TACLOBAN CITY– The 38 candidates for this year’s Miss Universe Philippines (MUP) will be coming to Leyte and Samar as part of the contest venue.
The candidates, three of them are from the region, arrived in the city on Monday(May 1), for several activities with the staging of the national costume competition to be held at the HRDC gym of the Leyte Normal University on May 4 as the highlight of the visit.
The three candidates from the region who are vying for the prestigious title are Airish Ramos of Eastern Samar; Layla Adriatico of Northern Samar; and Kimberly Escartin of Southern Leyte.
Karina Rosa Tiopes, the regional director of the Department of Tourism, said the visit of these candidates will not only help boost the tourism destinations not just of the chosen areas but the rest of Eastern Visayas as well.
“This will give us the opportunity to promote various destinations of the region, show our culture, our local products, (and) even the food that we serve. This will provide good mileage for Eastern Visayas and Eastern Visayans themselves,” she said enthusiastically.
“This is an indication that Eastern Visayas is now being heard. That what they usually read in papers, see on the internet, especially when they read about Samar Island, the connotation is always negative, typhoon, insurgency, poverty, but we know what is the reality; that we live a life that is relatively peaceful and secured,” Tiopes said.
Among the areas to be visited by the 38 candidates are the Kalanggaman Island in Palompon; Sohoton and Sa-ob Cave, and the St Michael the Archangel Church, all in Basey; Caluwayan Resort in Marabut; Tacloban City and the McArthur Park in Pal; and Sta. Fe town in Leyte.
Consideration in selecting the sites like Kalanggaman Island and Sohoton Cave for the candidates to visit was their popularity among visitors, and being tourists ready, and accessibility.
Sta. Fe although has no tourist destination was chosen because of its vast rice fields which will be used as a backdrop for the national costume photoshoot.
Sta. Fe is one of the top rice-producing towns in Leyte. As of this time, most farmers in the municipality are still harvesting which was one of the considerations why the municipality was chosen as the venue for the photoshoot of MUPh which theme this year is “Ani” or harvest.
The team assigned to do the ocular checked several places in Leyte to choose the best site for the photo shoot and they selected Sta. Fe because the area is spacious and it’s very accessible.
“The most important thing is on the day that they will have their photoshoot is the best time for that activity. The scenery will be perfect and it will give justice to their theme,” Tiopes disclosed.
Meantime, Samar Tourism Officer Marvin Piczon said that visit of the candidates to Basey and Marabut will really bring positive impacts to the two destinations.
“Their visit to Samar next week will help in introducing the province to those who have not yet heard nor visited our place to know more about Samar’s tourism,” he said.
(ROEL T. AMAZONA)