Pia Wurtzbach winning Miss Universe in her now-iconic blue Albert Andrada gown was a dream come true for her.
Winning the Binibining Pilipinas Universe title made Pia Wurtzbach happy but not happier than being able to change a long-standing, traditional Binibining Pilipinas pageant practice with her persistence. Pia was the first Queen to wear an evening gown designed by a Filipino to the international pageant, effectively setting a precedent for all the Queens and designers that followed. That was one of her happiest moments.
“I associate it to freedom—one moment that comes to mind, for some reason, is Madam Stella (Marquez-Araneta) trusted me when she allowed me to wear a Filipino gown at Miss Universe. Sa akin, it’s up there because I remember that day I was in tears crying and just begging for her to allow me, to trust me, and we knew, at that time, that it was years and years of only wearing a Colombian designer. Matagal ko siyang niligawan, matagal talaga pero pumayag siya. Tumawag siya sakin one night sinabi niya, ‘sige payag ako.’ That was a big relief for me and also, I was very grateful that she trusted me with that. And that she trusted, not only me, but a Filipino designer to make us win,” Pia narrates.
And win she did in her now iconic blue gown recreated and interpreted many times over as Halloween costumes and even displayed in exhibits. Her happiness about that moment is, indeed, valid and valuable.
In fact, winning the crown meant her entire happiness. I asked her to recall the top five moments she felt the happiest in her life and of course, winning Miss Universe was one of them. After all, it’s a joy only very few and select women will ever experience. And in true beauty pageant fashion, the other four, she laid out in random order. “Okay, in no particular order. I don’t want people to think na ‘Oh, that was happier than this moment,’ so of course, winning Miss Universe was one of them. I worked so hard and so long to get that,” Pia explains.
Before Pia Wurtzbach controversially won Miss Universe, the crown was all she had in her head.
“The focus was the crown, 100%,” she says. Love was the farthest thing from her mind.
But after winning, the happy moments kept coming.