Cebu hosts Mrs. Uni­verse 2018

The Freeman - - FRONT PAGE - By KARLA RULE Pho­tos by JOY TORREJOS

Some might think that once a woman mar­ries, a num­ber of doors close down. But that’s not the case for Mrs. Uni­verse, as mar­ried women from all over the world take cen­ter stage in an at­tempt to add an­other feather to their al­ready col­or­ful caps.

Mrs. Uni­verse Ltd. awards the most hon­or­able mar­ried woman. Open to mar­ried women be­tween 25 to 45 years old, the even­tual win­ner must have a fam­ily, their own ca­reer and in­volved in a sig­nif­i­cant cause in fa­vor of oth­ers. It high­lights the role of a woman in the fam­ily and the com­mu­nity. It looks for a ma­ture and ac­com­plished woman who has grown in­de­pen­dent, has built their own fam­i­lies, and who uses their skill and beauty for a much big­ger cause.

Apart from kick­ing ass in their ca­reers, run­ning a house­hold, tak­ing care of their fam­ily, and mind­ing the com­mu­nity, the 88 can­di­dates of Mrs. Uni­verse 2018 are proof that mar­riage doesn’t nec­es­sar­ily mean be­ing tied down.

The search for this year’s Mrs. Uni­verse search is even made more spe­cial for the Philip­pines, with Cebu tak­ing the honor of host­ing the in­ter­na­tional tilt.

Mrs. Uni­verse Philip­pines 2017 and fran­chise holder Mar­ilou Tolico-Vil­lanueva, who hails from Car­car City, prom­ises that the com­pe­ti­tion is more than just looks – stay­ing true to the Mrs. Uni­verse belief that phys­i­cal beauty is only one of the many fac­tors that make up the al­lure of a per­son.

“We are re­brand­ing pageantry. It’s not just about do­ing a show, do­ing a strut,” Vil­lanueva be­gins. “We want peo­ple to re­ally re­mem­ber that this is a legacy. This is a plat­form that func­tions with four ma­jor cam­paigns: anti-bul­ly­ing, an­tipoverty, anti-do­mes­tic vi­o­lence and for gen­der equal­ity, as well as anti-hu­man ex­ploita­tion and traf­fick­ing.”

In their first pub­lic ap­pear­ance at the Chateau By The Sea in Lapu-Lapu City, the 88 del­e­gates of Mrs. Uni­verse 2018 boasted of the di­ver­sity and beauty of women from all over the world. Ap­pointed by Vil­lanueva her­self, Beau Sing­son is this year’s Philip­pines bet (the coun­try’s bet for next year’s edi­tion is ac­tress Pa­tri­cia Javier). Each one with sto­ries to tell, these women will com­pete for the Mrs. Uni­verse crown from Dec. 4 to Dec. 10 in a se­ries of events meant to high­light their pur­pose, ini­tia­tive and in­tent.

After their ar­rival on Dec. 4, the del­e­gates went on a Her­itage Tour around Cebu City the next day, vis­it­ing lo­ca­tions like Fort San Pe­dro, Santo Niño Church and Par­ian. They will also be tak­ing part in a fash­ion show at SM Sea­side City Cebu to­day, and the Pa­rade of Na­tions and Tal­ents Night on the same venue the next day.

Vil­lanueva shares that while the Mrs. Uni­verse char­ity project has al­ways been to build women’s shel­ters in In­dia, one of the events this year is to visit or­phaned chil­dren and vic­tims of do­mes­tic vi­o­lence in Cebu.

But the af­fair with the most bear­ing will be the Mrs. Uni­verse fo­rum held yes­ter­day at Bai Ho­tel. These served as a pre-judg­ing event where the del­e­gates each de­liv­ered a three-minute pre­sen­ta­tion about the pro­jects they have in mind and the so­lu­tions they could of­fer about an is­sue they would like to ad­dress.

With the theme “Em­pow­ered Queens, Lead­ing Paths to a Bet­ter Fu­ture,” the Mrs. Uni­verse 2018 corona­tion will be held on Dec. 10 at the Water­front Cebu City Ho­tel and Casino. The 88 will be short­listed into 25, and from there, the top five win­ners will be cho­sen.

On their first day on the job the next day, the win­ners will be­gin their guest­ings and ex­po­sures as well as party with the whole del­e­ga­tion be­fore every­one de­parts on Dec. 12.

Asked why they chose Cebu as host city, Vil­lanueva says that they have ob­served Cebu’s growth through­out the years and have seen it as a cen­ter for many things not only in the Visayas re­gion, but in the en­tire Philip­pines.

“I want Cebu to be the show win­dow of the Philip­pines. This is an in­vest­ment hub, we have our tourism, beaches, and tourist spots, as well as ed­u­ca­tion and med­i­cal tourism.”

In her first year of di­rec­tor­ship, Vil­lanueva, founder of Philip­pine Hon­or­able Queens, says that host­ing Mrs. Uni­verse in the coun­try came as un­ex­pected news. She feels happy and is thank­ful for the sup­port of Ce­buanos and the gov­ern­ment.

Mrs. Uni­verse 2018 can­di­dates pose in their swimwear dur­ing a Press Pre­sen­ta­tion at Chateau by the Sea in Lapu-Lapu City.

The can­di­dates will par­tic­i­pate in a fash­ion show to­day at SM Sea­side City Cebu.

Beau Sing­son, Philip­pine bet at this year's Mrs. Uni­verse

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