A whirlwind few weeks after her chaotic coronation, the Philippines’ first Miss Universe in a generation is settling down to a more focused reign — she wants to bring world awareness to HIV.
Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach also wants to spend the next year trying to draw support for nations vulnerable to disasters such as her own country.
And oh, she doesn’t mind winning the part of a Bond girl.
Wurtzbach, who spoke at the start of her week-long homecoming tour in Manila, is the third Filipina to become Miss Universe, ending a 42-year title drought for the Southeast Asian nation.
She was crowned at a controversial ceremony in December that saw the show host correct himself after first announcing Miss Colombia as the winner.
The 26-year old Filipino-German actress was greeted by adoring an crowd at Manila airport on Saturday, Reuters reports.
Dressed in a black knee-length silk, she engaged with the media on Sunday, answering questions ranging from her pageant experience, advocacies, a failed love life and even the desire to become the first Filipina Bond girl.
“To be back here now with the crown is the happily-ever-after that I’ve been dreaming for a lifetime,” said Wurtzbach, who admitted to sleeping beside the US$300,000 gem-encrusted crown after her victory.
Wurtzbach entered the global pageant after three attempts to bag the Philippine crown, striking a chord in the heart of the Filipino masses.
“I hope my story could become an inspiration of determination, discipline, faith and hard work,” she said.
Wurtzbach, who said she was willing to undergo HIV testing to demystify the stigma of the disease, said detection allows patients to get proper treatment and help them live normally.
Raising funds for disaster relief will also take up her time, Wurtzbach said.
Natural disaster is a key issue in the Philippines, which was ravaged in 2013 by typhoon Haiyan, the strongest on record to hit land – it killed over 6,300 people.
The Philippines is crazy about glitz and glamour, with numerous pageants dedicated to babies, children, youth, men, women, lesbians and gays organized by small communities and private groups.
Filipino candidates have made the top 10 in Miss Universe pageants for each of the past six years.
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