MANILA-- The 'most beautiful day in the Universe' has finally arrived today in the Philippines, with Miss France Iris Mittenaere crowned Miss Universe 2016.
Miss Haiti Raquel Pelissier placed second (first runner up), while Miss Colombia Andrea Tovar clinched the third spot (second runner up).
Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary Wanda Corazon Teo, who was present at the competition, was quick to congratulate Mittenaere for winning the most prestigious tilt, claiming that her victory is also a triumph for the Philippines.
"On behalf of the Filipino people, I congratulate Miss France for bagging the Miss Universe crown from 85 other candidates from around the world. Her win is our success as the host nation," the tourism chief said.
"We join the millions of people watching from more than 190 countries worldwide in celebration over Miss Mittenaere's success. And we are very proud and grateful that the Philippines became an important part in her journey to the Miss Universe crown," Teo added.
She is confident all the hard work that went into the staging of the 65th Miss Universe competition in the Philippines will boost the country's bid to attract more tourists to visit the many different destinations featured at the competition.
"The Philippines is the runaway winner in this prestigious international event. Our islands, food, and the biggest smiles of our people are all over the news and social media these past few weeks. The world now knows how beautiful our islands are, how delectable our cuisines are, and how friendly and warm Filipinos are - just ask the Miss Universe candidates themselves," Teo expounded, recalling the diverse travel itinerary of this year's candidates had, from Boracay's party island to the cool highlands of Baguio, to the historical town of Vigan, the colorful tapestry of Mindanao in Davao City, and to the exciting multifaceted Manila.
"What you saw during your brief stay - some of top destinations, festivals, our "balut", our Bohol Chocolate Hills - these are just a glimpse of what our 7,107 islands can offer. So today, I invite the world, come to the Philippines so you can affirm that when you are with Filipinos, you are with family," the tourism chief remarked.
With the support of President Rodrigo Duterte, the DOT tapped the support and assistance of other government agencies, along with the pageant organizers and private partners, to deliver what ought to be the "most memorable and beautiful Miss Universe edition ever."
The 65th Miss Universe was made possible with the collective effort of the DOT, the Miss Universe Organization, LCS Group headed by Gov. Chavit Singson and Architect Richelle Singson Michelle, in partnership with Okada Manila, SM Group of Companies, and Solar Entertainment Corporation, its broadcast partner. (PNA)
Source: Philippines News Agency