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Pia Wurtzbach in Dubai: Diary of a beauty queen

Gulf News tabloid! tagged along as the former Miss Universe toured the city

Image Credit: Clint Egbert/Gulf News
Pia Wurtzbach

Former Miss Universe Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach returned to Dubai on Wednesday to film a segment of her show Pia’s Postcards and meet fans in the UAE. The Filipino beauty queen first visited the UAE in 2016 during her reign as Miss Universe.

Gulf News tabloid! shadowed Wurtzbach during her trip for an exclusive behind-the-scenes look.

Day 1: March 14
6pm, Watch House, Dubai Mall

While greeting her fans, one thing became very clear: Wurtzbach was still as accommodating as the time when this reporter first saw her back in 2016. Wurtzbach patiently took time out of her busy schedule to take quick selfies with fans waiting outside the store where she was endorsing a product.

She also took time to address the crowd, particularly her loyal Filipino fans.

“Stay focused on your goals,” she told them. “Each one of us has different challenges and struggles, and I can imagine the Filipinos who work here... maybe some of them feel homesick, some are away from their families. But they all work away from home for a good cause, [for] good intentions [and] to take good care of their families. I know it will all pay off in the end when they see the fruits of their labour. Keep holding on, keep strong, just keep doing what you are doing.”

The 29-year-old Wurtzbach has experienced her own shares of challenges and struggles. It was only during her third time joining the Binibining Pilipinas pageant when she finally won the title and earn the right to represent the Philippines in the Miss Universe 2015 contest. She eventually became the third Filipino to become Miss Universe.

“From my personal experience, always follow your passion, follow your dreams, you’ll have some struggles and at first you’ll not get what you want right away, but I think that I proved that sometimes it takes years and that’s okay because opportunities will come along.”

Day 2: March 15
10am, Amato Couture, Dubai Design District

The second day was a jam-packed schedule for the beauty queen. Her first itinerary for the day was a shoot and interview with Dubai-based Filipino designer Furne One for the show Pia’s Postcards, which will be aired on ABS-CBN’s lifestyle channel in the Philippines in April and will be also shown in the UAE on a later date.

“We tour around the Philippines and around the world and we interview globally renowned Filipinos from those places. Besides interviewing them, we also tour around and try the local cuisine and look at the nice scenic spots. We’ve done Cebu already, we’ve done New York and now here in Dubai,” Wurtzbach said.

“For the Dubai stop, I had a meet and greet yesterday with the Filipino community. I feel very much at home here.”

Wurtzbach and her team spent around three hours at the designer’s shop. She tried three Amato dresses and praised One’s creations.

“I’m so honoured and flattered that she included me in her project,” said One.

One, whose designs are worn by celebrities like supermodel Heidi Klum, Lady Gaga and Katy Perry among others, explained how he would outfit the former Miss Universe.

“Not too revealing because for me she has this sexiness already without revealing too much,” said One.

3:15pm, Philippine Consulate, Al Qusais

The next stop for Wurtzbach was a visit to the Philippine Consulate, where she met the Philippine Consul General Paul Raymund Cortes. She also met distressed Filipino women taking shelter at the consulate.

At the end of her visit, Wurtzbach was given a wrapped gift which contained a handicraft item made by the women. Wurtzbach was visibly pleased by the gesture and effort of the women. Don’t be discouraged and stay strong, she told them.

4:30pm, Gold Souq

Next was the Gold Souq in Deira where Wurtzbach had a quick tour before heading to the Burj Al Arab to end her two-day visit in Dubai.

After Dubai, Wurtzbach headed to Manila to promote her latest movie with Gerald Anderson, My Perfect You, which will release in the UAE on March 22.

5 things you didn’t know about Pia Wurtzbach
The beauty queen tells tabloid! some little-known facts about herself:

1. “I’m a big gamer. I love playing video games,” she confessed. “Right now, I have no time to play at home so I do it on my mobile.”

2. “My first dream was to become an actress. So I was so happy that I was given a lead role in my latest movie, My Perfect You,” she said.

3. Wurtzbach said: “One of my dreams is to become a singer. I don’t know if this dream of mine will come true — we’ll see!”

4. What’s a visit to Dubai without sampling the food, we said and Wurtzbach agreed. “I love the local food here in Dubai. I love the spicy food here. I love the desserts, the dates.”

5. The beauty queen has clear vacation goals. “If I have to choose between beach and mountain — I’ll choose a mountain,” she said.