I'm not engaged, Pia Wurtzbach clears the air
The former Miss Universe is in Dubai to receive an award
When you are an officially crowned beauty pageant winner, poise and confidence comes with the territory. But to infuse a certain candour and refreshing earnestness into your demeanor is a rare ability that former Miss Universe (2015) from the Philippines, Pia Wurtzbach, seems to have mastered.
She is spot on time at the designated hour at the Edge Creekside Hotel in Deira on Thursday evening, clad in a dull gold Amato Couture dress that shows off her svelte figure to perfection. But it is the warmth radiating from her that sets her apart from many. Wurtzbach is in Dubai to take part in a fashion shoot organised by Xpedition which will culminate on December 6 in a gala award ceremony hosted by the magazine where she will be honoured as Woman of the Year for the humanitarian work she has done. Details of her exact schedule is being kept under wraps due to Covid restrictions that limits the number of people who can assemble in public places, but we are sure social media posts will keep fans updated on the beauty queen’s every move in our city.
“It’s been five years since I won Miss Universe, but I still feel all your love,” she says referring to her fans in the UAE. “Every time I bump into a Filipino here, they greet me like an old friend that I haven’t seen for a while.” She also cleared the air about the cryptic post on social media made by her boyfriend Jeremy Jauncey which sent fans into a tizzy. Many took his “5 Weeks and counting…” post in November to imply a major news with regards to Pia was on the cards. But she brushes aside all such talk. “He is very matter of fact,” she explains. “When he said ‘5 weeks and counting’ it actually meant till Christmas!” And then with a laugh: “I’m not engaged or anything like that. I’m not pregnant! It’s literally us spending Christmas together. It will be the first time I will be spending Christmas with him and I’m excited to experience that.” Excerpts from our interview with the beauty queen.
What can fans expect from your trip this time?
This time I’m here to do a photo shoot with Xpedition magazine. The cover is going to come out in January. We are going to come out with a bang! And I’m also attending the Gala Awards. I’m very honoured that they are going to recognise me for my efforts. I’m happy this gala didn’t get cancelled or postponed because a lot of events are getting cancelled. But they found a way to push through this and for me to be able to attend and receive this award myself.
It’s going to be an intimate event. Usually they have around 150 people at the venue — this time it will be more intimate but it does not mean that it will not be as prestigious. We are also doing a Smile Train event.
Did you have any qualms about travelling during the pandemic?
I did my research and compared it from where I am and the cases here are much lower and people are really taking health protocols really seriously. I was able to travel to London and Greece in between so I’ve had some experience travelling during the pandemic. So I already know what to expect. Coming to Dubai was pretty easy for me.
I even shared on my Instagram, information on how it is (to travel) during these times. Basically you just need a negative Covid result before you can fly and, of course, you have to be wearing the mask all the time! I know Dubai is taking the pandemic very seriously. They kept it in control and so I feel safe here.
What are your thoughts about the recent controversy that the 2020 Miss Universe Philippines contest ran into?
We are living in very different times. We are used to seeing pageants on the stage, live with a big audience. They (organisers) tried their best to keep it safe, to keep it as intimate as possible, to not have a live audience.
I think for a first run during a pandemic, they did well! I can’t complain. I felt like my pageant spirit has been able to experience the whole things as a fan.
Of course, we miss the live thing and the real crowning moment instead of them taping all five girls (contestants) like they won already. It is what it is. With these times you just need to learn what works and what doesn’t and apply it for the next time.
What advice do you have for the newly crowned Miss Universe Philippines 2020, Rabiya Mateo?
I reached out to her and said if things get a bit overwhelming or if you just want some advice, message me. I think she is on the right path with regards to her training. She has a very good team around her. I feel like she’s a girl who knows what she wants. I can tell — she is in the right direction.
What are the chances of Miss Philippines walking away with the Miss Universe crown yet again?
That’s what we are hoping for every year! That’s what we want. Filipinos are very passionate about beauty pageants, especially the Miss Universe contest.
I think Rabiya has what it takes to be the next Ms Universe and I know she will do well.