A Homecoming Special for Miss Universe 2015 PIA WURTZBACH
By Raymund Thom Golez | Managing Director & Features Editor
Photos: JR Noses | Chief Photojournalist & Photo Editor
LIFE N STYLE CENTRAL conformed to the protocol and guidelines given by ABS-CBN and BPCI to all the media organizations with regard to the posting and publishing of photos from the recently concluded Miss Universe Homecoming Special which was aired on January 31 on Kapamilya Network. All photos taken from the live event should only be published after the event as it was exclusively produced by ABS-CBN for a special TV programming telecast. It is our privilege to be part of this event and we would like to thank ABS-CBN and BPCI for the warm accommodation.
A homecoming fit for a queen. That’s probably how to properly describe what many pageant followers have witnessed during the special homecoming event staged by ABS-CBN and BPCI in honor of Miss Universe 2015 PIA ALONZO WURZBACH at the Big Dome on January 28. A star-studded feature presentation excites thousands of pageant aficionados who came all the way from different parts of the metro and nearby provinces, to experience a once, at least, in their lifetime, a celebration of its kind.
The program kicked off with a radical “You are the Universe” song performances by pop artists Eric Santos and Yeng Constantino, with an added classical twist by Gerphil Flores. Afterwards, a dramatic entrance by some of the most loved Miss Universe luminaries, brought the whole Big Dome into a huge uproar, upon seeing them one-by-one walk up the stage, just like the old days, when they were still wearing that crown, sash…and even scepter as the PH’s Miss Universe representatives. Giving honor to the Binibining Pilipinas Universe Queens (in order of appearance)…..
1970 Simonette Delos Reyes
1971 Vida Doria
1975 Rosemarie “Chiqui” Brosas
1979 Criselda “Dang” Cecilio
1981 Maricar Mendoza
1984 Desiree Verdadero
1985 Joyce Ann Burton
1990 Germelina Padilla
1999 Miriam Quiambao
2000 Nina Ricci Alagao
2002 Karen Loren Agustin
2005 Gionna Cabrera
2006 Lia Andrea Ramos
1997 Abegail Arenas
2009 Bianca Manalo
2010 Maria Venus Raj
2013 Ariella Arida
“Join us as we say, Welcome Home, Miss Universe!”, says program host Xian Lim, who himself received a good cheer from the audience. Xian is no longer new in the pageant scene as he has been co-hosting the Binibining Pilipinas pageant for two consecutive years already. Miss Universe 2010 fourth runner up Maria Venus Raj even shared “lahat kami at may iba’t ibang kwento, pero ang common factor naming lahat ay PANGARAP at kung paano ito ipinaglaban. Korona ang sumisimbolo sa tagumpay ng aming mga pangarap“.
World singing champion Jed Madela rendered a powerful performance “Pangarap ng Inang Bayan” which made the people emotional as it has been a dream came true for many, and to witness and experience a Filipino victory in Miss Universe, at least, in their lifetime, after forty two years that the crown has been elusive to the Philippines. Now that the crown is back to the Pearl of the Orient, there’s no reason it shouldn’t be celebrated the best way it could
The Philippines’ correspondent to the Miss Universe pageant, Dyan Castillejo gave a momentarily declaration, “Mabuhay ang Ganda at Galing ng Filipina!”. She’s probably one, if not, the most fortunate individual who have witnessed and experienced a blow-by-blow intense coverage of the pageant during the whole duration of the activities in Planet Hollywood Resrort and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S.A. Dyan even shared “I saw Pia’s transformation. Pia was a cut among the rest ‘coz she did her homework….she gave emphasis her turn, her looks…everything!”. She even adds, “Pia a very prayerful person, and she has a deep faith in God. And the big impact in her victory is the Philippines’ support behind her“.
Filipino heartthrobs Piolo Pascual and Sam Milby rendered a very heartwarming serenade “Your Universe” for the most beautiful lady in the universe. Pia finally appeared on stage in an elegant emerald and black gown designed by Martin Bautista. Boy Abunda did a casual interview with Pia in an almost the same format as with his nightly talk show “Tonigh with Boy Abunda”. Pia, as game as she always do, casually and genuinely answered all of Boy’s questions, which made the audience in every words that Pia is uttering, which for them were truly magnificent!
When asked who Pia would choose as the winner of Miss Universe other than herself, “I really like Miss USA. We have a lot of similarities, and we shared the same journey to get there“, Pia shared. “I was very closed with Misses China, Malaysia, and Myanmar becasue we all have the same supervisor“.
Should height really matters in Miss Universe? Does Pia’s chances of winning became even more realistic because of the presence of Miss Universe 2012 Olivia Culpo in the finals’ judging panel? Pia declares, “I never thought that my height would be a problem during the pageant“.
Abunda even disclosed to Pia that she is now considered as the Reyna ng mga Bakla. In full confidence, Pia shared her thoughts, “I support the LGBT Community…I’m for gender equality. And I will continuously support the LGBT even when I passed on the crown“.
Facing the imaginary mirror, Boy asked Pia, what would you want to tell yourself? “Don’t worry. Be still. I’m very proud of you. Everything happens for a reason. all the hardships, you found your destiny. Don’t ever change“, a teary-eyed Pia shares.
A very significant and touching moment was given to the woman who started it all. Her contributions to the most followed and most talked-about industry in the Philippines, beauty pageants. She’s the woman who gave birth to Binibining Pilipinas Charities Inc. (BPCI). She gave her heart and her everything for more than fifty years in recognizing the beauty and the best in every Filipina, Madam Stella Marquez de Araneta
Afterwards, the most anticipated moment came as many pageant aficionados went gaga upon seeing the queen having her victory walk as Miss Universe 2015. A moment that wasn’t given to her due to the mistake occurred during the pageant’s coronation night in Las Vegas. What made it even more special was the presence of the Philippines’ second Miss Universe Margie Moran which made the scene so heartwarming as people said that, “at last…the 42 year drought in Miss Universe has finally ended!”.
With Pia’s ascent to the Universe, the Filipinos has all the reasons to celebrate and be proud of this victory. And it is now very easy to say that the Philippines is now the Genuine Powerhouse in the Beauty Pageant!
For more photos during the Miss Universe Homecoming Special at Smart Araneta Coliseum, please visit Life N Style Central Facebook Page or you may view it from this link: Welcome Home Miss Universe: The Grand Homecoming of PIA WURTZBACH