WATCH: Pia Wurtzbach confirms Miss Universe pageant to be held in PH
MANILA, Philippines – Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach has confirmed that the Miss Universe pageant will be held in Manila on January 30, 2017.
In a video on Department of Tourism (DOT) undersecretary Kat de Castro's social media accounts, Pia said: "Hi guys! Mabuhay! I'm so excited to share with you all that yes, the Miss Universe competition is indeed happening in the Philippines, and I can't wait to show you all my beautiful country."
We bring you MISS UNIVERSE 2016 IN MANILA! pic.twitter.com/zI2WIlrfII— Kat De Castro (@KatDeCastro) November 3, 2016
Miss Universe 2016 will be held on January 30, 2017 in Manila, according to a release from the DOT.
The release also said that Bohol and Cebu have been confirmed as venues for ancillary events, but Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao will all be represented and visited by the Miss Universe candidates.
In a press conference held on Thursday, November 3, DOT Secretary Wanda Teo also confirmed that last year's host, Steve Harvey, is set to host again in 2017.
During the 2015 Miss Universe pageant, Steve accidentally named Miss Colombia Ariadna Gutierrez the winner, before apologizing and saying Pia won.
Pia, the Philippines' bet in 2015, is set to crown her successor in the upcoming pageant.
Last July, the Department of Tourism confirmed that the pageant will be held in Manila and said that the funding for the pageant will come from the private sector. However, Pia and the Miss Universe organization has not spoken up until now.
On the delay, Kat explained to Rappler: "The Miss Universe Organization had to finalize a lot of stuff from their end, in terms of finalizing the list of sponsors and the taxation, and finally, figuring out how many girls would be coming to the Philippines."
Speculation that the pageant wouldn't be held in the country surfaced after a report that said WME|IMG was worried about the Philippines' political situation.
A group also petitioned to have the pageant held elsewhere due to the sexist attitudes of the country's government officials.
But the DOT assured that the pageant will push through, with activities already being arranged for the candidates. (READ: Miss Universe in PH: Other venues eyed for pageant events)
This is the 3rd time that the pageant will be held in Manila. The first time it was held in Manila was in 1974, when Miss Universe 1973 Margarita Moran crowned Amparo Muñoz of Spain.
In 1994, the pageant came back to the country, when India's Sushmita Sen was crowned by Miss Universe 1993 Dayanara Torres.