MANILA, Philippines (3rd UPDATE) – The Miss Universe candidates who are attending the pageant’s kick-off party started to arrive in Manila on Friday, December 9 and Saturday, December 10.
Miss China Li Zhenying arrived Saturday late evening.
Miss Indonesia Kezia Warouw arrived Saturday early morning to join the rest of the ladies.
Miss Myanmar Htet Htet Htun and Miss Malaysia Kiran Jassal arrived Friday evening as well as Miss Universe Vietnam Dang Thi Le Hang.
Miss Japan Sari Nakazawa, Miss Thailand Chalita Suansane, and Miss Australia Caris Tiivel arrived around the afternoon.
Miss Universe New Zealand Tania Pauline Dawson was the first to arrive at 3:20 am. Miss USA Deshauna Barber and Rebecca Glassman from the Miss Universe Organization arrived at 4:45 am.
The ladies were met by former Ilocos Sur governor and Miss Universe Host Committee chairman Luis Chavit Singson and Department of Tourism undersecretary Kat de Castro.
Miss Korea Jenny Kim meanwhile arrived around past 11am.
Pauline, who is half-Filipino said she’slooking forward to her stay in the country as well as meeting President Rodrigo Duterte.
“I think he really sees the value of what Miss Universe means to the people. The Filipino people would love the Miss Universe, and for him to allow it to be held in the country really shows the support for the people. And that’s great to see,” Pauline said in a press release.
In the same press release, Deshauna also said that she would want to thank the president.
“I just want to thank him for welcoming us to the Philippines, and how much we appreciate him in allowing the Miss Universe to be held here,” she said.
Deshauna also said that Miss Universe Pia Wurtzbach already informed her what to expect during the visit. Deshauna and Pia are roommates.
“Pia has told me a lot about what to expect, so I am hoping you guys can still surprise me. This country has been so wonderful to me since my being crowned. And the support that I received from the Philippines has been wonderful, so I am incredibly excited to be here and I look forward to all the festivities.”
More candidates are expected to arrive within the day and on Saturday, December 10, before the party. They are set to stay in the country for a week, as they tour parts of the Philippines and meet President Rodrigo Duterte in Malacañang.( READ: Miss Universe pageant to kick off in PH with welcome party)
Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach, who arrived on Thursday, December 8, and Miss Universe Philippines 2016 Maxine Medina are expected to join the ladies during the duration of their stay in the country. – Rappler.com