DAVAO CITY – There’s trouble in the Miss Universe pageant, the most prestigious beauty contest promoting world peace.
The Department of Tourism on Wednesday announced the cancellation of a scheduled fashion show of the Miss Universe candidates here in early 2017.
This after the Davao Fashion and Design Council (DFDC) issued a statement saying it was insulted that local designers were not tapped to dress up the candidates.
The Miss Universe organizing committee in the country had chosen Manila-based designer Renee Salud to dress the candidates in the scheduled fashion show on January 19.
Aztec Barba, president of the DFDC, told the Philippine Daily Inquirer that they only wanted to be part of the event to showcase the works of Mindanao designers.
“I think we deserve that,” Barba said, adding that local designers, including non-DFDC members, were ready to do their part.
But Tourism Undersecretary Katherine de Castro on Wednesday said she decided to cancel the side event “to prevent controversies that may arise from the statement made by local designers of Davao City.”
Barba said he had talked to De Castro before the latter made the announcement on Wednesday.
“To be fair, Undersecretary De Castro informed me before she made the announcement,” Barba said.
Still, Barba said, he was surprised by the decision.
“They did not even negotiate with us,” he said.
Barba said they respected the decision to cancel the show, but insisted that the “Davao visit of the Miss Universe candidates should push through even without the cultural show event.”
“The candidates should not be deprived of the experience and distinct hospitality of Dabawenyos,” the DFDC said. SFM/rga
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