By Robert Requintina
The most beautiful women in the universe are in town!
Newly-crowned Miss Universe Demi-Leigh Nel Peters from South Africa, Miss Universe 2916 Iris Mittenaere of France, and nine candidates in the beauty pageant have arrived in Manila Tuesday and Wednesday to start their four-day tour of the Philippines.
Tourism Secretary Wanda Teo said the government invited the beauty queens as part of a program to promote the Philippines abroad.
Teo said that the visit is also part of the government’s renewed campaign, dubbed “Bring Home a Friend,” which gives incentives to Filipinos who could invite foreigners to visit the Philippines.
Other Miss Universe candidates in the country are Miss Canada Lauren Howe, Miss Great Britain Anna Burdzy, Miss China Qiang Qiu, Miss Russia Ksnia Alexandrova, Miss Italy Maria Polverino, Miss Spain Sofia del Prado, Miss Netherlands Nicky Opheij, Miss Malaysia Samantha James, and Miss Singapore Manuela Bruntraeger.
The beauty queens kicked-off their Philippine tour with a visit to the Rizal Park and Fort Santiago in Manila.
Miss Philippines Rachel Peters, who finished in the Top 10 of the prestigious competition, also joined the group.
Onboard an e-jeepney, the beauty queens visited the memorial of national hero Jose Rizal, the site where he was executed in the Luneta Park, and Fort Santiago.
The beauty queens will also visit Batanes, Vigan, Bohol, and Camiguin.
The ladies will also grace the “Women of Significance” gala night of the Department of Tourism.