IN PHOTOS: Miss Universe 2017 candidates at Women of Significance gala
IN PHOTOS: Miss Universe 2017 candidates at Women of Significance gala

Alecs Ongcal

The candidates sashay onstage in dresses made of Mindanao fabrics

MANILA, Philippines – On their last night in the Philippines, Miss Universe 2017 candidates led by reigning queen Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters of South Africa modeled Filipino outfits made of Mindanao fabrics at the Women of Significance gala.

The show at the Sofitel Manila on Saturday, December 9, was part of the Bring Home A Friend program of the Department of Tourism (DOT).

Renowned fashion designer Renee Salud created outfits for the show. It was a stunning spectacle as the ladies showed off the outfits with dancers and a background of top tourist spots in Luzon, the Visayas, and Mindanao.

Miss Universe 2017 Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters

Miss China walks on the runway as David  Pomeranz serenades them

Miss Great Britain

Miss India

Miss Italy

Miss Korea

Miss Malaysia

Miss Netherlands

Miss Russia

Miss Canada

Miss Philippines Rachel Peters

Miss USA

Miss Spain

Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters

American singer David Pomeranz was one of the entertainers, as he serenaded the ladies.

A special moment was when the little girls of Kanlungan sa Er-ma Foundation walked onstage with the Miss Universe 2017 candidates, a part of the program patterned after the Miss Universe Little Sisters segment in the early ’80s and ’90s.

Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters with one of the kids from the Kanlungan sa Er-ma Foundation. This part of the program resembled the Little Sisters segment of the pageant in the '80s and '90s. Photo from the Department of Tourism




Aside from the fashion show, the DOT highlighted the contributions of the following women: former tourism secretary Mina Gabor, Aileen Apostol, Sol Balbero, Nadine Casino, Charleanne Jandic, SPO1 Esnairah Lucman, Baby Nebrida, and Catherine Brillantes-Turvill.

Tourism Secretary Wanda Teo and one of her predecessors, Mina Gabor

SPO1 Esnairah Lucman

The women honored during the gala night

On Sunday, December 10, Demi-Leigh, who flew back to the US, thanked Filipinos for welcoming her and promised she would return.

“And so all great things come to an end. This has been magical. Thank you for your warm welcomes and hospitality everywhere we went. I will always treasure this experience. Although I got to do and see so much, I still know there is so much that I haven’t discovered yet. I wish I could’ve given everyone a warm hug (or a selfie) but please know I sincerely appreciate every smile, wave, and gift,” she said.



Some of the candidates are set to return to their respective countries, while the others are on an extended vacation. –

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