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Shamcey Supsup-Lee believes Philippines is 'powerhouse of pageantry'

November 13 ------ Miss Universe Philippines (MUPh) National Director Shamcey Supsup-Lee emphasized that the selection method of this renowned competition — where they reach out to candidates outside Metro Manila — will provide women in the provinces with an equal opportunity.

In an exclusive interview with The Manila Times, Lee said this is one of the changes they made to showcase the best representation of the community. Other reforms include removing the minimum height requirement and being open to all civil statuses. "A typical pageant usually starts with physical beauty, but because we believe in inclusivity and diversity, we now welcome women with children. There is no height limitation and no age limit," Lee said. "It goes to show that beauty comes in different forms," she added.

Lee mentioned that the accredited partner system and regional pageants are comparable to the Miss USA pageant, in which partners hold state pageants to choose candidates for the national pageant. "In the past, before becoming an official candidate for Miss Universe Philippines, you had to submit an application, attend a screening, and the committee would pick the official delegate," Lee said. "However, we believe that many ladies with potential do not have the support to travel to Manila, and they need the assistance of locals," she added. Aspirants will now have the opportunity to join Miss Universe Philippines through regionally accredited partners, resolving the question of who will support and train them. Lee emphasized that the organization is reaching out to them, or they are getting closer to them through their accredited partners.

The MUPh National Director praised the outcome of the Miss Universe Philippines Leyte pageant on October 18, as it was the first group to put on a pageant under the regional partnerships. It followed the pattern of an international competition with tourism videos and preliminaries. Angel Rose Tambal, a 24-year-old civil engineer from the municipality of La Paz, was named Miss Universe Philippines-Leyte after surpassing 20 other candidates from the province. Tambal also won two major prizes, Best in Swimwear and Best in Evening Gown, and three corporate prizes. Tambal stated in a brief interview with The Manila Times that she would not have gotten this far without the support of her family, friends, her "glam" team, and the La Paz municipal administration. "Finally, after a month of preparations, it was paying off. I was just praying to God that whatever the result is, I will accept it wholeheartedly," Tambal said. "I'm expecting there will be a lot of training and preparations, especially since this will be the first time for Miss Universe Philippines to have a representative from Leyte. This is a huge responsibility, so I must really work hard to showcase what our province has to offer to the universe," she added. She will compete in the Miss Universe Philippines competition in 2024 and represent her province.

Lee stated that following Leyte, they began the pre-production of provinces such as Camiguin, Bohol, and Cebu, where most of the pageants will take place in December and January. "As I evaluate the Leyte pageant, I see that the municipalities have been supportive of their candidates. It's truly a community effort in which the girls are not competing with each other, but she is there as the best representative of the community," Lee enthused. "I tell the ladies that the most important thing is how you compete and how you would represent the Philippines. If you make us proud, you are already a winner," she added. Lee described it as difficult to anticipate the outcome, despite the fact that the Philippines is regarded as a powerhouse in pageantry. Other nations look to the Philippines as the candidates possess all the standards and qualities of a beauty queen. "Joining a beauty pageant can really change you a lot, whether you win or not. It will help you become a better version of yourself because of the training and experiences," Lee said. "And sometimes it takes one step to reach your dreams and have the courage to do that," she concluded.



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