The stage is set for the 65th Miss Universe beauty pageant at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City starting at 8 a.m. today.
Eighty-six women are vying for the title and crown which will change the course of their life forever.
Tourism Secretary Wanda Corazon Teo said that President Duterte has been invited to attend the three-hour show.
But the Chief Executive has not confirmed his attendance, she said. “Ininvite namin, binigay na ang ticket pero walang advise. Alam mo naman si Presidente last minute eh kung magdecide,” said Teo in an interview on DZMM on Sunday.
At least 1,858 police officers will be deployed to secure the coronation rites, according to National Capital Region Police Office chief Director Oscar Albayalde.
Tickets to the beauty pageant ranging from P2,000 to P50,000 were sold out a few days before the contest, organizers said.
Maxine Medina of Quezon City is the country’s representative to the beauty contest. She is hoping for a back-to-back title after Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach won the third crown for the Philippines in Las Vegas, Nevada in December 2015.
Three days of preliminary interviews, swimsuit, and evening gown presentation show helped selected the semi-finalists who will be named during the final night event and will go on to compete in Swimwear, Evening Gown, Final Question, and Final Look.
The Top 12 semifinalists will be announced during the finals. But reports said that the 13th spot will belong to the candidate who received the highest number of fan votes.
In Miss Universe 2016, the usual Top 15 and 16 cut is now down to Top 12 to compete in the swimsuit competition.
This will be cut again to Top 9, to compete for the evening gown competition. This will be narrowed down to Top 6 for the question and answer and then Top 3 for the final look competition.
The winner of Miss Universe will immediately move to a luxury apartment in New York City, which will be her home base while she spends her reign traveling the globe, developing and representing her platforms, and raising awareness and funds for charitable initiatives.
The winner will also get a year-long salary; all paid living expenses; personal appearance wardrobe and styling by the official Miss Universe Organization fashion stylist; extensive international and domestic travel; and access to various New York City events including casting opportunities, movie premieres, fashion week, sporting events, and career opportunities presented by one the world’s largest and most dynamic entertainment agencies, WME|IMG, parent company of the Miss Universe Organization.