MANILA (Mabuhay) – Miss Universe 2015 Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach on Tuesday paid a courtesy call on President Benigno S. Aquino III in Malacañang Palace.
The Filipino-German model, who won the Miss Universe 2015 title last December 20 in Las Vegas, Nevada, was accompanied by her mother Cheryl Alonzo Tyndall, Binibining Pilipinas Charities Inc. Chairperson Stella Marquez-Araneta, and Miss Universe President Paula Shugart when she met with the Chief Executive at the President’s Hall sala.
After the courtesy call, Wurtzbach held a press conference with Palace reporters at the Malacañang Palace Guesthouse.
The 5-foot-8 beauty queen said she felt honored to meet President Aquino.
“He congratulated me and we talked about Miss Universe for a little bit, also with what he has been busy with lately and how he has been doing, how I have been doing… and he congratulated me; I also congratulated him for a successful term,” she said.
“It is an honor to be in the presence of the President, of course, especially now that I am here as Miss Universe bringing back home the crown for the Filipinos,” said Wurtzbach, who was wearing a rose quartz-colored terno designed by fashion designer Albert Andrada.
When asked to comment on the coming elections, she expressed hope that the Filipinos would think hard before casting their votes.
“I hope that we elect the right people because it is going to shape the country for the next couple of years, so it is very important. My advice would be kilalanin niyo po mabuti ‘yung mga iboboto ninyo. Dapat po magaan sa loob niyo kung sino ‘yung mga iboboto ninyo. Hindi po sapilitan, hindi po parang minadaling desisyon. Kailangan po magaan sa loob ninyo kung sino ‘yung iboboto niyo po for the elections,” said Wurtzbach, who was born in Stuttgart, Germany but grew up in Cagayan de Oro City, Misamis Oriental – her mother’s hometown.
As for her HIV/AIDS advocacy, she stressed the importance of education in preventing the disease.
“Educate yourself about it. I think a lot of people think or most of the youth think that you can only acquire this disease if you are in sexual contact – with sexual contact –but you can also get this from drug use, from sharing needles, things like these. And I don’t think a lot of people know this. Rampant drug use is also one cause,” she explained.
“And I think that people – the youth – should be aware that it is very easy to have yourself tested. It is just a cotton swab actually. I myself, I am going to be tested in New York when I go back; and hopefully when I do this, other people will follow suit when they see how easy it is to do and then right away you will find out the result; and there you go, you have your peace of mind or if you find out that you actually have the disease, then you can take the proper steps into taking care of yourself,” she added.
Wurtzbach, who won the Binibining Pilipinas title on her third attempt, said she is excited to work as special correspondent of Inside Edition for the Super Bowl next month.
“I am very excited. I think it is a great compliment. I see it as a compliment because they wouldn’t trust me with the microphone if they didn’t think that I could do well or speak (well). So I think that is a pretty good sign. So it is a great way of me connecting to more people, meeting new people and being recognized, not just as a Miss Universe, not just as Pia, but also as a Filipina,” said Wurtzbach, who studied at the ABS-CBN Distance Learning School in Quezon City and Center for Asian Culinary Studies in San Juan, Manila. Aside from acting, she is also a writer, stylist and make-up artist. (MNS)