Tug-of-war over Miss Universe Philippines franchise

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Will the Miss Universe Philippines stay with Bb Pilipinas, or will Chavit Singson take over? Photos by Drew Francisco
UPDATE: Former Ilocos Sur governor Luis Chavit Singson on January 14 said he is “yet to accept” the offer to hold the Miss Universe Philippines franchise.
In an interview with Inquirer.net, he said “Miss Universe offered it to me before the event in Thailand last year but did not accept it yet because it might be an additional work load for my company.”
Singson added he is willing to extend his help to Bb Pilipinas Charities, Inc who has held the Miss Universe Philippines franchise for more than half a century. “I heard about the issue of Madam Stella (Marquez) Araneta. No problem with me. I can always extend my help to her.”
In an interview with The Philippine Star’s Wilson Lee Flores published January 13, Singson said he has already acquired the franchise. “True, the franchise is already with me, but it has not yet been announced.”
“‘Binibining Pilipinas Universe’ will be replaced with ‘Miss Universe Philippines’. Noon pa binibigay sa akin ‘yan (It was being offered to me since before), because I’ve been helping them since 2016,” added Singson, who led the hosting of the 65th Miss Universe competition in the Philippines in January 2017.
Former Ilocos Sur governor Chavit Singson with Miss Universe Organization president Paula Shugart during the 65th Miss Universe red carpet
Former Ilocos Sur governor Chavit Singson with Miss Universe Organization president Paula Shugart during the 65th Miss Universe red carpet
This came just more than a week after Bb Pilipinas Charities Inc (BPCI) chairperson Stella Marquez Araneta told reporters in an ambush interview that the franchise is still with the country’s premier national pageant.
“Well, it’s still with us. If some people say something else, let them talk about it,” Araneta said in January 3.
The BPCI has had the franchise since 1964 and has produced four Miss Universe winners: Gloria Diaz (1969), Margarita Moran (1973), Pia Wurtzbach (2015), and Catriona Gray (2018).
Stella Marquez Araneta (right) with Shugart and Miss Universe 2013 Gabriela Isler at a press conference in Manila on March 2014
Stella Marquez Araneta (right) with Shugart and Miss Universe 2013 Gabriela Isler at a press conference in Manila on March 2014
With the seeming tug-of-war over the franchise, only a confirmation from the Miss Universe Organization can put an end to all the speculations.
“I think it shall be formally announced this January or February, when Catriona comes back again to the Philippines,” Singson said. Missosology.Org