In a press conference on Thursday, November 3, Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary Wanda Teo announced that the coronation night of the next edition of Miss Universe will be held at the SM Mall of Asia Arena on January 30, 2017.
"The announcement was made amid rumors that the upcoming pageant will be cancelled, and a petition to reconsider holding it in the Philippines," notes ABS-CBN News.
Teo was quoted as saying, "After all that’s been said and done, I happily welcome on behalf of the DOT the latest announcement of the Miss Universe Organization through Pia Wurtzbach that finally the Philippines will indeed play host to the much awaited 2016 Miss Universe pageant."
Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach also offically announced the news via a Facebook video post on her mentor Jonas Gaffud's page, saying: "Mabuhay! I'm so excited to share with you all that, yes, the Miss Universe competition is indeed happening in the Philippines. And I can't wait to show you all my beautiful country!"
Teo added, "This is one proud moment for all of us Filipinos to be a witness to the reigning Miss Universe Pia Wurtzbach of Cagayan de Oro as she takes her final walk and passes her crown in her home country, the Philippines."
The Miss Universe pageant has been held in the country twice before—in 1974 and 1994.
The Philippines is represented by Maxine Medina, a 25-year-old interior designer and model, in the latest installment of the pageant.