It has been 42 years since the crown of Ms. Universe was held by a Filipina, but on Monday, the Philippines’ bet Pia Alonzo-Wurtzbach ended the decades–long drought and took home the most prestigious title in the pageant world.
But the beauty tilt was marred with its greatest controversy yet, after host Steve Harvey announced the wrong winner Miss Colombia Ariadna Gutierrez, who had to give up the crown on live television for the rightful queen Wurtzbach. In the aftermath of probably the most controversial coronation in pageant history, we fix our gaze on the gracious queen that emerged from the glittery scandal.
An actress and a model since the age of 11, Wurtzbach, now 26, assumed the role of breadwinner when her parents separated. Before she turned her eyes on the pageant industry, she was an actress in the talent agency Star Magic and was a cast member of the teen show “K 2 B U” in 2002. Her screen name was Pia Romero, according to this report.
She also starred in the sitcom “Bora” and in films “Kung Ako Na Lang Sana (2003),” “All My Life (2004),” and “All About Love (2006).”
She also has a degree in Culinary Arts from Center from Asian Culinary Studies, which she was able to practice briefly while living in London.
It took Wurtzbach three attempts before finally becoming the Philippines’ bet to the Miss Universe. She first joined the Miss Universe-Philippines pageant in 2013 but she only finished first runner-up. In 2014, she again tried the pageant but only got in the top 15 after she was asked to answer the question and answer portion in Filipino even when the other judges were English-speaking. She finally won the Binibining Pilipinas crown as the country’s official bet to the Miss Universe this year.
After watching the two-hour long pageant, here are the three facts we learned about the now reigning Ms. Universe Pia Alonzo-Wurtzbach.
SHE HAS A BOYFRIEND
Earlier this year, shortly after clinching the BB. Pilipinas-Universe crown, she was rumored to be dating the bachelor Philippine President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III. The presidential sister Kris Aquino even went as far as saying that that her brother and the half-German beauty were textmates, fueling speculations of a budding romance.
While they did date, the president’s sister said Wurtzbach was not too hot on the presidential bachelor.
Turns out, she’s already taken. During a interview segment aired during the Miss Universe program, she herself revealed to other pageant queens that she has a boyfriend, a fact that even her mother did not know at that point.
“My mother doesn’t know, so no!” Wurtzbach said when asked by the other ladies about her love life.
Presidential sister Kris revealed that she didn’t think Pia liked her brother at all, according to this report.
“I think she entertained him but the thing is, you can tell from her character na single-minded. Kinailangan na ito ang focus ko muna. Grabe naman ‘di ba nangalahati ang katawan and lahat ng training, pinagdaanan. Pero ‘di ba pinadalahan [ni Noy] ng flowers bago umalis? (She needed to focus first. She can’t just split herself into two what with all the training. But my brother Noy sent her flowers before she left for the pageant),” she said.
SHE WANTS TO BE THE VOICE OF YOUTH AND CITES HIV AWARENESS AS HER ADVOCACY
Her answer on the first question regarding the hotly-debated military presence of Americans in the Philippines might have drew the ire and criticisms of some leftist groups, but her answer to the second and final question revealed why she really is the most deserving of the crown.
Among the final three, Wurtzbach was the only candidate who wanted to push for a specific cause when asked why she should be hailed as the next Ms. Universe. She said:
“To be a Miss Universe is both an honor and responsibility. If I were to be Miss Universe, I will use my voice to influence the youth and I would raise awareness to certain causes like HIV awareness that is timely and relevant to my country which is the Philippines. I want to show the world, the universe rather, that I am confidently beautiful with a heart. Thank you,” Wurtzbach said.
SHE SUPPOSEDLY OFFERED TO GIVE THE CROWN TO MS. COLOMBIA
In true Mean Girls fashion, an unverified information circulating online revealed that Wurtzbach actually offered to give the crown back to Ms. Colombia, after the fallen queen was seen weeping surrounded by fellow candidates.
A representative from Ms. Universe Organization reportedly intervened, preventing the real Ms. Universe to give up the crown. A video of the fiasco can even be seen online, with Wurtzbach coming to Ms. Colombia only to be pushed away by other Latina candidates.
It seems, however, that Wurtzbach was only trying to comfort Miss Colombia after the humiliating ordeal.
In an interview with Entertainment Tonight. Wurtzbach tried to downplay the catfight and said perhaps it was not the right time to talk with the fallen queen.
“She was crying and then there was a crowd around her, the girls who were comforting her,” Wurtzbach said in the report.
“I was actually very close to her already, but I decided that maybe it was bad timing to do it now — to apologize to her for what happened. So maybe I’ll do that in the future,” she added.
Miss Colombia had eventually buried the hatchet, and said in a statement her congratulatory message for Miss Philippines. Gutierrez said she has learned to accept her fate despite the humiliation.
Now, it is yet to be known when Wurtzbach will be back in the country to celebrate her victory with fellow Filipinos, who are surely excited to welcome their newest queen. Jauhn Etienne Villaruel
Check out Wurtzbach’s regal photos below, uploaded by the Miss Universe organization on its official Facebook page.