It was literally a beautiful day in Metro Manila Monday as students, government personnel, private office workers, and even statesmen, took a break from their weekday grind and welcomed Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach in a series of public activities.
Wurtzbach’s hectic schedule started with a courtesy call on Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada at the Manila City Hall, where a short program was held in her honor.
She then proceeded to the Senate where she was received by Senate President Franklin Drilon and Sen. Juan Edgardo Angara.
After the back-to-back activities, Wurtzbach proceeded to Sofitel Philippine Plaza at the Cultural Center of the Philippines complex for a brief break. When she emerged, she had changed from her simple floral dress to an elegant emerald terno by Albert Andrada, the same designer who made the winning royal blue gown that Wurtzbach wore at the Miss Universe pageant in Las Vegas.
On her head was the $300,000 diamond and sapphire encrusted crown and the Miss Universe sash, which the Philippines had long waited to see again.
Around 2 p.m. the beauty queen ascended her float to start her grand homecoming parade.
The float, designed by production designer Fritz Silorio, had a white and royal blue motif–echoing Wurtzbach’s coronation gown–with details of her crown replicated on the front.
Dark clouds appeared but only confetti rained on the beauty queen as thousands of cheering fans lined the streets or waved from their office windows.
Chanting “Pia! Pia!” the people shared in the victory of the 26-year-old Cagayan de Oro City beauty who never gave up on her dream of becoming Miss Universe, even if it meant competing in the Binibining Pilipinas pageant three times.
The parade wove through Roxas Boulevard, Taft Avenue, Quirino Avenue, Buendia Avenue and then Ayala Avenue where bigger crowds gathered. Throngs of people line up the side streets in the country’s financial capital while others crossed barricades to get the best view of the royal float.
The parade ended at Araneta Center in Cubao, Quezon City.
In her visit to Manila, Wurtzbach urged children to “study well” and “be obedient to their parents.”
The beauty queen was met by Mayor Estrada.
“Maraming salamat po sa surpresa ninyo sa akin. Sana po ay maging inspirasyon ako sa inyo na huwag sumuko sa pangarap. Mag-aral mabuti. Galangin ang inyong mga magulang. Dapat pantay-pantay po ang turing ninyo sa isa’t isa. Itaas po natin ang bandera ng Pilipinas [Thank you for this surprise. I hope I will be an inspiration. Don’t give up on your dreams. Study well. Respect your parents. Let us raise the Philippine flag],” Wurtzbach said.
Estrada handed Wurtzbach the symbolic key to the city, saying she is now an adopted daughter of Manila.
“You will be a source of inspiration to our citizens in aspiring to bring pride and honor to our city and our country,” the mayor said.