Binibining Pilipinas 2013 first runner-up Pia Wurtzbach is awed how the tragic aftermath of Super Typhoon Yolanda brought together people from different countries to extend aid to the survivors in Central Visayas.
Pia had the chance to join a relief operation in Capiz last November 29 and 30, together with Miss Universe 2013 third runner-up Ariella Arida and Binibining Pilipinas-International 2013 Bea Soriano.
According to reports, around 90 percent of the province was damaged by Yolanda.
MEETING THE TYPHOON SURVIVORS. “Most of the work that we’ve been doing is here in Manila, packing relief goods. But we don’t really see what actually happened," Pia said in an interview with PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) at the launch of SM Makati’s newly-opened shoe department yesterday, December 10.
“In Capiz, we got to meet a lot of people from different nations—Canada, Malaysia, United States, United Kingdom…
“And we’re all based in City Hall. They have a huge conference room and we’re all just volunteers.
“It’s nice to see different nations helping out,” she recounted.
For Pia, the experience of seeing for herself the aftermath of Yolanda’s onslaught was an eye-opener.
“Kasi it’s different when you just read it on the paper. When you see it for yourself, it’s hard not to get affected as well.”
What struck Pia the most was the capacity of the young survivors to stay optimistic despite their difficult plight.
“When we were distributing the relief goods and school supplies, they were not even looking at the things that we’re giving. They’re looking at our faces.
“I was thinking, we were just pretty girls with sashes. Nakaka-overwhelm and nakaka-humble na, ‘Talaga, natutuwa ka sa akin? Sino ba naman ako para katuwaan ni’yo?’
“At the same time, I saw it as an opportunity for me to do my part in my own little way. It’s motivating rin.”
EYE ON THE CROWN. Apart from doing the round of charity works, Pia further shared that she’s also gearing up for next year’s Binibining Pilipinas pageant.
“The competition was stiff last year because there were fifty of us. I was lucky enough to make it to the Top 5. That was my first pageant actually.
“So, naisip ko na sayang, I’m only one step away from a crown. I really wanna join again because I wanna compete for Miss Universe or Miss International to represent the country.
“I’ve been training for a year. Sayang naman if I don’t use the training that I have with the girls.
“I’ve decided a long time ago. Right after the pageant, I knew I was gonna come back.”
Asked what will make her stand out among the other would-be candidates, the 24-year-old said that she has become more confident after her first stint in Binibining Pilipinas.
“I guess, what I’m doing differently now is that I’m more relaxed. I know how everything works already. I had a lot of training so, I’m more confident and natural now.”
A former Star Magic artist, Pia appeared in teleseryes such as Aryana (2012), Sa Piling Mo (2006), and It Might Be You (2003), among others.