BAGUIO CITY – Mayor Mauricio Domogan welcomed and led a formal toast to this year’s 29 Miss Universe Candidates at a Gala Dinner at Baguio Country Club capping the beauties’ visit here last Wednesday.
Reigning Miss Universe Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach and finalist Shamcey Supsup Lee were there with the latter serving as the night’s master of ceremonies.
Also present were Ilocos Sur Governor Chavit Singson, Department of Tourism (DOT) regional director Venus Tan, city officials, Hotel and Restaurant Association of Baguio (HRAB) officers and members headed by BCC general manager Anthony De Leon, Philippine Military Academy cadets, and other guests.
Domogan said that it is truly an honor for Baguio to be chosen as one of the very few places in the country to be visited by the Miss Universe candidates as this will introduce and promote the Summer Capital to a worldwide audience, among others.
He thanked the HRAB and DOT for spearheading efforts in making this “once-in-a-lifetime” opportunity possible and a success. The Mayor also commended the Baguio City Police Office for ensuring the safety of the contestants.
In his message, De Leon said that the Miss Universe candidates’ visit is part of HRAB’s mission of making the “impossible, possible” and will continue to create and pursue projects that promote Baguio both nationally and abroad. He also thanked all those involved in making the visit a success.
For her part, Wurtzbach expressed their appreciation for the “very warm” reception accorded them by the people of Baguio. She revealed that the city is one of her favorite places to visit and hopes to return soon.
The Miss Universe candidates’ visit here started with a silent drill performed by PMA cadets upon landing at Loakan Airport early Wednesday morning followed by their joining a mini “Panagbenga” parade from Upper Session Road to BCC on top of flower and mask-bedecked floats representing Luzon, Visayas, Mindanao including that of BCC.
In the afternoon, the beauties engaged in tree-planting and strawberry picking activities with some even trying their hand in golf. They also witnessed a “solar painting” demonstration by Cordilleran artist Jordan Mang-osan of the Tam-Awan Village Group of Artists. /Gaby Keith#