WATCH: Pia Wurtzbach’s speech at the Miss Universe Governor’s Ball
'Behind that sash is a girl with a story of inspiration, of empowerment, and that’s what Miss Universe is all about,' says Pia

WOMEN EMPOWERMENT. Pia Wurtzbach says   Miss Universe empowers women to achieve their dreams. Photo by Alecs Ongcal/Rappler

MANILA, Philippines – As she prepares to crown her successor on January 30, Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach shared how the Philippine hosting of the pageant came about. (READ: Why it’s hard to top standout queen Pia Wurtzbach)

During her speech at the Governor’s Ball on Monday, January 16, Pia shared how it all started with just one simple idea. (IN PHOTOS: Candidates, guests, stars at the Miss Universe 2016 Governor’s Ball)

When I won Miss Universe, I learned from Paula (Shugart, president of the Miss Universe Organization) that she’s always wanted to have the competition here in the Philippines. And I asked her, ‘How do we get the ball rolling?’ And she said, ‘Well maybe you can throw the idea out there and then maybe some will take interest in it and then we can make it possible.’ So that’s what I did. It all started with an idea and so, the private sector came in,” she said.

Pia thanked everyone from the private sector, the Department of Tourism, and the LCS group headed by former Ilocos Sur governor Luis “Chavit” Singson for bringing back the pageant to the country.

I’m really proud that it’s actually happening here. I can’t think of a better way to end my reign as Miss Universe.”

Pia also spoke about the hard work of a candidate representing her country in the pageant. 

I’m so already so grateful that I already got to compete at Miss Universe, let alone win the crown. And having to pass my crown here in my home country, I couldn’t be more grateful. What we have here for the competition are the best of the best of the respective countries. These girls competed to win or were chosen so that they can wear that sash and compete for the Miss Universe crown.  

“Miss Universe is all about empowering women. Behind that sash is a girl with a story of inspiration, of empowerment, and that’s what Miss Universe is all about. It’s not just a pretty girl on stage who’s fit, who is wearing a beautiful designer gown. It’s about a woman with a story; a woman who’s ready to be the spokesperson; a woman who’s ready to take on the job. And I hope that woman is ready.

“We have 86 of the most beautiful [women] from all around the world, and I know these girls, I can actually feel they are looking at me, looking at the crown. Gusto nila kunin ito (They want to get it from me). And I know they’re ready; so am I. So ladies and gentlemen, let’s show the world, that it is really more fun in the Philippines,” she said. 

The candidates have already toured Boracay and Vigan and will be heading to Cebu, Batangas, and Davao for the next round of activities. –


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