GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/20 September) — Shamcey Supsup, the third runner-up in the recently concluded 2011 Miss Universe pageant in Sao Paolo, Brazil arrived here Tuesday morning to a rousing welcome, stalling traffic as tens of thousands of people from all walks of life lined up the streets to cheer the beauty queen.
The 25-year old beauty, clad in a floral dress with shades of brown and white, landed at the airport here on board a private plane at around 9 a.m., and boarded the float prepared by the city government 30 minutes later after changing into a light blue dress.
A full-musical school band was on hand as she deplaned and emerged before the crowd waiting outside the airport tarmac.
Her motorcade arrived at the oval plaza at the downtown proper after two hours of snaking through the main streets of the city. In some portions, students blocked her float to take pictures at close range.
Despite the scorching heat, people flocked to the streets and shrieked, waved the Philippine flag, and took photos of her, a jubilation some local journalists likened to the earlier welcomes residents given to world boxing champion Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiao, now representative of Sarangani province.
If not on the streets, fans were seen waiting for Supsup on rooftops, while others, like employees, peeked from the windows of tall buildings.
The beauty queen waved her hand and flashed wide smiles while aboard the float, with Mayor Darlene Antonino-Custodio and her parents, Timoteo and Marcy, flanking her.
At the press conference at the Oval covered court, Supsup appeared in the same blue dress she wore during the two-hour motorcade, thanking the hundreds of people who gathered and patiently waited for her.
“I thought the welcome yesterday in Manila was warm. I was wrong, it’s even warmer here,” she said in gratitude.
“Life’s different now, I can’t anymore take a jeepney. Too many people recognize me,” she said when asked what’s the change in her life after bagging a place in the prestigious Miss Universe pageant.
Supsup said she’s planning to design a business center for the city government, after a meeting with Custodio and other local government officials prior to the press conference.
Before the question and answer portion, the mayor lauded Supsup for again bringing the city to the international limelight.
The beauty queen revealed that together with some friends she has established an architectural and construction firm, in line with the architecture degree she obtained from the University of the Philippines-Diliman.
Last year, Supsup topped the board exam for architecture.
She vowed to further promote the city, noting that aside from tuna, General Santos has so much to offer in terms of tourism sites.
There’s a need to develop further infrastructure support facilities to promote the tourism potentials of the city, she said. (Bong Sarmiento/MindaNews)