“You know this is actually super perfect,” Pia casually says as she puts on her new pair of Chucks from Converse’s new Love The Progress collection – this season’s newest range of footwear which celebrates and redefines what it means to be a girl in the 21st century. “Kasi behind every gown is a pair of sneakers.” Pia Wurtzbach, as everyone knows her by, was Miss Universe 2015. She’s the first Filipino to have a wax figure at Madame Tussauds. These are just a few of her achievements but with her rise to fame, she was immediately labeled as a star by practically everyone. Left and right, people look at her as the Queen. In a conversation with Pia, she shares her idea of what a girl is all about and how she’s not so different from all of us despite the prestige of her name.
What is your experience in breaking through your own walls to come out strong and be one-of-a-kind in your field?
My ways, I guess. it’s a lot of things. One is that I’m really stubborn. Once I know that I like something a lot, I never stop to get it even though I fail. And the thing with me is I accept failure. I get hurt and I learned something and it didn’t stop me. I have a moment to pause and think and try to understand where I went wrong so that I can progress again but then dapat tuloy-tuloy lang eh, ganun naman dapat ‘di ba? Where else are you gonna go but forward?
How did this help you get to where you are right now?
It helped a lot. I remember before joining Binibini I was 23, even shortly before that I wasn’t sure of myself like 22, 23 na ako noon but I still wasn’t sure until I went off a lot of struggles. A lot. But I didn’t want to [ be stuck] where I am, ‘yun yung feeling dapat palagi na dapat always try to think that you can do better, you can achieve more, you can do greater things, and why you want to settle—I’m not saying that don’t be grateful from what you have, but then kaya pa. Why won’t you try to push for more? And I think that’s how I was and that’s how I would think about it na I just wanted more for myself, my family, the people who always believe in me. You know I always use to say that if these people believe in me, who am I not to believe in myself? Ibang tao may tiwala sa’kin and then I’m gonna doubt myself. That’s how I felt when I joined Miss Universe. May moments when I think that I can’t make it but I can’t let anybody down. I can’t let the Filipinos down. I can’t let my friends down. That have been helping tirelessly so you know it’s not just a personal achievement, it’s also bringing everybody with you as you go.
In your own words, what makes you bold and unafraid to go beyond your limits?
Simply knowing that it’s there, [that there’s] always a possibility, and if I know that there is an even a little chance that I can make it, I’ll take my chances. I want to try ’cause I don’t want any regrets. Walang rewind sa life. You can’t go back. Every minute, every day, every month, every year that you waste, time is just going forward. Always ask yourself, “if not now, when?” So that’s what I always try to remember. I can’t go back, I can only look back but I can’t go back. I don’t wanna ever have to look back and think I wish I tried. Gusto ko “at least I tried” and that’s better. That’s what I want to say to myself when I get older. “You know what? Hindi ko man nakuha yung gusto ko but atleast I tried kaysa sa “sana I tried”.
What tips do you have to empower women to break through their own hindrances and seek out greatness?
First of all, you won’t realize kasi that there is possibility for a better you unless you get inspired by others around you. You have to listen to other people stories—from your mentors, idols, parents, and friends. Pakinggan mo and be inspired and I think that’s what international women’s day is about. It’s not just about reflecting on the achievements that you’ve done. Dapat yung mga stories ng ibang tao should inspire you and empower you.