Miss Universe pre-pageant extravaganza began with a splash on Saturday with at least 16 delegates getting their feet wet, frolicking in the water and trying their hand on dragon boat-rowing off Boracay Island, Malay, Aklan.
Hundreds of waving residents gave the Miss Universe entourage a rousing welcome at the Geodofredo Ramos Airport in Caticlan within an hour’s flight from Manila on Skyjet Airline and 15-minute Southwest speedboat ride to Shangri-la Boracay Resort & Spa.
Malay town officials, along with an Ati-Atihan dance group welcomed the delegates including Miss Argentina, Miss Australia, Miss Belize, Miss Chile, Miss Costa Rica, Miss Ecuador, Miss Guyana, Miss Malta, Miss Mexico, Miss Myanmar, Miss Namibia, Miss Nicaragua, Miss Poland, Miss Turkey, Miss US Virgin Island, and Miss Honduras.
“This is unbelievable! All these folks, young and old, turned out to welcome us,” cried Miss Australia Caris Tiivel in delight.
Miss Myanmar Htet Htet Htun said, “Boracay is even more exciting and meaningful. The people are very friendly and joyful to be with.”
Apart from the dragon boat-rowing and swimwear photo shoot, the delegates also got an insight of the local indigenous Ati culture by trying their hand on weaving and fish-net making.
“The intricate weaving shows the rich Filipino culture,” said Miss Mexico Kristal Silva.
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