Cabdidates in the 65th Miss Universe contest visited Cebu on January 17, 2017. The 86 stunning bets were welcomed by some 5,000 school kids. Early in the morning that day at 5 am the candidates were already in the streets of Lapu-Lapu City, each wearing the national costume of their respective countries, dancing to the tune of the lively Sinulog.
On arriving at the Waterpark Resort and JPark Island in Lapu-Lapu, the beauty bets were also welcomed by some Sinulog performers along the hallway. Though the main Sinulog festivities have already been held two days before, they still had a chance to see what it was about. The much awaited swim suit competition was held after the coronation night, with each candidate in a Yamamay swim outfit, an Italian brand and the official swimwear sponsor for this 2017 Miss Universe. However, due to bad weather, the swimsuit portion was held indoors at the Triton Ballroom instead of the original plan to have it at the garden area of JPark.
Triton Ballroom was divided into two—one portion being the dressing room of the candidates and the other portion being the event area. Despite this arrangement, the ballroom was still huge enough for the event, although some spectators watched the presentation standing up.
The candidates put on 5 types of one-piece swimwear designs. However, the presentation elicited few reactions from the audience, save the moment when Miss Philippines Maxine Medina made her turn. Other contestants also received some applause, like Miss Colombia Andrea Tovar, Miss Poland Izabella Krzan, Miss Thailand Chalita Suansane. Miss Portugal Flavia Brito, Miss Korea Jenny Kim, Miss Puerto Rico Brenda Jimenez, Miss Sierra Leone Hawa Kamara and Deshauna Barber who is Miss USA.
Afterwards, some contestants in Uniqlo jeans, tops and jackets went around the resort for some promotional shots while others went off to the SM City Seaside to mingle with other sponsors. In the evening, they did a fashion show after dinner in wears designed by local fashion designers. Some of the candidates later left on a plane to another destination while the rest remained to meet some guests at the resort during the DJ Party. Some of the distinguished guests were former Ilocos Sur Governor Chavit Singson, Pia Wurtzback who is reigning Miss Universe, Tourism Secretary Wanda Tulfo-Teo, Tourism Undersecretary Kat de Castro, Lapu-Lapu Mayor Paz Radaza and Cebu Mayor Tomas Osmena.
Shawn McClain, VP for business development and marketing of the Miss Universe organization, said the entire event was a success and thanked the local Cebuanos for their hospitality.
“This is a true privilege to get to see such a wonderful country with wonderful people. You get off the plane in the Philippines, there’s just a different feeling you get compared to other countries in other places. There are smiles everywhere and people are very accepting,” McClain said. “What we’re seeing is everyone coming together and contributing to spreading this entertainment event and putting the Philippines in a very positive light in front of the whole world.” McClain added.
Of Miss Universe Pia Wurtzbach, McClain said: “It’s somehow bitter-sweet because she has grown so much as a professional and so much as a representative of the past year and at the end of all this, we’re going to crown her successor. She has been an amazing representative and she has done so much for the Philippines in the past year, spreading messages around the world and we’re thanking you for lending her to us for a year and now you can have her back.”