BASCO, Batanes — Miss Universe 2017 Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters of South Africa and her court went island-hopping in Batanes, Camiguin and Bohol in separate groups Friday as part of their four-day visit in the country under the auspices of the Philippine Department of Tourism (DOT).
Tourism Secretary Wanda Tulfo-Teo said the trips to the island destinations will surely turn the world Miss Universe delegates into “tourist ambassadors” of the Philippines.
The Miss Universe and Miss Great Britain Anna Burdzy expressed delight in reaching Batanes.
Miss Universe Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters and Miss Great Britain Anna Burdzy are the first international Miss Universe contestants to visit Batanes.
Miss Universe Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters and Miss Great Britain Anna Burdzy share a light moment in front of the Yaru Gallery in Basco.
One of the places Miss Universe Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters and Miss Great Britain Anna Burdzy was the Basco Lighthouse.
Miss Universe Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters greets an excited crowd in Basco.
They were welcomed by Governor Marilou Cayco and Vice Governor Rolando Aguto and hundreds of schools kids and Ivatans, who braved the rains to get a glimpse of the Miss Universe delegates past them along street.
The group traversed the scenic Naidi Hills in Basco before dropping in on the Valugan Boulder Beach, noted for its incredible landscape and rock formations believed to have come from Mt. Iraya.
“Batanes is really breathtaking, very stunning. I am very happy to have visited this place. I can’t wait to share my photos on social media, I want to tell the world how beautiful this place is. I will definitely come back,” Nel-Peters said.
Nel-Peters said she is awed by simplicity amidst the breath-taking scenery of Batanes, including its cultural landmarks such as San Jose de Ivana Church, San Carlos Borromeo Church. They also posed for picture at the Basco lighthouse and bought some local delicacies and friendship bracelets at the Honestly Cafee.
“More than anything else, they will never forget the unique and genuine Filipino hospitality accorded to them,” Teo said.
In Camiguin Island, Governor Maria Luisa Romualdo hosted lunch at the Camiguin Airport for Lauren Howe (Canada), Nicky Opheij (Netherlands), Manuela Bruntraeger (Singapore), Maria Polverino (Italy), Shraddha Shashidhar (India), Sofia del Prado (Spain), Kára McCullough (USA) and Cho SeWhee (Korea) who arrived via Skyjet’s inaugural flight to the province.
They found time to pose for brief photo-shoot on the beach of Camiguin’s White Island and then visited Balai sa Baibai (house by the beach), where they were each given a sea glass necklace, handcrafted by the women of Agoho in the Camiguin town of Mambajao.
The Miss Universe delegation at the Guiob Church Ruins in Camiguin.
Miss India, Miss Spain, Miss Netherlands and Miss South Korea soak up the sun in White Island.
Still in Bohol island province, Bb. Pilipinas-Universe Rachel Peters played host to Miss Russia Kseniya Alexandrova and Miss Malaysia Samantha James.
They were treated to a festive street musical performances by a group of native Boholano dancers, and then soaked in the Bohol sun at the Bohol Beach Club before heading back to Manila Friday afternoon.
Miss Universe Philippines Rachel Peters accompanied Miss Russia and Miss Malaysia in Bohol.