MANILA, PHILIPPINES (Reuters) – Miss Universe candidates paid a courtesy call to Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte at the Malacanang Palace on Monday (January 23) ahead of their upcoming competition in Manila.
Over 86 candidates are in the capital to participate in the beauty contest, which will culminate in a coronation night on January 30.
“More than presenting beauty and brains, the Miss Universe competition, or any beauty contestant for that matter, is an opportunity for you to represent your country, to promote your advocacy and to advance women empowerment to a greater audience,” he said.
Last week, about 30 of the candidates took part in a charity event and packed meals for underprivileged women.
Apart from scheduled photoshoots and fashion shows, the candidates are travelling around the Philippines and attending similar charity-related activities during their visit.