Miss Universe breaks away from Binibining Pilipinas

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    AFTER 56 long years of being the licensee of the Miss Universe Pageant in the Philippines, the Binibining Pilipinas Charities, Inc. (BPCI) is no longer the organization in charge of sending the Philippines’ delegates to the revered beauty pageant that began as a swimsuit competition in Long Beach, California in 1952.

    On Monday, right after the conclusion of the 68th Miss Universe finals in Atlanta, Georgia, the Miss Universe Organization (MUO) issued this official statement:

    “The Miss Universe Organization expresses its heartfelt gratitude to the Araneta Group and Binibining Pilipinas Charities, Inc. for their more than 50 years of stewardship of the Miss Universe brand and franchise in the Philippines.

    “Both organizations have made an indelible mark in the international pageant scene for celebrating the intelligence, beauty and grace of hundreds of Filipina queens, and for garnering several international titles through the years.

    For the record BPCI has produced four Miss Universe titleholders and a long list of runners-up, finalists as well as special award winners. MUO cited the solid foundation and enduring fundamentals of Philippine pageantry “because of the hard work and commitment of the Araneta Group and BPCI.

    “Today is a momentous occasion as the country and the Miss Universe Organization focus their collective gaze towards the future of pageantry. It is but fitting that the path to the future be led with vigor and a vision aligned with the transformative purpose of Miss Universe. The Miss Universe Organization is thrilled to announce its partnership with the Miss Universe Philippines Organization (MUPO), a fresh team that will lead the country towards its continued quest to share the beauty and grace of the Filipina to the rest of the world.

    Architect and Miss Universe 2011 third runner-up Shamcey Supsup-Lee is the new national director. She is joined by Albert Andrada as the design council head, Jonas Gaffud as creative director, Lia Ramos as head of Women Empowerment Committee and Charity, Atty. Nad Bronce as head of Legal Affairs, and Mario Garcia as business development/marketing head.

    “Rooted in the same strong foundations that have earned the country title after title in the past half century, the Miss Universe Philippines Organization is poised to bring the Miss Universe franchise to greater heights. More importantly, it is the continued support of the pageant fans and community that inspires the Miss Universe Organization to take this crucial step forward. With the Filipina at the center of it all, a bright and beautiful future lies ahead.”

    The first official press conference of Miss Universe Philippines will be held on Friday where details of the turnover as well as forthcoming events and activities for 2020 will be announced.

    Meanwhile, Supsup-Lee posted on social media: “I am honored with my new role for the organization that brought meaning to my life as a beauty queen and as a woman. I am more than blessed to be the National Director of Miss Universe Philippines. As I continue to grow, I understand that being an architect and an entrepreneur are facets that will form part of my core as we continue the projects of Miss Universe and create more opportunities for aspiring beauty queens in the future. Thank you for the trust and confidence in my capabilities as a strong and independent woman.”

    Supsup-Lee, now a 33-year-old mother of two, joins the list of Miss Universe alumna who are now national directors of their respective countries, among them Venezuela’s Gabriela Isler (Miss Universe 2013), Singapore’s Valerie Lim (Miss Universe Singapore 2011), Mexico’s Lupita Jones (Miss Universe 1991) and Puerto Rico’s Denise Quiñones (Miss Universe 2001).

    As we write, BPCI has yet to issue an official statement on the new developments.