Miss Universe Philippines

Here’s a rundown of changes to the Miss Universe Philippines pageant since 2020

Rappler Entertainment Team

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Here’s a rundown of changes to the Miss Universe Philippines pageant since 2020
Since Miss Universe Philippines became a standalone pageant, it introduced various executions and rule changes to the competition

In December 2019, Filipino pageant fans and aficionados were surprised when it was announced that the Miss Universe franchise would no longer be under the Binibining Pilipinas Charities Inc (BPCI) after 55 years. 

BPCI, under the leadership of Stella Araneta, had led the search for the Philippines’ representative to the Miss Universe competition since 1964. During those times, it was through the annual Binibining Pilipinas pageant that the Miss Universe Philippines queen was crowned, alongside candidates to at least five more international pageants. 

However, with the establishment of the Miss Universe Philippines (MUPH) organization came a new team that took charge in choosing the country’s representative to the prestigious international tilt. 

As the pageant is set to hold its fifth edition under the Miss Universe Philippines organization this 2024, let’s look back at the notable changes that they’ve introduced in the competition since 2020: 

Removal of height requirement

During its 2021 edition, MUPH announced that there’ll be no height requirement for its screening process. Prior to this, the minimum height requirement for interested candidates was 5’4. 

Height requirement was also removed in its succeeding editions. 

Starting with Top 100 delegates

It was also in 2021 when Miss Universe Philippines kicked off the competition with the Top 100 delegates – the biggest number of candidates in the pageant’s history. 

These 100 delegates would undergo several online and remote challenges and then get narrowed down to the Top 75 and 50 and eventually 30 based on their performances in the challenges and votes from supporters. 

Twenty-seven of the Top 30 for the 2021 edition were chosen by panelists while the three remaining delegates were the ones who garnered the highest number of fan votes. Scores of the Top 30 all went back to zero in the lead-up to the preliminaries and coronation night. Only the Top 30 delegates participated in the in-person pageant activities. 

The 2021 competition remains to be the only edition where 100 delegates participated. 

In 2022, the Miss Universe Philippines started with 50 delegates. According to MUPH, they’re “narrowing the field to get [them] closer to our Final 30 delegates.” Only 32 finalists from the initial 50 delegates made it to the in-person pageant activities. 

Online and remote challenges

Since the Miss Universe Philippines organization introduced a huge number of delegates for their pageants, they’ve been whittling down the participants through a series of online and remote challenges. 

In the 2021 edition, the candidates had to participate in the headshot challengevideo introduction challenge, runway challenge, casting video challenge, and virtual interview challenge. Each candidate had to showcase their strengths in these challenges as pageant fans vote for their respective bets. Those who garnered the highest number of fan votes will also have a higher chance of advancing in the competition. 

For its succeeding editions, the delegates participated in the photoshoot, swimsuit, and runway challenges. In the 2023 competition, the MUPH organization only announced the Top 5 delegates for each challenge, with the first placer only being disclosed during the finals night. The winner for each of the online challenge also secured a semifinal spot in the competition. 

Allowing moms, wives to compete

In lieu of the Miss Universe organization’s decision to allow moms and wives in the international competition, the local team also opened the MUPH pageant to women who are married and with children. 

In its more than 70-year history, the Miss Universe organization had only allowed single women, aged between 18 and 28, who “must not have ever been married, not had a marriage annulled, nor given birth to, or parented a child” to compete. 

Out of the 38 Miss Universe Philippines 2023 delegates, three were mothers. 

Notably, MUPH was the first of the local pageants in the Philippines to open the competition to beauty queens of any civil status – married and with children. 

Meanwhile, the recently-launched The Miss Philippines pageant followed through with the initiative, also opening their 2023 edition to mothers and wives. The Miss Philippines competition chose the country’s representatives for the Miss Supranational and Miss Charm pageants. 

Removal of age limit

After opening the competition to mothers and wives, the Miss Universe organization became more inclusive as it removed the age restrictions across all of its associated pageants. 

Previously, the MUO had only allowed women aged between 18 to 28 to participate in the competition. With the age limit being eliminated, even women aged 29 and above can compete in the pageant. 

In the Philippines, 69-year-old fashion designer Jocelyn Cubales was one of the official candidates of the Miss Universe Philippines-Quezon City pageant. 

Accredited Partnership Program

The Miss Universe Philippines 2024 competition is also looking to be an interesting edition as it also introduced another change aside from the removal of age limit. 

For the 2024 edition, the delegates for the national competition were chosen through the Accredited Partners Program, wherein only accredited partners approved by the MUPH organization selected the candidates from their respective localities through local pageants or appointments

According to the MUPH organization, this change in the selection process will make the competition more “streamlined and efficient.” Additionally, having accredited partners select the candidates from their respective areas will also gave MUPH access to a “wider and more diverse pool of potential candidates.” 

With this, the 2024 roster also includes candidates representing overseas Filipino communities for the first time. Delegates include representatives from Australia, northern and southern California, Florida, Hawaii, Miami, Sydney, the United Kingdom, Virginia, and Washington. 

As the 2024 edition is still underway, pageant fans are still anticipating how these new developments will affect the competition.  Rappler.com

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