Pia Wurtzbach’s story is one of perseverance and dedication. “Third time’s the charm” may hold true for her as this was her third time joining the Bb. Pilipinas pageant. This was not without relentless dedication, hard work and preparation though. “I’ve been waiting for this moment for so long. And so I made a promise to myself that I would be the busiest beauty queen during my reign,” says Pia. “When the time comes that I have to pass the crown over, I do not intend on stopping. I suppose it helps that keeping busy makes me happy. Yup, I’m one of those people,” she says laughing.
In her first ever photo shoot and feature since winning the Bb. Pilipinas Universe 2015, Pia says that she felt right at home in front of the camera and she’s excited to step up her game from this point on. She tells us, “It hit me when I was already up there in front of the camera that the last time I was part of a photo shoot was as a contestant at Bb. Pilipinas. Now I’m here as Miss Universe Philippines 2015! And I’m just so glad that I was able to do it with MEGAstyle.ph”
Insightful and extremely intelligent, one could immediately gather that Pia is a woman with a story to tell. Beyond the journey as Miss Universe Philippines 2015 are advocacies that are near and dear to her heart. “Women empowerment will always have a special place in my heart. My mother raised her three daughters all by herself. To grow up personally knowing a woman this strong is something I am fortunate to have experienced,” she says. “It’s time that we move forward from the thought that there still exists a divide between men and women. Let’s just acknowledge everybody’s rights. It isn’t men vs. women. It’s people for people. We need to be kind to one another.”
“I also believe that we all need to break away from the stigma that comes with discussing sensitive, pressing issues when in fact these happen around us everyday,” she muses. “I don’t want people, especially the youth, to be ashamed of asking questions. They shouldn’t have to feel like it’s wrong to ask or speak up. It’s just a matter of finding an environment where they feel safe to do all this. If they can’t find it, then we’ll create it.” Pia talks about just how much she believes in the potential that the Filipino youth holds but goes on to address this: “The thing about being young is that you’re curious. But curiosity without guidance could get you into trouble. What’s even worse than being unable to find an outlet for advice and guidance is looking for these in the wrong places, asking the wrong people.”
You hear it in the way she speaks. You see it in the way her face lights up. Pia Wurtzbach is a woman that is passionate about other people. “I love the people I have around me now. I promised my supporters that no matter what, I would stay accessible. I even dedicate host Q&A sessions on Twitter where they can ask me anything at all. I think of it as prep for when I have to do Q&A again onstage,” she says. “You know, I really value these people. It means the world to me that I can make them happy.” Among many of her admirable traits is her humility. She chooses to use the term “supporters” rather than “fans”. “I feel weird using the word ‘fan’. I mean, your family could be your supporters. Your friends could be your supporters. It just feels like a more personal connection.”
Pia sealed the deal at the Bb. Pilipinas 2015 pageant when she flawlessly answered the question given to her in the question and answer portion. Congresswoman Leni Robred asked her, “Social media is now a very powerful tool of communication. Can you tell us your thoughts about Internet censorship?” Now, with more time on the clock for her, Pia tells us more about her winning answer: “When I heard the word communication, I immediately thought of social media as a two-way street. It’s an exchange, and this is something several people seem to have forgotten. They think that social media channels are for broadcasting a thought and it ends there. That isn’t the case at all. What you put out, people react to. And we have to be responsible for the consequences of what we send out online. Almost everyone has been guilty of emotional rants or spur-of-the-moment posting, for example. We sometimes fail to consider how this will affect our careers, family life, image and our character. ‘What would your boss say if he or she saw this? What your parents think of you if they had the chance to read this?’ Don’t post anything you can’t be proud to say was put on there by you, in other words.” She takes a moment before she continues; “There is no such thing as privacy when it comes to sending media to your friends and partners. It’s a scary thought, but this is why many have fallen victim to leaked images and screenshots of compromising conversations circulated on the Internet. Whatever emotion gets you itching to post something inappropriate, know that it is fleeting. A photo, once on the Internet, is immortalized.”
Now, as she represents the Philippines in the most prestigious beauty pageant in the world, she is ready to take her years of experience with her on the journey to Miss Universe 2015. She even takes the time to share with us some bizarre fashion and beauty tricks that she’s learned behind the scenes. “Oh, that scene in Miss Congeniality with the hairspray happens in real life!” she says, excitedly. “We really do spray hairspray on the clothes we wear so that nothing rides up anywhere and everything stays put. We also put hairspray on areas of our body so they don’t jiggle while you sashay down that stage!” She goes on to share, “We’re also big fans of highlighters and illuminators. What we do is we put highlighter strategically on areas that the light from the stage hits. It’s a way of playing up your features, I promise you.” When it comes to keeping those hairstyles in place for long hours, Pia has some neat tricks, too. “Unwashed hair is easier to curl. As much as possible, avoid using conditioner the day before a shoot or show. It smoothens your hair out so your hairstyles won’t hold for long,” she says, eyes lit up and almost as if winking at us.
Pia’s Ultimate Spring Style:
‘‘What I really look forward to moving into the hotter months in the year is dressing up in light, relaxed fabrics. I love one-piece ensembles such as playsuits and rompers and I love statement necklaces. I can’t completely define my personal style since it’s ever-changing. But what I do swear by are ensembles in neutral colors since I like to stick to basics but mix it up with trendy elements.
I also swear by this style tip: Shoes can make or break an outfit. So I make it a point to invest in a good heel and make sure my footwear is always appropriate for the occasion. People also believe that if you want to change your look, you have to change your clothes. This is just a misconception.
Art direction by: Alexandra Lara
Photography by: Jerick Sanchez
Styling by: Francesca Atendido and Nicole Blanco Ramos
Makeup by: Gery Peñaso
Hair by: Katchie Mejias
Nails by: Triple Luck Brow & Nail Salon
Cover story by: Nicole Blanco Ramos
Special thanks to Skull & Bones, Big Guys Pizza, and Jo Cabuay Catering.