Miss Universe president Paula Shugart on Filipino fans

Alexa Villano
Miss Universe president Paula Shugart on Filipino fans

Alecs Ongcal

'The greatest Miss Universe fans in the world are here in the Philippines,' says Paula, who's in the country with Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach

MANILA, Philippines – Two years since her last visit to the Philippines, Miss Universe Organization president Paula Shugart said that she is happy to be back in the country, with the country’s very own Pia Wurtzbach as the reigning queen.

“I’am thrilled to be here,” Paula told the media during the homecoming press conference Monday, January 24.  “I was here in the Philippines for my first time two years ago, where we were here to launch our Miss Universe fund for the typhoon victims, which is very successful. 

Paula came to the country in 2014 with 2013 Miss Universe Gabriela Isler upon the invitation of the Binibining Pilipinas Charities. (READ: Ms Universe 2013 Gabriela Isler arrives in style)

“Anyone who’s talked to me knows how special the Philippines means to me on a personal level as a daughter of a naval officer. And I’ve never been to the Philippines since I was a little girl. And I watched over the years some amazing competitors at the Miss Universe organization,” Paula shared.

At the press conference, she told Pia that she was fulfilling her dream and the women that came before her who competed at the competition and the whole country.

FILIPINO FANS. Miss Universe president Paula Shugart says Filipinos are some of the best fans in the world, as she's seen during her term as president of the organization.  Photo by Alecs Ongcal/Rappler

She also said without a doubt that the Filipino fans are amazing. 

The greatest fans in the world, the greatest Miss Universe fans are here in  the Philippines. Thank you. I’m saying that from the bottom of my heart, so I’m glad that during my time in Miss Universe, and I have been president 15 years, that I was able to see the Philippines take the crown, and she’s such a lovely young woman,” Paula said, adding that Pia has also inspired her in many ways.

After the press conference, Paula had this to say about Pia: “She’s great. Pia is… there’s something about her I was just saying she’s so philosophical that anytime she just looks on the bright side of things and she’s just such a joy,” she said. 

Paula also shared that Pia’s schedule will definitely be busy, with travels and charity event appearances, including updates on the funds for the victims of super typhoon Yolanda (international name Haiyan) that hit the Philippines in 2013. 

Pia will soon pay a courtesy call to President Benigno Aquino III, and the House of Representatives, scheduled for Tuesday, January 26. – Rappler.com

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Alexa Villano

Alexa is one of Rappler's Lifestyle and Entertainment reporters, covering local entertainment news to a wide range of topics from beauty pageants to reality shows.