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MANILA, Philippines – The members of the Miss Universe Philippines organization faced the media on Wednesday, January 29 at the Empire Studio in Uptown Mall BGC, Taguig to answer questions about the pageant.
The members of the organization were named in December when it was announced that the Miss Universe franchise will no longer be under Binibining Pilipinas Charities Inc. BPCI, under the leadership of Stella Araneta, had led the search for the Miss Universe representative, since 1964.
All members of the organization were present along with Frontrow heads Sam Verzosa and RS Francisco. Frontrow is a partner of the pageant and will be funding projects under the organization.
The core members of the group are:
Shamcey Supsup-Lee, National Director – Shamcey represented the country in the Miss Universe 2011 pageant held in Brazil, where she emerged as 3rd runner-up. As national director, Shamcey is tasked with managing the organization and setting the direction of the MUPh’s objectives.
Jonas Gaffud, Creative Director – Jonas was appointed creative director of the brand back in 2019. Jonas was one of the heads of pageant camp Aces and Queens. He’s expected give the brand fresh concepts and ideas from its photo shoots to the line-up of pageant activities.
Lia Andrea Ramos, Head of Women Empowerment and Charity – Lia competed in the Miss Universe pageant in 2006, and won the Miss Photogenic award. As head of the organization’s charity and women causes, Lia said their focus is to develop Filipina leaders and support the candidates’ initiatives, as well as MUPh’s own projects, from education to sustainable tourism.
Nad Bronce, lawyer, Head of Legal Affairs – Nad Bronce was one of the heads of pageant camp Aces and Queens alongside Jonas Gaffud and Arnold Mercado. Nad was the group’s Q and A mentor before he left last year.
Albert Andrada, Design Council Head – Albert, who dressed Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach, is tasked to oversee everything fashion and to make sure that Filipino designers also have their time to shine onstage.
Mario Garcia, Head of Business Development and Marketing – Mario, like Jonas, was appointed to position in 2019. His main work is to create marketing plans and strategies in line with the MUPh’s objectives and pursuing partnerships that will benefit the brand.
During the press conference, the MUPh team also gave a peek into what’s in store for the brand.
With the recent announcement that provinces and cities can send candidates through accredited partners of MUPh, Jonas believes they can a big turnout of candidates for this year’s edition.
“Logistically, I think we can do it […] I think it’s nice to involve the whole country to be part of it. Because it’s celebrating beauty, celebrating the Filipino, celebrating the Philippines. So why not involved people from Tawi-Tawi or from Batanes or Dinagat Islands. So why don’t we involve everbody?” Jonas said.
The Miss Universe Philippines will be introducing a new format in presenting the candidates.
“We don’t have like a talent portion. We don’t have a media presentation where the girls will be in swimsuit… iba na yung gagawin namin (we will do it differently),” he said.
Albert announced that they will be holding a Miss Universe Philippines Fashion Week, which will feature shows for young designers, street wear, swimsuits, and national costumes. A gala night is also in the works, during which senior fashion designers will show their work.
More details will be announced once finalized. Aspiring beauty queens who want to join have until January 31 to submit their application forms, with the final screening set on Febuary 1.
The Miss Universe Philippines pageant is scheduled on May 3 at the SM Mall of Asia Arena. – Rappler.com