MANILA, PHILIPPINES — The Miss Universe Philippines (MUP) pageant announced Monday that reigning queen Gazini Ganados will be on hand to relinquish her title to the eventual winner in the first separate pageant selecting the country’s representative to the Miss Universe pageant.
Ganados won her crown in the Binibining Pilipinas pageant in June last year. But the Miss Universe Organization (MUO) decided to part ways with the 56-year-old national beauty contest in December, paving the way for the establishment of the separate Miss Universe Philippines competition.
When news about the separation broke out in December, and as the new national pageant went ahead with the selection of its candidates, pageant followers have been wondering whether or not the Bb. Pilipinas Charities Inc. (BPCI) would allow Ganados to relinquish her title to a successor which will be chosen in a different pageant.
The long-standing question was finally answered in a Facebook post which MUP released on the evening of Oct. 19.
In a virtual roundtable discussion with select members of the media on Oct. 20, MUP National Director Shamcey Supsup-Lee said she personally wrote BPCI Chair Stella Marquez-Araneta “asking for permission if it’s possible to have Gazini’s presence” to personally crown the country’s next representative to the Miss Universe pageant.
Lee was herself a former Bb. Pilipinas winner, and represented the country in the 2011 Miss Universe pageant, where she finished fourth. Araneta was also a principal sponsor at her wedding.
“I am grateful to Madam Stella and BPCI. We have been praying for Gazini to really crown the MUP winner,” Lee said.
“It wouldn’t be the same without her,” she continued.
The MUP coronation ceremonies will take place in Baguio City on Oct. 25, and will have a live telecast on GMA 7 starting at 9 a.m. Streaming via online platforms empire.ph, ktx.ph, and TFC will start at 10:30 a.m.
Forty-seven ladies are vying for the crown, and they are currently in Baguio City under strict health protocols. Lee said the ladies are being tested every five days for COVID-19.
The crucial closed-door interview was held on Oct. 18, while the preliminary competitions for national costume, swimsuit, and evening gown will take place on Oct. 23.
The interviews will be made available to subscribers of empire.ph, ktx.ph, and TFC on Oct. 21, while the preliminary competitions hosted by actor Benjamin Alves will be streamed real-time.
KC Montero will host the final ceremonies, with performances from Allen Cecilio, Anjo Damiles, and Kevin Montillano.