TACLOBAN CITY– Former Miss Universe and national director of the Miss Universe Philippines Shamcey Supsup Lee graced the launching of the MU-PH Leyte on Sunday (June 25) which will be responsible for conducting a province wide search whose winner will be Leyte’s official candidate for the said beauty pageant.

Lee, who placed third runner-up during the 2011 Miss Universe, said that she is happy that there is now an organization in Leyte that will be responsible for sending a candidate at the national level.

The B creative productions was given the right to stage the Miss Universe Philippines Leyte which the organizer hopes to conduct in September of this year.

According to the beauty queen, with the holding of a provincewide search, local girls who aspire to join the Miss Universe Philippines need not go to Manila.

She noted that joining a national beauty pageant like the Miss Universe Philippines need not only courage but also resources considering the huge cost it entails.

“It takes a lot of courage and resources to come to Manila just to join the Miss Universe Philippines and it’s very intimidating,” she said in a press conference held in one of the hotels here.

“(With the holding of the Miss Universe Philippines Leyte), this will help them realize their dreams to become a candidate for the Miss Universe Philippines,” she added.

And this is the very purpose why they have decided to come up with a provincewide search, Clarito Logronio, whose group was awarded as the franchise holder of the prestigious beauty competition, said in the same press conference.

“We will help our candidates all the way,” he said.

Logronio added that the search could also help promote Leyte’s tourism industry at the national level with the candidate carrying the name of Leyte.

According to him, aside from the cash prize, the winner will have the distinction of representing Leyte at the said national beauty pageant.

A candidate who did not win the Leyte-based pageant would not be allowed to join the Miss Philippines-Universe at the national.

However, a candidate who is not from Leyte but traces her roots to the province would be allowed to join the contest.

Those who are eligible to join the beauty pageant are those aged 18 up to 26, mothers and transgenders.

The launching of the Miss Universe Philippines Leyte came on the heels of the holding of several local beauty pageants in Leyte.

On Saturday night, the Miss Tacloban beauty search was held with the 23-year old Angela Bucu besting 14 other candidates during the coronation held at the Tacloban City Astrodome.

In Ormoc City, Shaana Morata, 19, was crowned as this year’s Miss Ormoc, defeating 19 other candidates during the pageant night held on Friday (June 23).

The holding of the beauty pageants was among the highlights as the Tacloban and Ormoc are to mark their annual city fiesta on June 30 and 29, respectively.