Try as hard as the country is doing, there is just no hiding that the pandemic has ravaged the regular routines, and the new normal remains the only normal for many. The Miss Universe Philippines Organization has been battered by one obstacle after another in holding their 2021 edition of the beauty pageant to select the Filipina contender for the Miss Universe competition this coming December. Already the delays reached the point where a candidate withdrew due to health issues (thankfully not COVID). But with new cases still reaching record highs, the pageant’s September 25 schedule is deferred once more.
CNN Philippines has it that the 2021 Miss Universe Philippines pageant scheduled for this coming Saturday will not happen, again. The organizers announced this new setback on Sunday, September 19. A new date for the coronation night will be announced, after the MUPO hashes out new details with the COVID Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) regarding “enhanced plans” for the event to prevent the spread of pandemic when and where it would be held. This latest postponement of the beleaguered competition was only punctuated that same Sunday by the withdrawal of Miss Davao City Ybonne Ortega. The reason: she got COVID-19.
Ortega had a lot to say about herself, the pageant and other matters when she wrote her lengthy Instagram post on September 19. Apparently she tested positive for the virus before getting together with the Miss Universe PH production and her fellow candidates. Ybonne also remarked on the struggle to stay positive even when negative naysayers bring her down. “Despite this short, but very exciting journey, I came across with so many people in different industries,” says Miss Davao City. “They had supported me in the most special ways from the beginning up until now. Your efforts are immensely treasured.”
Questions were raised when Ortega failed to arrive at Clark Hilton Hotel for the MUPh candidate’s lock-in prior to pageant night, which started a week ago. Also a no-show then was the candidate for Davao Occidental, Krizzaleen Mae Valencia. Given that the delays of the original coronation night schedules were an insistence that the pageant be held in Metro Manila, reports that the organizers led by National Director Shamcey Supsup-Lee were at Clark International Airport recently has led to speculation that the facility may be under consideration as an alternative venue. Nothing has been confirmed.
All that is known is, whenever Miss Universe Philippines 2021 kicks off, it will be broadcast-streamed by ABS-CBN on KTX.ph.
Image from Philippine Star