General Admission

Let’s wish the Miss U well

By Al S. Mendoza

 

THERE will always be an oppositionist.

That is a fact of life that is as true as Pangasinan being home to the best bangus in the world.

Thus, we have the “yeses” and “nos” to the Miss Universe pageant we are set to host this month.

The No. 1 oppositionist—expectedly, of course—is the women’s party-list group, “Gabriela.”

Said Gabriela:  “The Miss Universe pagent is an expensive exercise to lull the people and the international audience into a false sense of wellbeing and celebration.”

Everybody’s entitled to his own opinion.

The beauty contest is here because the government has said yes to it.

What could be a louder yes to the event than the government’s imprimatur?

Major cities in the Philippines have joined the pageant, including our neighbor Baguio.

“We are so honored that our city has been chosen part of the festivities,” Anthony de Leon has said to me in December.

The general manager of the Baguio Country Club, where some 24 Miss U contestants will spend one night (January 18), chairs the occasion in the Pines City.

“Our hosting the beauties will surely usher in again a  tremendous boom in tourism and other business opportunities, surely spurring economic growth in the city,” Anthony said.

The targeted P24 million budget for the event’s hosting has already been breached—with ease, mind you—making it a solid base for Baguio’s continued rise as a major tourist destination.

If only for the record, reigning Miss Universe Pia Wurtzbach will earn P250,000 in heading the 24-beauty entourage in Baguio—a screaming proof, indeed, that to win the event can make the beauty queen a millionaire overnight.

In topping the 2016 pageant, Pia, from Cagayan de Oro, became the third Filipina to prevail after Gloria Diaz (Aringay, La Union) in 1969 and Margarita Moran (with Pangasinan roots) in 1991.

So lucrative are the business prospects of the “beaucon” (beauty contest) that sponsors have poured in like driving rain, including the famous former Ilocos Sur Governor Chavit Singson, who reportedly invested $11 million.

By live broadcast alone of the pageant, organizers estimate no less than 500 million viewers worldwide—a sure moneymaker to intrepid stakeholders.

But we are not new to such a global undertaking.

Twice we had hosted the Miss U already, and on both occasions in 1974 and 1994, investors had raked it in—not to mention the government amassing a cash windfall boosting the economy no end.

And so overall, the Miss Universe contributes to the country’s wellbeing, both financially and image-building-wise as well.

While we wish our bet, Maxine Medina, all the best, let us also fervently pray that all goes well and the 85-beauty pageant hurdles everything with flying colors.

Always, success is second to none.