MANILA, Philippines – The world was stunned as a mistake initially crowned the wrong Miss Universe winner, via a gaffe by host Steve Harvey – and then Filipinos everywhere rejoiced when the country’s own Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach took home the crown.
Was it destiny? Perhaps. Months earlier, when fellow Filipino, boxing legend Manny Pacquiao, lost his match to Floyd Mayweather Jr, Pia took up the mantle for Filipino pride and promised heartbroken Pinoys a world-class performance at Miss Universe. She tweeted:
Kalma lang guys. Ako bahala. Babawi tayo sa Miss Universe!!— Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach (@PiaWurtzbach) May 3, 2015
Now back in the country to crown the next Miss Universe Philippines at the upcoming Binibining Pilipinas coronation night, Pia is shedding light on all the emotions behind her tweet – and why she was compelled to say what she did.
“Hindi po ako nagbibiro nung nag-tweet ako na emotional ako, nung nag-tweet ako na, ‘Kalma lang guys, babawi naman tayo sa Miss Universe’ nung pagkatalo niya against Mayweather,” she explained.
(I’m not joking, when I tweeted I was emotional, when I tweeted ‘Calm down guys, we’re going to make up for it in Miss Universe,’ when he lost against Mayweather.)
“Naku, kung alam niyo lang talaga ang hitsura ko noong panahon na iyon, nasa Cagayan de Oro ako.
(If only you knew what I looked like at the time, I was in Cagayan de Oro.)
“I was at the edge of my seat, in tears, and I was just so sad, disheartened, and disappointed. It’s Filipino pride! I want our Manny Pacquiao, our Pacman to win so bad! I’m a big fan of his, I’m a big fan.
“So when he didn’t make it, I took my phone out, emotionally tweeting – never doing it again, think before you tweet! – and I said, ‘Kalma lang guys, babawi tayo sa Miss Universe.’
(‘Calm down guys, we’ll make up for it in Miss Universe.’)
Pia actually met Manny for the first time on the same day as this press conference, Thursday, April 14. He gifted her with a pair of hot pink boxing gloves, in the Miss Universe color. The reigning Miss Universe shared that she did indeed bring up the tweet when she met him:
“But during my conversation with him earlier, binanggit ko ulit sa kanya yun. Sabi ko sa kanya, ‘Congratulations on your victory, we’re very proud of you. Hindi ko alam kung alam mo ito, pero nag-tweet ako noon na sabi ko, ‘Babawi ako sa Miss Universe’ para sa iyo, kasi sobrang fan talaga ako. I’m a big fan of Manny Pacquiao as a boxer,” she recounted.
“Sabi niya, ‘Oo, alam ko.’
(I mentioned it again. I told him, ‘Congratulations on your victory, we’re very proud of you. I don’t know if you know this, but I tweeted before, saying ‘I’ll make up for it in Miss Universe’ for you, because I’m such a big fan.’ I’m a big fan of Manny Pacquiao as a boxer. He replied, ‘Yes, I know.’)
“He was telling me about how emotional they were ng asawa niya ni Miss Jinkee nung first runner-up ako initially but then eventually announced as the winner, na para bang roller coaster of emotions, na parang ‘Ay…’ tapos biglang, ‘Ay! Nanalo na pala!’
(He was telling me about how emotional they were, he and his wife, Miss Jinkee, when I won first runner-up initially but then eventually announced as the winner. It was like a roller coaster of emotions… and then suddenly, ‘Ay! She won!’)
Pia did not directly comment on one of Manny’s most recent controversies – the boxing legend landed in hot water after his comments that couples in same sex relationships were worse than animals. But she did mention in passing that the two have “differing opinions on some things,” and that she respected him as a boxer. Pia has previously said that she supports gender equality. (WATCH: Pacquiao apologizes for calling gay couples more disgusting than animals)
“Even up to this day, I’m still a fan of him as a boxer, although we might have different opinions on some things, but we’re both still Filipinos. And as a fellow Filipino, I am proud of his victory for the Philippines,” said Pia.
“To me, I was very happy to be in his presence earlier. I admire him as a boxer. I think that if this is indeed his last fight – great way to end it,” she said of Manny’s recent victory against Timothy Bradley. Manny has also announced his retirement, though he later said he was “50-50” on whether he’ll stay retired. – Rappler.com