The world’s most-watched beauty pageant will be held at the reigning queen’s home country, the Philippines. The country will host the next Miss Universepageant, Tourism Secretary Wanda Teo said Thursday. The 2016 pageant will be held on January 30, 2017, she said. The top choice for the venue is the Mall of Asia Arena, however, no confirmation yet up to this writing.

The possiblity of hosting the pageant came after Rodrigo Duterte, the country’s current President was elected.

He and Pia Wurtzbach both came from Mindanao island, a southernmost part of the Philippines. The Tourism Secretary said this is the perfect time as Duterte is the country’s first Mindanaoan President and Wurtzbach is coincidentally the first Mindanaoan Miss Universe.

Aside from the fact that the reigning queen is from the Philippines, the country’s Department of Tourism is optimistic that this event will boost the tourism in the country.

A pageant crazy nation

The Philippines had been performing well in various beauty pageants around the world in recent years. In 2010, Maria Venus Raj ended as 4th Runner-Up. Since then, the country’s representative had placed either in Top 16 or in the Top 5 until Wurtzbach finally got the coveted crown. Since the news broke out, avid Filipino beauty pageant enthusiasts can’t contain their excitement to finally watch the pageant live. Pia Wurtzbach has been continuously campaigning for this to happen and we can all guess how happy she was right now.

Three Miss Universe

The country had three Miss Universe winners: Gloria Diaz(1969), Margarita Moran(1973), and Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach(2015). Surprisingly, the Philippines had hosted the pageant twice already: Miss Universe 1974 where Amparo Munoz of Spain was hailed as the winner and Miss Universe 1994 when Sushmita Sen of India was declared as the winner. Next year will the country’s third time hosting it and everybody is expecting a back to back win and once more, have that coveted crown for the 4th time around.

In 2017, Wurtzbach will crown her successor to continue the Miss Universe Organization’s cause.

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