‘Don't read the comments’: Pia Wurtzbach supports, advises Philippines' Miss Universe bet Michelle Dee

Nathalie Tomada - The Philippine Star
�Don't read the comments�: Pia Wurtzbach supports, advises Philippines' Miss Universe bet Michelle Dee
Former Miss Universe Pia Wurtzbach is joined by Miss Universe Philippines Michelle Dee during the Fun Run to Boob Love event to promote awareness against breast cancer.

Miss Universe 2015, Pia Wurtzbach, has complete confidence in Michelle Dee as she represents the Philippines in this year’s Miss Universe pageant.

The 72nd Miss Universe coronation event will take place in El Salvador on Nov. 19 at 9 a.m. (Philippine time).

When asked what she thought about Michelle’s chances to become the fifth Filipino to win the Miss Universe title, Pia said, “We’re ready.”

“We’ve produced winners. We have that advantage. And what I love about Michelle, she’s very clear about her vision, she knows what she wants, and she also says it.

“She’s firm about it but in a very sweet and gentle way. It’s very queenly. You really need somebody who’s firm in her stance. She knows na gusto niya yung hair niya na ganun. She knows her advocacy. She knows what she wants to talk about. She knows what kind of styling to go for. And I appreciate that in a winner. So, I’m very excited to see what she has in store for us.”

Pia shared that she had a brief conversation with Michelle during the recent Avon fun run in support of Breast Cancer Awareness month and had a sneak peek at her gown. She said, “I loved it!”

She’s going to have a longer chat with Michelle this week before the latter leaves for abroad.

“I’m actually gonna have a moment to speak to her, mas private and mas matagal this week. And I’m already preparing little notes that she must remember, just to make her experience a little easier. Trivial things nalang ‘to like ‘wag mong kalimutan i-pack ganito, ganyan, just so she can get into a nice routine every day. I think they will be there for three weeks. So medyo mahaba yung competition nila,” she said.

As for her advice to Michelle, she just wants her to embrace the whole Miss Universe experience.

Pia finally reunited with her first runner-up Ariadna Gutierrez of Colombia eight years after the controversial coronation moment. The two met in Paris, France during the Paris Fashion Week just last month.

“I have a lot of advice, haha, but one thing that comes to mind right now is to simply savor the experience, have a strategy, stick to the plan, and when it comes to social media, people will be waiting for updates, and they will rely on her postings for her activities,” Pia said.

“I mean, people are going to be looking at pageant pages for updates but people also want to see what she will be posting. So plan that, but don’t read the comments. Don’t read the comments, girl! It’s tempting but it’s time to focus on the bigger thing, which is the goal and that’s the crown.”

Meanwhile, Pia welcomed the recent developments within the Miss Universe competition. Over the past year, the Miss Universe Organization has been introducing significant changes to the eligibility criteria, permitting mothers, married women, pregnant contestants and women of all ages to participate in the pageant. These new rules are expected to be in place for this year’s edition.

Pia on building a family with Scottish husband Jeremy Jauncey: ‘Definitely, one day, we want to have a family, we want to have kids. Jeremy loves the idea of a big family.’

“I’m very open to the changes happening now, in-expect naman natin na magiging mas inclusive na ang Miss Universe. I think it’s going in the right direction because isipin mo nga naman, ano ba ang Miss Universe? Like, what are her roles? She’s a spokesperson, she’s an inspiration, she will be using the platform to push for her advocacies and her causes as well,” she said.

“Kung iisipin mo, may age limit ba yun? ‘Di ba wala naman talaga? Parang these are things that should be pushed by women, regardless of their age, regardless if they’re married or not, regardless if they’re 5’3” or 6’2”.

“Like, bakit nga ba may restrictions? Parang I sometimes go back to that question, bakit nga ba may age limit? Bakit nga ba may height requirement? Bakit nga ba women lang or exclusive lang sa women before? And we always have to go back to what our definition of Miss Universe is, and if it’s still the same as my time where she’s a spokesperson, she has to inspire, she has to push for her causes, why can’t it be anyone?

“And this opens the doors to so many more women who, in a way, missed out on the chance because they reached the age limit or because they had already decided to start a family and couldn’t compete again. So now, our wishlist is getting longer because we have former candidates who are considering a comeback, and that makes it even more interesting.”

Pia has her own list of women she hopes will grace the Miss Universe Philippines stage again.

One beauty queen she is keen on seeing return is Christi McGarry, who was crowned Bb. Pilipinas Intercontinental when Pia finally won the Miss Universe Philippines title.

“Christi McGarry is also a really good friend of mine,” she noted.

“She kinda pivoted her career into hosting, DJ-ing and modeling now. She also has a few businesses. And she’s very tall and very morena, Pinay, ang ganda din.

“I think it will be so interesting to see somebody who decided to let go of pageants, but now that the restrictions are off, decide to try again,” said Pia, who famously made three attempts before securing the spot to represent the country at Miss Universe.

“Ang ganda din ng kwento na ganun na nagbalik loob. So, sila yung mga naisip ko. Marami sa mga mothers eh. Mga kasabayan ko rin sila kaya.”

Also on her wishlist is Alaiza Malinao, a beauty queen and model from Davao City, who became a Miss Universe Philippines 2020 finalist.

“I’ve been seeing her posts. She’s very open (about her life), she shares about motherhood, she’s a working mother now. I can envision it. I don’t know if it’s her goal. Sorry Alaiza if I’m putting you on the spot, but I’m sure I’m not the only one,” observed Pia.

On the topic of family and motherhood, she opened up about her own aspirations now that she is Mrs. Jauncey.

“Definitely, one day, we want to have a family, we want to have kids. Jeremy loves the idea of a big family. Then that means, I’m gonna take a break haha! But, you know, he’s also very supportive of my career. We’ve agreed that we take this time to focus on our careers now and work towards our goal. We’re not in a hurry naman. I’m just glad I have somebody who’s very supportive in all of the decisions I make.”

Pia tied the knot with Scottish businessman Jeremy Jauncey in Seychelles last March 24, with the announcement following almost two months after on May 5.

When asked about her married life, she said, “I don’t feel much of a difference from when we were engaged. Except that now I’m getting used to being called Mrs. Jauncey already. Nung una parang ‘di pa ako sanay. I’m excited because I feel very safe in the relationship.”

Pia also shared how big of an influence Jeremy is in her life, not just personally but professionally as well.

“Jeremy has really been a big guiding light for me when it comes to all aspects of my life. Even my career. Like he gives good business advice, he pushes me to try things that I wanna do, he pushes me to go for my book. I mean the book was already finished bago ko pa siya nakilala. But he just pushes me to go for the things that I want and that’s a really nice feeling.”

The press got to interview Pia during an intimate media huddle last Tuesday about her latest milestone as National Book Store’s bestselling author for her first novel, Queen of the Universe. It’s now available in Singapore and set to launch in the US, Australia, Canada, UAE, and the UK later this year. The e-book version will be accessible worldwide starting on Nov. 7.

Queen of the Universe is published by Tuttle Publishing, one of the oldest American publishing houses, and the world’s largest publisher of books about Asia. ABS-CBN Books represents Pia in this literary venture. The book can be found at National Book Store and Fully Booked branches in the Philippines, as well as at Kinokuniya and Times Bookstores in Singapore. For US-based readers, pre-orders are available on Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com.

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