Will there be lower crime rate in the Philippines during Miss Universe?

December 17, 2018 - 9:19 AM
Miss Universe Philippines Catriona Gray
Filipinos poured their support to Miss Universe Philippines Catriona Gray when the official Facebook page of the beauty pageant uploaded her photo. (The Freeman/File photo)

Some Filipinos believe the 2018 Miss Universe pageant on Monday will produce a momentary drop in criminality as the Philippines prepares to watch candidate Catriona Gray shoot for the 2018 crown.

Social media posts theorizing that the pageant aired in the Philippines on Monday morning will lead to a drop in the crime rate, at least for the few hours the pageant airs.

According to the post, the contest will also likely lead to less traffic on EDSA, the main thoroughfare in Metro Manila.

“If the elections were held today, Catriona Gray will easily be the President of the Philippines,” wrote sports blogger @dbuzzketball in a tweet.

There may be some basis for the prediction. Police authorities in January 2017 revealed that 65th Miss Universe pageant held in Manila that month produced a zero crime rate in Quezon City at least for the few hours the world turned to watch the pageant.

Then-Quezon City Police District Chief Supt. Guillermo Eleazar said there was not a single crime committed in the sprawling city from 8 a.m. to 1.p.m on the day of the competition. The lone report they received was from a minor vehicular accident that was quickly resolved.

This may come as no surprise given the Philippines’ known obsession with beauty pageants, especially the Miss Universe competition. An article by channel Asia observed the culture built around beauty pageants in the country, noting how warmly winners are received and how they become cultural icons in the country.

On discussion board RedditPh, an Indonesian user asked why Filipinos took the pageant so seriously.

Answers ranged from beauty pageants’ being the only field the Philippines could succeed in to beauty pageants and parades being ingrained in local culture, as evidenced by traditions such as the Santacruzan.

The priority given to the Miss Universe contest was also credited to the early victories of Gloria Diaz (1969) and Margaritan Moran (1973).

Uniting moments

Aside from the Miss Universe, also linked to momentary drops in crime rate in the Philippines are the fights of boxer-turned-lawmaker Manny Pacquiao.

According to police officials, there was zero incidence of major crime during his highly-touted fights with David Diaz and Erik Morales in the past decade. Insurgent elements also reportedly tuned in to the fights.

Zero crime was also reported during Pacquiao’s May 2015 fight with Floyd Mayweather Jr., the bout dubbed “The Fight of the Century.”

Basketball legend Atoy Co also remarked in an interview with The STAR in 2014 remembered there being “less crime” during rivalry games between former PBA franchises Crispa and Toyota in the league’s early days in the 1970s.

As of publishing, Catriona Gray is in the top 20 of the competition.