By Azer N. Parrocha
MANILA, July 28 (PNA) – The Department of Tourism (DOT) on Thursday said that according to the Miss Universe Organization (MUO), the Philippines has always been the top choice for hosting the Miss Universe pageant.
DOT Undersecretary for Media Affairs Kat De Castro said that hosting the pageant was offered to other countries, however, MOU President Paula Shugart made it known since day one of the negotiations that “Philippines is top preference” because of several reasons — reigning Miss Universe Pia Wurtzbach — being one of them.
”Paula Shugart has always had her heart set in the Philippines. Also, they (MUO) know that Miss Universe has a lot of fans or following in the Philippines,” De Castro told the Philippines News Agency.
”When Pia won, it was some sort of a sign for Paula to negotiate for it to be held here,” she added noting that Shugart’s father, who was a former solider for the US Forces, has been stationed in Subic.
De Castro did not name all the countries that were offered to host the pageant but revealed that Macau was one of them.
Wurztbach has been openly expressing her desire for the Philippines to host the pageant describing it as her “personal dream.”
“It’s no secret that it’s my personal dream and the dream of majority of Filipinos that someday we’ll see the Miss Universe (pageant) to be held here,” Wurtzbach said in an earlier presscon.