By NITZ ARANCON
ORGANIZERS of the just-held controversial Mr. and Ms. Pancontinental 2015 pageant gate-crashed into the office of Mayor Oscar Moreno on Monday last week, and virtually left city hall no other option but to help.
Moreno revealed this over the weekend even as more stories about how organizers bungled the inaugural international pageant surfaced.
The mayor said the pageant’s organizers, who brought the candidates to city hall, had no appointment with him, and gate-crashed into his office.
“Wala ko kahibalo sa organizer ana. Gi-adto lang na sila sa opisina kay ilang gi-present ang ilang mga kandidata. Siempre, gidawat nato kay na-a na man sila kay alang alang atong abogon,” Moreno said.
While photos were being taken inside the mayor’s office, Moreno said, the requests started coming like the use of city hall’s “Coaster” (bus) for a city tour for the candidates, white river rafting, a tour to the Dahilayan Adventure Park in Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon, and a sponsorship for the group’s lunch that day.
Moreno said city hall had to do everything it can to help as “damage control,” following the complaints of Nicole Harding of New Zealand who quit and left two Sundays ago. Harding’s complaints went viral on social media.
“Bisan dili kami lakip sa organizers, pero mi-intra gihapon kami silbing damage control, and we tried to solve the problem mintras na-a pay among mahimo,” he said.
But there’s more.
Budgetel manager Kassandra Arbuis revealed that the establishment held the luggage of the candidates, and their handlers and parents because organizers didn’t pay up.
Budgetel is the place where the candidates spent their first Saturday night in the city.
Arbuis said the group checked out and left Budgetel for Xavier Estates Country Club the following morning without paying their bills, prompting Budgetel to hold their belongings until they paid their P21-thousand bill.
She said Budgetel released the baggage at 6 pm that day as soon as organizers came to pay.
Mylene Miranda, national organizer of the pageant, said she ended up shouldering the costs because her local counterpart, Lourdes Stanley, breached their agreement.
Miranda said she spent over P200 thousand in the city, something she did not expect because it was supposed to have been Stanley’s responsibility based on their contract.
She made a public apology, saying she regretted that an entire city was put in a bad light because of the complaints of Harding.
Miranda has filed a complaint against Stanley before the city prosecutor’s office last week.