By Marivir R. Montebon
Aside from education on HIV-AIDS, cyber bullying is one advocacy which Miss Universe 2015 Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach is taking up seriously in her reign as the ‘most beautiful woman in the universe’. In a press conference at the Philippine Consulate on Wednesday January 13, Pia told members of the press that she had experienced being bullied. “I have been a victim of cyber bullying growing up. It can happen to anyone at any age. They’re not alone. And there are things that can be done about it,” she said.
Pia believes that cyber bullying has to be stopped because it affects the person’s safety and emotional balance, hence a concern she wants to step up in her programs for the youth.
Cyber bullying has become prevalent in the US and in many parts of the world which takes place on electronic technology, especially among the youth. It is unwanted, aggressive behavior repeatedly done against someone perceived to be in lesser power and includes actions such as making threats, spreading rumors, attacking someone physically or verbally, and excluding someone from a group on purpose.
The Fil-Am media community was in perfect attendance for her first press conference on 5th Avenue. Everyone was excited to see her in person, and for my part, it was just enough to see, perhaps, the loveliest face I will ever see for the year. Well of course, I had more. We were treated to both beauty and wit by Miss Universe.
As an accomplished young woman, Pia encouraged the youth to be persistent in pursuing their dreams. “This title was not handed to me. It was a long process getting here,” she said about the Miss Universe title. Pia had tried three times to join Miss Philippines until she finally reached Miss Universe. “Be focused and believe in your goal. Be persistent. To reach that goal, be flexible. And work hard and be patient,” she revealed her recipe for success.
She was asked a barrage of questions during the press con, including what ‘being confidently beautiful with a heart’ (which is fast becoming her brand) meant. Snappily she articulated, beauty comes through confidence and if you have a deep concern for others.
Finally, Christopher Fallarme threw the last question, how can Miss Universe make a difference in a modern society? And she said, to just be myself.
Pia had a long day at the Philippine consulate with leaders of the community where she was escorted by Philippine Consul General Mario de Leon Jr. and Miss Universe Organization president Paula Shugart.
On the early days of her reign as Miss Universe, this beauty of Visayan and German roots has revealed her delightful, smart self to New York media. Having observed her on TV and radio guestings, her confidence and light-hearted nature stand out and create ease in a room where she is in.
At the radio booth of Sway in the Morning, hosted by rapper and reporter Sway Calloway, for instance, Pia just exudes natural fun and level-headedness. She spoke of international boxing champ Manny Pacquiao and about not into eating balut. She gamely sang karaoke too, choosing the safest one she said, Baby One More Time by Britney Spears.
Pia just blew their minds off of course in the January 8 interview. Her singing voice was ordinary, but her fun attitude electrifying.
A professional model and actress, Pia was born in Germany on September 24, 1989 to a Filipino mother and German father. Her parents separated when she was 11 and in the TV interview with Kelly Rippa and Michael Strahan, said that she had been supporting her family through her earnings as an actress. She grew up in Cagayan de Oro city in Mindanao and studied Culinary Arts in Manila.
Pia was crowned Miss Universe 2015 on December 10, 2015 in a highly intense and unforgettable pageant in Las Vegas where host Steve Harvey misread the judges’ decision and called Miss Colombia Ariadna Gutierrez the new Miss Universe. Minutes later, Harvey admitted his mistake and 2014 Miss Universe Paulina Vega had to transfer the crown from Miss Colombia to the rightful queen, Pia. She is the third Filipina to win Miss Universe, with Gloria Diaz in 1969 and Margie Moran in 1972.
When she goes home to the Philippines on the latter part of January, she will be in for ‘work’ and will surely face a lot of wooing from politicians seeking public office in the May elections, and from suitors. “I am not endorsing anyone in politics,” Pia said. “And I am not thinking of any guy right now. It would not be fair. I am so busy. I am married to my crown,” she said pointing at her headdress which is designed like the New York skyline and laid with topaz that symbolizes strength. (Photos by Boyet Loverita)