• Pia signs up with IMG

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    Miss Universe Pia Wurtzbach PHOTO FROM IG.COM/PIA WURTZBACH

    Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach announced at the beginning of the 65th Miss Universe pageant on Monday that she had just signed with the New York-based talent management group IMG, and as such will continue to work with the Miss Universe Organization (MUO) even after her reign has ended.

    Besides owning MUO, IMG also represents some of the world’s biggest sports stars and fashion models, among them Gigi Hadid, Lily Aldridge, Gisele Bündchen, and Ashley Graham.

    “It was a remarkable year. I’ve really grown as a woman. I learned so many things. This actually opened a lot of doors for me. Actually, I just signed with IMG so I am very excited about that,” she said during an exchange with host Steve Harvey.

    MUO President Paula Shugart—who was ecstatic in thanking Filipinos for the success of the 65th Miss Universe pageant in Manila, with Monday’s coronation night “the best show she had ever done”—said in a huddle with media that there are many plans for Wurtzbach “in front of the camera, and there’s also an opportunity for her to go back to school.”

    Although Shugart did not give out any details on Wurtzbach’s future, she said Pia will continue working “and will keep us [MUO] busy.”

    Since her mother’s hometown Cagayan de Oro had been hit by floods recently, Wurtzbach plans to put on sale her Miss Universe wardrobe and raise funds for those affected by the calamity.

    Besides pursuing her advocacy on AIDS/HIV prevention and awareness, the beauty queen also vowed to continue supporting and fighting for LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans[gender]and Queer) rights.

    On January 26, Wurtzbach wrote in the Motto Section of TIME Magazine, “I myself owe a lot to the LGBTQ community, many of whom are my closest friends. Without their accepting attitudes toward my own flaws and struggles, I would not be where I am today. But while we are beginning to see the seeds of change in the Catholic church, the LGBTQ community in the Philippines doesn’t yet enjoy equal rights.”

    She added “when my faith and secular opinions clash, but in those moments, I find comfort in an old saying: Live and let live.” ARLO CUSTODIO            

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