Julia Morley: “After 2015 the Road is Clear for the Philippines to Host Miss World”!

I was most eager to attend yesterday’s (Feb 9, 2013) Press Conference of Miss World 2012 Wenxia Yu, not just to meet the Chinese beauty queen but to finally shake hands with the legendary Julia Morley, the founder of the Miss World beauty pageant. I did not know quite what to expect – some have demonized her while others have put her on a pedestal. So I just tried keep an open mind and get to know her as much as I could during the conference.

When Julia came in, Cory Quirino, the franchise holder of Miss World in the Philippines introduced me to her and said that I was a former beauty queen. I quickly added with a laugh, “a beauty queen from the opposite camp!” Julia laughed at that too but then became serious and said, “we are together in this so there’s no such thing as an opposite girl!”

If our meeting was videotaped, THAT would have made an excellent soundbite!

Of course, the biggest question on my mind was not really for the reigning Miss World; it was for Julia Morley – WHEN WILL THE PHILIPPINES HOST THE MISS WORLD BEAUTY PAGEANT? This also happens to be the burning question of nearly all serious Pinoy pageant fans. So when someone finally asked it, this is what she said:

“It would be a dream to hold the Miss World in the Philippines and we are looking at your country as a possible host. This year, as you know, it will be held in Jakarta and Bali in Indonesia. However after 2015 the road is clear for the Philippines.”

At this point, Cory Quirino jumped in.

“You know, when I got the Miss World franchise for the Philippines in 2011, I announced then that I will go for the Big Dream – for the Miss World to be hosted here. But we need to get support from the government. I have studied the tourism effect of Miss World and every country that hosts the pageant enjoys a 100% increase in tourism, sometimes even more! It will definitely benefit the government and the Philippines to host Miss World. I have already made a presentation to Tourism Secretary Mon Jimenez so he knows what is needed. I’m just waiting for his word.”

What this blogger knows, it that it costs $10 M for a country to host the Miss World. Im not sure if that’s the exact figure but I have no doubts that the fee is steep.

Now the question is not really if we can afford it, but is the government willing to spend that much money on a beauty pageant. Will it really be worth it as a Tourism investment?

Of course, pageant fans will always have their own theories as to why Julia Morley is in town. Cory Quirino herself said the visit was sudden and unexpected.

My opinion? Something could indeed be brewing if Julia Morley plucked Miss World 2013, who is Chinese, to celebrate such an important holiday in Manila. You’d think that China would be THE place to be during the Chinese New Year. But what exactly could be brewing? Could it mean that negotiations are starting for MW to be held here after 2015? We can only keep guessing! But Cory Quirino says she will continue to move worlds just to bring the Miss World Beauty Pageant to Manila!