Miss Universe 2016: Notes from the VIP section (Part 2)
Posted on

I am not a morning person, so getting up at 4:30 AM is a huge effort to me.
We left Pasig at 6 AM with enought time to buy Jollibee corned beef which we ate in the car. Yum!! I did not want to starve during the three-hour show.
We arrived at MOA Arena at 7 AM and met Rizel of M.A.C who gave us the VIP tickets. Wow! I did not expect our seats to be this good! This seat is worth Php 50,000.


I was at the same row as designer Michael Cinco, who did Pia Wurzbach’s blue ball gown

Michael Cinco
Michael Cinco (in shades)

Pia Wurtzbach
Miss Universe 2015, Pia Wurtzbach wearing Michael Cinco (Photo: TAMMY DAVID)

Behind Mr. Cinco was Osmel Sousa, president of the Miss Venezuela Organization, which has produced the most number of international title holders in the world.

Osmel Sousa

He is practically a legend! I learned about him from the new Netflix docu, To Be a Miss, which shows how a pageant-obsessed country produces beauty queens.
Mr. Sousa was super nice and accommodating to picture takers. There is no truth to the rumor that he walked out when Miss Venezuela was eliminated…

In front of Michael Cinco was Pia Wurtzbach’s boyfriend, the child-like, Marlon Stockinger

Marlon Stockinger

Behind us was President Duterte’s Chief Legal Counsel, Atty. Salvador Panelo.

Atty. Salvador Panelo

Right in front of me was gazillionaire Lucio Tan, who left before the show ended.
Now you see him,

Lucio Tan

Now you don’t.

Lucio Tan left

And all around us were just tons of gays and AFAMS from all over the world. Fun!!


(To be continued)

Miss Universe 2016: Notes from the VIP section (Part 1)
Posted on

When I was young I got to watch Bb. Pilipinas live at the Araneta Coliseum. I remember it being so much fun, with all the gays and fans screaming—I wanted to experience it again.
What better way to do it than to watch Miss Universe in Manila?
But I wasn’t willing to pay these ticket prices.

Miss Universe ticket prices

Gov. Chavit Singson spent more than US$12.5 million to stage it here, and I heard he lost money.
If Mr. Singson can’t make money of it, nobody in their right mind will do it again. Therefore, it’s our last chance.

But somehow the universe heard me. The day before the coronation night, I got a text from Vanessa Vergara of M.A.C—official makeup sponsor of Miss Universe 2016—that she had two VIP tickets for me!! I was over the moon!
I decided to bring Dinna, who has been covering the preliminaries for Smart Communications, but had no ticket to the main event.
With an on-air time of 8 AM, that meant we should be at Mall of Asia Arena by 7 AM.
That means leaving the house at 6 AM and getting up at 4:30 AM to get dressed.

Here’s why I believe Mr. Singson lost money. I heard they were scrambling for funds days before the event—even calling mayors’ offices for sponsorship.
Candidates were sent out to minor sponsors to hawk strange products that have nothing to do with beauty—anything to raise more funds. I also heard the candidates were dead tired from all the extracurricular activities, such as hawking Ligo sardines.

Miss Universe x Ligo

I really felt bad for them, not to mention, embarrassed. I had a flashback to my childhood in the’70s when Joe Quirino gave Family rubbing alcohol to Gina Lollobrigida. I was scarred for life, but I digress…

(To be continued)