While locals may have seen the last of the annual Ms. Cebu pageant (at least for next year), the general public still has good reason to cheer as Cebu is due to host the Ms. Universe 2016 swimsuit competition on January 17, 2017 at the JPark Island Resort and Waterpark.
This surprising bit of news was revealed in a press gathering hosted by the resort in Mactan Island as top JPark officials, led by chair and president Justin Uy, expressed delight and confidence in Cebu’s capabilities in hosting the swimsuit event.
“This is our chance to showcase Cebu as a premiere tourist destination. We have partnered with other local government units, the Department of Tourism, and some government offices. We encourage more business entities to help sponsor the event for our beloved Cebu,” Uy declared.
He added that JPark is hosting the event for a 10-hour period, which starts off with the “Cebu Festive Lunch.” Among the local delicacies to be served are lechon (roasted pig), danggit (dried fish), chicharon, chorizo, and dried mangoes.
Other events for the day would include a general assembly, a gala dinner with fashion show, site visits, and a post-party event. To clarify matters, the event is only a presentation, not selection nor coronation of the winning candidate.
Arthur Lo, JPark corporate liaison officer, said nearly half the candidates would stay overnight in Cebu, while the rest would visit Davao, Manila, and Ilocos. Ticketed events, including room rates and packages, have yet to be finalized as of press time.
He added that only private funds are being used for the event, crediting Tourism Secretary Wanda Teo, former Ilocos Gov. Chavit Singson and his daughter, as the main reasons why Cebu was chosen to host the swimsuit event.
“For our part, our initial investment will exceed over US$1 million, to be spent for renovating the facilities, gathering the logistics, manpower, etc. But we are willing to spend since we have the best facilities in Mactan. Our staff is also eager to help and volunteer,” Lo added.
Uy furthered that they aim to showcase Cebu’s best side to the world, as a tourist investment destination with lots of fun activities and remarkable attractions.
Formerly named Imperial Palace Resort and Waterpark, J Park has adapted its present name upon the entry of Uy and his new resort management team two years ago.
By RICHARD RAMOS