The Philippines could eventually host the Miss Universe 2016 pageant if plans push through.
Miss Universe 2015 Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach revealed that the Philippines is the current frontrunner in the race to host this year's pageant, saying that she has been actively campaigning for it over the past several weeks. There is also a growing speculation that Miss Universe organizers will make a major announcement in the Philippines on Sunday, but Wurtzbach said nothing is final at this point.
"It's not a closed deal yet but I am actively campaigning for it," Wurtzbach said via ABS-CBN. "Every chance that I get to speak to the media, whenever I have the microphone, I always tell them that me, the whole Miss Universe organization, and [Miss Universe President] Paula Shugart- all of us, we want the pageant here in the Philippines."
The Philippines has not hosted the international pageant since 1994, when their bet -- Charlene Gonzales -- ended up among the top six but failed to win the crown. Shugart has been saying all along that the Philippines deserves to host the event, especially after Wurtzbach ended their long drought, becoming the country's first winner since 1973.
"For years, I've talked about someday having the pageant here," Shugart said. "I do know that with Pia right now, the entire worldwide focus is on the Philippines. I think it's a great opportunity. I would love to be able to make it work. We'll see."
But for Miss Universe 2016 to take place in the Philippines, Wurtzbach said that Filipinos should unite. The 26-year-old said they will need the support of the government along with private sectors and sponsors. The 2015 winner added Filipinos should also play their role in generating interest for the event.
"Let us unite and make it happen here because we want to do it here," Wurtzbach continued. "It would be such a pleasure for me to pass on the crown here in the Philippines. It would be great for the tourism. And also, it's about time that we did it here."
Should the Philippines host Miss Universe 2016?