• ‘Tremendous source of pride’


    A “tremendous source of pride.”

    An advance “Christmas gift” to all Filipinos.

    These were among the messages of congratulations that popped out on Monday in the immediate aftermath of Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach’s victory in the Miss Universe pageant.

    Wurtzbach is the third Miss Universe from the Philippines, following in the footsteps of Gloria Diaz and Margie Moran-Floirendo who won the title in 1969 and 1973, respectively.
    Over 80 contestants competed for the crown on Monday in the Miss Universe 2015 pageant held in Las Vegas in Nevada state in the US.

    In congratulating the 26-year-old German-born Filipina beauty, Malacañang said Wurtzbach “showcased to the world the characteristic beauty, intelligence and elegance for which Filipinas are renowned.”

    “In the first few moments of the original announcement, she showed tremendous poise and control, and even more tremendous graciousness when the real verdict was finally announced,” Palace spokesman Edwin Lacierda said.

    “We congratulate her for this success as the third Miss Universe of the Philippines, following in the footsteps of Miss Gloria Diaz and Miss Margie Moran-Floirendo,” he added.

    Lacierda lauded the tremendous support of Filipinos, who according to him, “have given [support to]Miss Wurtzbach, from her Binibining Pilipinas title to the weeks leading up to the pageant, helped propel her to become a pageant favorite, [which]eventually led to her winning.”

    “In bagging this victory, Miss Wurtzbach not only serves as a tremendous source of pride for our people, but also holds up the banner of our women and of our country as a true representative of what the Filipina can achieve,” he said.

    “Indeed, this triumph is the result not only of her beauty but also of her passion for positive change, as one who is confidently beautiful with the heart. Over 42 years and today, once more the Philippines shines forth with joy and celebration,” Lacierda added.

    HIV advocacy
    Female lawmakers lauded Wurtzbach for putting HIV-AIDS awareness in the limelight.

    Arlene Bag-ao of Dinagat Islands and Leni Robredo of Camarines Sur expressed praised Wurtzbach’s intelligent response to the final question which went, “To be a Miss Universe is both an honor and a responsibility. If I were to be Miss Universe, I would use my voice to influence the youth and I will raise awareness to certain causes, like HIV awareness that is timely and relevant to my country. I want to show the world, the universe, rather, that I am confidently beautiful with a heart.”

    Bag-ao said, “I’m very happy that we do not only have a Miss Universe. We have a brave advocate for HIV/AIDS prevention. By taking on the issue, she is greatly helping in reducing stigma and discrimination.”

    Government records show that the number of new cases of HIV-AIDS in the Philippines has reached 3,000 and even hit a monthly tally of 748 last May–the highest number of HIV/AIDS cases recorded in a month since 1984.

    “Salamat, Pia, sa pamaskong ito para sa mga Pilipino. Pinatunayan mo sa buong mundo na ang galing, talino at ganda ng Pilipina ay may puso at pagmamalasakit kaya natatangi [Thank you, Pia, for this Christmas gift to Filipinos. You have proven that the competence, intelligence and beauty of a Filipino woman stands out because of heart and compassion],” Bag-ao said.

    She is an author of the proposed Revised Philippine HIV/AIDS Policy Act in the House of Representatives.

    The measure, which seeks to strengthen the country’s comprehensive policy on the prevention, treatment and care of HIV/AIDS patients as well as to protect their rights and freedoms, has been approved by the House of Representatives on third and final reading but is still awaiting Senate approval.

    Robredo, the administration’s vice presidential candidate in the 2016 elections, shared Bag-ao’s sentiments.

    “We congratulate Pia for winning the 2015 Miss Universe crown. She would continue to be an inspiration for the rest of the Filipino women to strive and excel in their chosen field,” she said.

    “Pia’s victory is something that we can always be proud of as Filipinos,” Robredo added.

    Other voices

    Sen, Grace Poe: “Our warmest congratulations to the Philippines’ own, Miss Universe Pia Wurtzbach. Her story of resilience and determination is the story of all Filipinos. She inspires with her grace and compassion for others. The Filipino heart indeed shone through! What a wonderful Christmas gift to us. It will bring many of us some much needed Christmas cheer.”

    Sen. Francis Escudero: “Congratulations to Pia Wurtzbach. It is a proud day for the Philippines and the Filipinos. I admire her beauty, grace and humility. It is a total Pinoy pride.”

    Sen. Juan Edgardo Angara: “Our thanks and congratulations to the new Miss Universe Pia Wurtzbach who has given us great honor at this time of suffering of our countrymen in areas hit by Typhoon Nona… She is an inspiration for displaying grace under pressure throughout the competition. Mabuhay [Long live]!”


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