Miss Universe 2017 candidates visit Camiguin

Bobby Lagsa
Eight of the candidates visit Camiguin as part of Department of Tourism’s 'Bring Home a Friend' program

CAMIGUIN VISIT. The Miss Universe 2017 candidates pose by the waterfalls in Camiguin  All photos by Bobby Lagsa/Rappler

CAMIGUIN, Philippines – Welcomed by thousands of adoring fans – mostly young girls and women – 8 of the Miss Universe 2017 candidates visited this beautiful tiny island province on Friday, December 8, to see its tourism destinations as part of the Department of Tourism’s Bring Home a Friend program.

Miss USA Kára McCullough, Miss Singapore Manuela Bruntraeger, Miss Italy Maria Polverino, Miss Netherlands Nicky Opheij, Miss Spain Sofia del Prado, Miss Canada Lauren Howe, Miss India Shraddha Shashidhar, and Miss Korea Cho Sewhee had a full day of activities, visiting different tourism sites and interacting with residents here.

Mambajao Mayor Jurdin Jesus Romualdo said that the visit of the Miss Universe candidates is a statement that indeed, it is safe in Mindanao.

Romualdo said that the visit of the ladies here will drive the tourism industry not only in the Island but also in Northern Mindanao, “and Mindanao as a whole.” 

WARM WELCOME. The ladies are welcomed by the people of Camiguin

Flown in via an inaugural flight of SkyJet from Manila, the ladies went to White Island, a mile-long C-shaped sandbar that is frequented by tourists.

They also visited the centuries-old Guiob Church Ruins, the Sunken Cemetery, the Tuasan Falls, and the Balay sa Baibai where they met women who turned collected sea glass into accessories.

SELFIE. Miss Italy Maria Polverino takes a photo during one of their stopovers in Camiguin

Big boost to tourism

DOT Region 10 Director Mae Salvaña said that the visit of the ladies is a big boost to tourism in the region.

Salvaña said that such visit is a testament that Mindanao is safe and has beautiful destinations for local and foreign tourists.

“This will show the world that it is safe here in Mindanao, that we have beautiful places, and we are boosting our tourism capabilities in the region,” Salvaña said.

Romualdo said that the visit will send a positive message to the home countries of the beauty queens regarding Mindanao.

“There are many beautiful places to visit in the Philippines…You can send the message to your fellow countrymen that Camiguin is beautiful. Please come back, you must comeback to explore more place here,” Romualdo told the beauty queens.

Reasons to come back

Miss USA Kára McCullough said that she will return. “I am planning to come back and explore more of the Philippines,” said McCullough, a physical ccientist by profession.

OFFICIAL WELCOME. Miss USA Kára McCullough is welcomed by Camiguin Governor Maria Luisa Romualdo

McCullough added that she plans to visit Siargao and Camiguin.

Miss Korea Cho Sewhee said that she loves the waters of Camiguin and can’t wait to visit the country again.

Salvaña said that the women told her that they would return to the Philippines “with their families and even their boyfriends.” – Rappler.com