower prices,” said De Castro in an exclusive interview at the Miss Universe party.

Asked about the prices of the tickets, she said: “It’s like watching an international artist performing here in the Philippines.” The tickets will be sold at SM ticket outlets later this month, she said.

De Castro said that the country will expect increased tourist arrivals during the Miss Universe competition which will be held at the SM Mall of Asia Arena on Jan. 30, 2017.

“When Miss Universe was presented to us, when they do shows outside of the US, a candidate can bring in as many as 50 supporters, relatives, or family members. So when you do the math, that’s 90 times 50. That’s gonna be a lot,” De Castro said.

Organizers also said that they will soon announce a reservation system for the tickets to the Miss Universe show.

But Richelle Singson-Michael, member of the hosting committee for the Miss Universe pageant, has confirmed that most of the tickets for the VIP and lower box sections will be reserved for the families of the candidates.

“As soon as we announce the selling, I suggest pumila na sila ng maaga so that they can get tickets,” De Castro told pageant fans.

Even Jonas Gaffud, trainer of reigning Miss Universe Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach, said that many people have asked for reservations about the tickets.

“I have so many inquiries about the tickets. I think the prices are still being discussed and it’s really pricey.

It’s pricey because it’s a wonderful show and you’ll get your money’s worth. It’s not your ordinary show,” said Gaffud.

Gaffud, who will serve as one of the creative directors for the pageant, said the country is ready now for the staging of the Miss Universe contest.

“It’s the Christmas season and we’re supposed to be relaxing as we celebrate the holidays. But we will not rest this Christmas because we want to make sure that everything is OK for the staging of Miss Universe here,” he said.

“Right now, we’re busy gathering our strengths and souls for the success of the Miss Universe show in the Philippines,” Gaffud added.

Wurtzbach said that it was really her dream to bring the prestigious beauty pageant back to the Philippines for the third time.

“Thank you so much for making this happen. It’s not only a dream of Paula’s, a dream of the Miss Universe organization, but also a dream of mine: to bring back the competition here and to show the world how beautiful the Philippines is. And it would be really great if I could finally have a proper walk onstage,” said Wurtzbach, who was accompanied by Paula Shugart, president of the Miss Universe Organization, in her latest visit to the country.

Wurtzbach also wished the candidates in the pageant good luck.

“I’m not quite ready to give up this sash yet as I think I’ve grown attached to it. But good luck to all the ladies.

I’m very excited for what’s in store and umpisa pa lang ito. It’s only December so let’s keep the momentum going and finally, let’s welcome to the Miss Universe competition,” the Filipino-German beauty queen.

Eleven candidates of the 2016 Miss Universe pageant also graced the event. They are Miss Universe Philippines Maxine Medina, Tania Pauline Dawson of New Zealand; Deshauna Barber, USA; Jenny Kim, South Korea; Caris Tiivel, Australia; Li Zhenying, China; Kezia Warouw, Indonesia; Sari Nakazawa, Japan; Kian Jassal, Malaysia; Htet Htet Htun, Myanmar; and Chalita Suansane, Thailand.