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Chavit Singson reveals declining to buy Miss Universe franchise, how he paid $12m to sponsor 2016 pageant

By John Patrick Magno Ranara Published Mar 15, 2023 7:13 pm

The Miss Universe franchise could have landed at the hands of former Ilocos Sur Governor Luis "Chavit" Singson.

In an interview with and select media outlets, Chavit revealed that the franchise was offered to him in the past, but that he declined to buy it.

"Binibigay sa akin pero hindi ko binili kasi masyadong matrabaho. Sabi ko, tutulong na lang ako," he said. 

He went on to share that he had received an invitation from Miss Universe's new owner, Thailand billionaire Anne Jakapong Jakrajutajip, to go to Thailand for a meeting. "Binibigay na nga sa akin, ba't ko bibilin e hindi ko nga maasikaso? Right now, binenta nila, iniimbita ako ng nakabili. Iniimbita 'ko to help them."

The offer came years after Chavit served as the sponsor of Miss Universe back in 2016. In an interview with Aiko Melendez on her YouTube vlog, the politician said he spent $12 million (P650 million) to host the pageant in Manila.

He then explained in his recent interview with the press that he deposited a non-refundable $1 million (over P55 million) fee before handing over another $5 million (over P275 million). However, the organization told him that he needed to give $6 million (over P330 million) more as they needed a total of $12 million to secure the hosting for the Philippines.

He nevertheless complied, reasoning that the beauty pageant could be beneficial to the country, "Kahit malugi nang kaunti, okay na sa akin kako kasi magandang advertisement sa ating bansa."

"That's how I got the Miss Universe. Pero according to them, that's the most successful Miss Universe ever. So after that, kinausap ako, 'You can do it in any country you want, no more down payment, bibigyan ka pa namin ng discount'," he said.

Eventually, in December 2019, the Miss Universe Philippines franchise was granted to a new organizing body with Miss Universe 2011 3rd Runner-Up Shamcey Supsup as its national director.

This paved the way for the creation of the Miss Universe Philippines Organization, wherein a separate pageant is now held to choose the future Miss Universe Philippines titleholders who will represent the country on the global stage.