WATCH: Emotional Pia Wurtzbach on crowning her successor, inspiring others
MANILA, Philippines – A week before she steps down as Miss Universe, Pia Wurtzbach was given a special tribute by her mentors from Aces and Queens and Mercator Artist and Modeling Management. (WATCH: Miss Universe queens from PH share one stage)
At the "Queen of the Universe" event at Sofitel Hotel on Sunday, January 22, Pia's boyfriend, Swiss-Filipino car racer Marlon Stockinger, was present at the tribute, along with Pia's sister Sarah and niece Lara. The Aces and Queens team, led by Jonas Gaffud, was also present, and many of her fans. (WATCH: Pia Wurtzbach's speech at the Miss Universe Governor's Ball)
After a musical production that reenacted her journey to Miss Universe, Pia went onstage, and thanked the Miss Universe organization for taking care of her, her friends, and the people who supported her through her long journey to the crown.
It took Pia 3 attempts at Binibining Pilipinas before she was able to win the Miss Philippines sash, to eventually represent the country and win the pageant in 2015.
Pia also spoke about bringing the 2016 pageant to the Philippines, where she is set to crown her successor on January 30 at the Mall of Asia Arena.
"After 42 years of waiting, the Miss Universe crown, we finally brought it back home. And not only that, we also brought back home the competition," she said. "I think it is the best way to really give back to the Filipino people for all their support and all their love. They really believed in Miss Universe."
She also acknowledged her unconventional win – host Steve Harvey had first announced Miss Colombia 2015 Ariadna Gutierrez the winner, before correcting himself and saying the Philippines had won.
"So now that we have the competition here, you know I may not have my first walk as Miss Universe. I think you all saw that," said Pia with humor. "But at least i would have the best final walk in my home country.
"In about a week from now, I will be passing the crown on to a new winner and I’m happy. I’m going to miss it of course. I’m happy, I feel that this is a celebration," she said, mentioning that she glad to have brought happiness to the nation.
As she neared the end of her speech, Pia got emotional, admitting that she was holding back tears.
"I hope you guys were inspired by my story," she told the crowd. "I hope whoever you are, whatever that you believe in, you know, whatever age you are, whatever situation that you’re in, if you have a dream, you hold on to that dream, because you’ll never know when that dream will come true. Because that’s what I did and it happened to me and I know that it could also happen to you." – Rappler.com
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