LOOK | Miss Universe beauties conclude Philippine visit with gala fashion show

Women of Significance Awardees receive their trophies from DOT Secretary Wanda Teo during a ceremony held December 9, 2017 in Sofitel Manila. Photo by Miguel de Guzman/Philstar.

On, Saturday, the last day of their DOT-sponsored trip, candidates and winners of the recently concluded Miss Universe 2017 beauty pageant took part in a gala fashion show called Philippine Tapestry Fashion by veteran Filipino designer Renee Salud at Sofitel Manila.

Using Mindanao handwoven fabrics as dominant material, Salud created short formal dresses as well as evening gowns for the ladies to present on the runway.

The evening was also graced by Miss Universe 2017 Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters and Miss Universe 2016 Iris Mittenaere. They were also joined by other Miss Universe 2017 candidates.

Newly crowned 2017 Miss Universe Demi‑Leigh Nel‑Peters leads other Miss Universe candidates on the runway at a fashion show featuring the creations of Filipino designer Renee Salud. The gala fashion event was organized by the Philippine tourism department and held at the Sofitel Tent, December 9, 2017. Photo by Miguel de Guzman/Philstar.

The ladies took part in a fashion show featuring Filipino designer Renee Salud’s creations using Mindanao handwoven fabrics in a show called Philippine Tapestry Fashion Show.

Filipino designer Renee Salud takes a bow along with Miss Universe 2017 Demi‑Leigh Nel‑Peters and other 2017 Miss Universe candidates during the finale of the Philippine Tapestry Fashion Show. Photo by Miguel de Guzman/Philstar.

Women achievers
The other highlight of the evening was the Women of Significance Award in which Secretary Wanda Teo honored select Filipino women achievers from diverse sectors.

In her speech, Teo noted, “Tonight we pay tribute to the women who have given notable contributions to the Filipino community. May we continue to recognize the efforts of such women for their triumph is also ours.”

The tourism secretary also noted, “It is vital that we recognize the impact of the Pinays’ contribution to the community for they offer new perspectives in the further development of the country.

“We come from a long line of extraordinary women, after all. It is a given that we would inherit their greatness.”

Miss Philippines Rachel Peters presents a Renee Salud creation at the Philippine Tapestry Fashion Show, December 9, 2017. Photo by Miguel de Guzman/Philstar.

Awardees included Aileen Royo-Apostol, Gintong Parangal sa Edukasyon Para sa Guroawardee and Master Teacher II of Santo Niño SPED Center, Tacloban City; Sol Balbero, Executive Director of Kanlungan saEr-Ma, an institution that serves as refuge to the street children of Ermita and Malate; Nadine Angelica Casiño, founder of the Modern Nanays of Mindanao in Cagayan de Oro, an organization that advocates helping mothers in making informed decisions on childcare; Charleanne Jandic, a medical intern at the Chinese General Hospital, whose quick thinking and skill saved a woman from permanently losing an arm during the unfortunate accident at the MRT-3; SPO3 Esnairah Lucman, a hijab trooper and a member of the women contingent of Marawi; and Baby Nebrida, screenwriter and award-winning filmmaker.

Also honored were Catherine Brillantes-Turvill, founder of Nurture Wellness Village, a pioneer in the spa and wellness industry and author; and Dr. Mina Gabor, the first woman secretary of DOT, who initiated projects such as the PH Travel Mart, PaskuhanVillage, and Vigan Tourism Village and Chairman of the International School of Sustainable Tourism.

Miss USA Kara McCullough presents a creation by Filipino designer Renee Salud during a gala show with Miss Universe 2017 participants as models at the Sofitel Tent on December 9, 2017. The event was organized by the Philippine Department of Tourism. Photo by Miguel de Guzman/Philstar.

Tourism roadshow
In a DOT press conference held on Monday, December 4, Secretary Teo announced that the four-day visit of the Miss Universe title holders and candidates was part of their marketing strategy to further boost the country’s tourist arrivals.

During that press conference, Teo said, “When the Miss Universe Organization reached out to us to bring in the girls, we have spefically requested to bring in the candidates from our emerging destinations such as Russia, Netherlands, India, Italy, Spain, and Canada and contestants from our key market such as the United States, South Korea, Malaysia, China, Great Britain, and Singapore.”

The Miss Universe beauties started arriving on Tuesday, December 5, kicking off with a tour in Intramuros and Rizal Park on December 6. On Friday, the ladies took part in fashion show organized by the Miss Universe Organization.

Miss Universe-Philippines Rachel Peters (in photo, left) and other Miss Universe 2017 candidates present clothes by Filipino designer Renee Salud at the Philippine Tapestry Fashion Show at Sofitel Manila December 9, 2017. Photo by Miguel de Guzman/Philstar.

On Friday, December 8, the ladies were divided into three teams to visit three destinations. Miss Universe 2017 Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters joined her team in Batanes, while Rachel Peters visited Bohol with Miss Russia and Miss Malaysia. Miss Universe 2016 Iris Mittenaere got to see Camiguin with the other women.

On Saturday, the Women of Significance Award was held along with the charity fashion show. The ladies left the Philippines on Sunday.

The Miss Universe tour is also part of DOT’s campaign to push its Bring Home a Friend (BHAF) project that aims to give incentives by encouraging Filipinos to invite their foreign friends to explore the Philippines.

Secretary Teo mentioned that the Miss Universe 2016 staging in the country contributed to the 11 percent increase in tourist arrivals from January to August 2017.