November 16 marked the formal and official announcement of the Philippines as host to the 65th Annual Miss Universe competition happening on January 30, 2017 at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay. Supported by the Department of Tourism, the event aims to bring “pride, prestige, and tourism opportunities” to the country, which has previously had the same honor in 1974 and in 1994.

“I am here to tell you tonight that the long wait is finally over,” Host Committee member, LCS Group Chairman, and former Ilocos Sur Governor Chavit Singson said in his speech. “Miss Universe is home.”

Vice President for Business Development of the Miss Universe Organization Shawn McClain expressed his pleasure for the partnership. “The energy and the passion of the Filipino people is really palpable… This is a special place… especially for the Miss Universe Organization and the Miss Universe brand. There’s an energetic fan base, [a] very, very engaged fan base, and we couldn’t be happier to announce that the next Miss Universe pageant is going to happen right here in Manila in January.”

The road to securing the pageant was not smooth. In fact, Mr. Singson revealed after the event that the negotiations only pulled through after much back-and-forth with the organization owners. The former Ilocos Sur Governor did not delve into details regarding the issue.

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Mr. McClain acknowledged everyone’s efforts: “They say that it takes a village to raise a child, and the same thing is true of the Miss Universe Pageant because it really takes a village to pull the whole thing together.”

The Miss Universe Coronation Night will be telecast live in 190 countries.

Twenty-five year old Maxine Medina will be representing the Philippines in the hopes of securing the crown after the success of 2015 Miss Universe Pia Wurtzbach. Earlier this month, Pia announced the news through a Facebook video posted on Jonas Gaffud's page, saying: "Mabuhay! I'm so excited to share with you all that, yes, the Miss Universe competition is indeed happening in the Philippines. And I can't wait to show you all my beautiful country!"

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