Palace, politicians: Thank you, Pia, for this Christmas gift
MANILA, Philippines (4th UPDATE) – The Aquino administration celebrated with the nation on Monday, December 21, after the coronation of Pia Wurtzbach as Miss Universe in the 2015 pageant in Las Vegas, USA.
Wurtzbach won the crown – the first for the Philippines in 42 years. Two previous Filipino winners were Gloria Diaz (1969) and Margie Moran (1973). (READ: Steve Harvey announces wrong winner)
In a statement by Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda, Malacañang congratulated the beauty queen for showcasing to the world “the characteristic beauty, intelligence, and elegance for which Filipinas are renowned.”
Representative Kaka Bag-ao of Dinagat Islands said: "Salamat, Pia, sa pamaskong ito para sa mga Pilipino. Pinatunayan mo sa buong mundo na ang galing, talino, at ganda ng Pilipina ay may puso at pagmamalasakit kaya natatangi, " said (Thank you, Pia, for this Christmas gift to Filipinos. You showed to the whole world that real Filipina beauty is one with intelligence and compassion.)
Bag-Ao added: "I'm very happy that we do not only have a Miss Universe; we have a brave advocate for HIV/AIDS prevention. By taking on the issue, she is greatly helping in reducing stigma and discrimination."
Presidential aspirant Senator Grace Poe congratulated Wurtzbach, saying that "her story of resilience and perseverance is the story of all Filipinos."
Poe said: "What a wonderful Christmas gift to us. It will bring many of us some much needed Christmas cheer."
Another presidential candidate, Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago, congratulated Wurtzbach on Twitter, saying: "You are regal. But from what I've heard, we need to talk."
Vice President Jejomar Binay, who's also gunning for the presidency, described her victory as "a candle of hope for our fellow Filipinos amid the darkness caused by the storms."
This year's first runner-up is Colombia's Ariadna Gutierrez followed by USA's Olivia Jordan as second.
Wurtzbach follows in the footsteps of two previous Filipino winners, Gloria Diaz and Margie Moran-Floirendo.
Lacierda added his appreciation for Wurtzbach’s “tremendous poise and control” in the moments after host Steve Harvey mistakenly announced Gutierrez as the 2015 winner, as well as for “even more tremendous graciousness when the real verdict was finally announced.”
Lacierda also acknowledged “the tremendous support our countrymen have given Ms Wurtzbach” that “helped propel her to become a pageant favorite, and eventually led to her winning.”
“In bagging this victory, Ms Wurtzbach not only serves as a tremendous source of pride for our people, but also holds up the banner of our women and of our country—as a true representative of what the Filipina can achieve. Indeed, this triumph is the result not only of her beauty but also of her passion for positive change, as one who is confidently beautiful with the heart. Over 42 years and today, once more the Philippines shines forth with joy and celebration." – Rappler.com