Some Miss U candidates to arrive in PHL on Friday for kickoff party

MANILA — About 11 candidates of the prestigious Miss Universe pageant will be arriving in Manila on Friday (Dec 9) to lead a kickoff party a month before the country hosts its coronation night on January 30, 2017.

Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary Wanda Teo told reporters that 11 candidates will spearhead a kickoff party in the Conrad Hotel in Pasay City as a “preview” to one of the world’s most-watched beauty pageants.

The kickoff party will be attended by candidates from USA, Japan, Australia, China, Korea, New Zealand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand and Philippines.

Reigning Miss Universe Pia Wurtzbach will also be present in the event, which will be arranged by one of the event’s main partners, Solar Entertainment Corp.

Teo said the hopefuls are expected to visit Siargao on Dec. 11 and Cebu on Dec. 12 to begin photoshoots and tour the cities at the same time.

“They will be going around places in the Philippines and tasting our food,” Teo told reporters in the sidelines of the Pasko sa Intramuros program in the so-called Walled City.

The candidates are expected to stay in the country until Dec. 15 or 16 before flying back to their respective countries for the holidays.

They are also expected to make a courtesy call with President Rodrigo Duterte if schedule permits.

Teo, however, clarified that candidates will start arriving Manila for ancillary events on January 13, 2017. Azer Parrocha/