Miss Universe beauty pageant kicks off in Manila

MANILA - More than 86 women from all over the world gathered in Manila on Thursday to compete in the Miss Universe beauty contest that will culminate in a coronation in the Philippines capital on Monday.

Crowds packed the Mall of Asia Arena as each candidate showcased her swimsuits, evening gowns and national costumes in front of the judges.

The preliminary competition that started on Thursday will whittle down the crowded field to the top 12 candidates for the pageant night, the Miss Universe website said.

"The whole world is being united, and even though we don't know each other, we still enjoy the event," said Apple Natividad, one of the many spectators who attended the show.

 

Miss Universe beauty pageant kicks off in Manila

  • More than 86 women from all over the world gathered in Manila on Thursday to compete in the Miss Universe beauty contest that will culminate in a coronation in the Philippines capital on Monday.
  • Crowds packed the Mall of Asia Arena as each candidate showcased her swimsuits, evening gowns and national costumes in front of the judges.
  • The preliminary competition that started on Thursday will whittle down the crowded field to the top 12 candidates for the pageant night, the Miss Universe website said.
  • "The whole world is being united, and even though we don't know each other, we still enjoy the event," said Apple Natividad, one of the many spectators who attended the show.
  • Miss Universe candidate from U.S. Virgin Islands, Carolyn Carter, competes during a national costume preliminary competition.
  • Miss Universe candidate from Venezuela, Mariam Habach, competes during a national costume preliminary competition.
  • Miss Universe candidate from Siera Leone, Hawa Kamara, competes during a national costume preliminary competition.
  • Miss Universe candidate from Sweden, Ida Ovmar, competes during a national costume preliminary competition.
  • Miss Universe candidate from Puerto Rico, Brenda Jimenez, competes during a national costume preliminary competition.
  • Miss Universe candidate from Nicaragua, Marina Jacoby, competes during a national costume preliminary competition.
  • Miss Universe candidate from Panama, Keity Drennan, competes during a national costume preliminary competition.
  • Miss Universe candidate from Portugal, Flavia Brito, competes during a national costume preliminary competition.
  • Miss Universe candidate from Colombi,a Andrea Tovar, competes during a national costume preliminary competition.
  • Miss Universe candidate from Vietnam, Le Hang, competes during a national costume preliminary competition.
  • Miss Universe candidate from Dominican Republic, Sal Garcia, competes during a national costume preliminary competition.
  • Miss Universe candidate from France, Iris Mittenaere, competes during a national costume preliminary competition.
  • Miss Universe candidate from Germany, Johanna Acs, competes during a national costume preliminary competition.
  • Miss Universe candidate from Guyana, Soyini Fraser, competes during a national costume preliminary competition.
  • Miss Universe candidate from Myanmar, Htet Htet Htun, wears a costume depicting "Burmese Puppetry" as she competes during a national costume preliminary competition.
  • Miss Universe candidate from China, Li Zhen Ying, competes during a national costume preliminary competition.
  • Miss Universe contestant Antonella Moscatelli of Bolivia presents during the national costume and preliminary competition of the Miss Universe pageant at the Mall of Asia arena in Manila.
  • Miss Universe contestant Noelia Feire of Spain presents during the national costume and preliminary competition of the Miss Universe pageant at the Mall of Asia arena in Manila.
  • Miss Universe candidates listen to an instructor as they take part in a rehearsal for the upcoming beauty pageant on January 30 in Manila, Philippines January 24, 2017.
  • Miss Universe candidates listen to a briefing from an instructor during a rehearsal for the upcoming beauty pageant on January 30 in Manila, Philippines January 24, 2017.
  • Miss Universe candidates take part in a rehearsal for the upcoming beauty pageant.
  • Miss Universe candidates take part in a rehearsal for the upcoming beauty pageant.
  • Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte and Philippine Tourism Secretary Wanda Teo (12th R) pose with Miss Universe candidates at the presidential palace in Manila, Philippines January 23, 2017.
  • Philippine Tourism Secretary Wanda Teo (2nd-R) and Miss Universe candidate from Belize Rebecca Rath look at Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte as other candidates pose for photographers at the presidential palace in Manila, Philippines January 23, 2017.
  • Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte and Philippine Tourism Secretary Wanda Teo (7th R) pose with Miss Universe candidates at the presidential palace.
  • Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte and Philippine Tourism secretary Wanda Teo (5th R) pose with Miss Universe candidates at the presidential palace.
  • Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte and Philippine Tourism Secretary Wanda Teo (7th R) pose with Miss Universe candidates at the presidential palace.
  • Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte looks at Miss Universe candidates at the presidential palace in Manila.
  • Miss Universe candidate Carolina Duran from Costa Rica poses while onboard a yacht before going to a beach resort in Manila, Philippines January 19, 2017.
  • Filipino politician Luis "Chavit" Singson poses with Miss Universe candidates aboard his yacht before going to a beach resort in Manila, Philippines January 19, 2017.
  • Miss Universe candidates Johanna Acs from Germany and Keitty Drennan from Panama use their mobile phones to take pictures while onboard a yacht before going to a beach resort in Manila, Philippines January 19, 2017.
  • Miss Universe candidate Flavia Brito from Portugal poses while onboard a yacht before going to a beach resort in Manila.
  • Miss Universe candidates pose for photographers while onboard a yacht before going to a beach resort in Manila.
  • Miss Universe candidates pose for photographers while onboard a yacht before going to a beach resort in Manila.
  • Miss Universe candidates blow kisses to photographers while onboard a yacht before going to a beach resort in Manila.
  • Miss Universe contestant Carolyn Carter of the U.S. Virgin Islands is greeted by cadets of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) while Miss Norway Christina Waage disembarks from the plane, during their arrival at the airport in Baguio city, north of Manila, Philippines January 18, 2017.
  • Miss Universe contestant Caris Tiivel of Australia is greeed by cadets of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) during her arrival at the airport in Baguio city, north of Manila, Philippines January 18, 2017.
  • Miss Universe contestants wave to the crowd while onboard a float during their arrival and parade in Baguio city, north of Manila, Philippines January 18, 2017. Pictured are (from left): Sari Nakazawa, Miss Japan, Christina Waage, Miss Norway, Muneka Joy Cruz Taisipic, Miss Guam, Siera Bearchell, Miss Canada and Carolyn Carter, Miss U.S. Virgin Islands.

Some even dressed like Miss Universe candidates to join the fanfare.

"This is a venue for beauty, but also the beauty of the heart, especially for us Filipinos who are fanatics for pageants," said Rania Ziateh, who wore a Miss Philippines sash.

Over half a million people are expected to tune in to watch the coronation night next week, organizers said.

Filipina beauty queen Pia Wurtzbach currently holds the Miss Universe crown from 2015.