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Monday, September 20, 2021

One for the books

IT WAS a roller coaster ride for Kagay-anons and for Filipinos everywhere.

But as Miss Universe 2015 host Steve Harvey went back on stage to apologize, disappointment quickly turned to euphoria.

Cheers erupted almost simultaneously in Cagayan de Oro households as Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach, who twice represented Cagayan de Oro City in the Binibining Pilipinas pageant before finally winning this year’s Binibining Pilipinas-Universe, was crowned Miss Universe on Monday in Las Vegas, USA.

“I can’t get over it,” Gean Tulang-Cesar, Miss CdeO chairperson, said.

Cesar first met Wurtzbach during the Bb. Pilipinas auditions last February of this year when she accompanied 2014 Miss Cagayan de Oro Bea Alvarez Pohl who was also trying her luck at the pageant.

Both Wurtzbach and Pohl represented Cagayan de Oro City.

Even then, Cesar said Wurtzbach stood out over the rest.

“Pia was the last to show up sa auditions, but she came very prepared and was a stand out,” Cesar said.

Cesar said Wurtzbach’s answer to the final question in the Miss Universe Pageant nailed it for her.

“She was very specific with her advocacy on the fight against HIV (human immunodeficiency virus). If she comes back to CdeO, a grand homecoming should be accorded to her,” she said.

But Cesar said pageant host Steve Harvey should have been more careful.

“I know Mr. Harvey did an excellent job as a host but he had a bigger responsibility to fulfill. He could have been more careful in the first place. Miss Universe is not just an ordinary pageant. There’s no room for mistakes. Protecting the pageant’s integrity is highly important in declaring the rightful winner,” Cesar said.

Fellow Kagay-anon beauty queens also rejoiced over Wurtzbach’s win which ended a 42-year drought.

“I’m very happy that at last, we finally got the crown back. And to think that Pia is a Kagay-anon, I am beyond happy for her and I am so proud of her,” Miss Cagayan de Oro 2015 Charrina Barro said.

But Barro said she felt bad for the host.

“Millions of people are gonna bash him and that’s really horrible. People make mistakes, that’s natural. We can’t also blame people especially those from Colombia for getting mad at him. But, Steve Harvey did make a public apology and he actually admitted his mistake and I salute him for that,” she said.

Miss CdeO 2014 1st runner-up and Miss Tourism 2014, Sherra Mae Vacalares said she woke up early to support Wurtzbach.

“I was very excited especially when it was down to the top three. Pia’s answer for the final question was a perfect answer. I was a little disappointed when it was announced that she was the 1st Runner up but still proud of her accomplishment. When the host came back to the stage, I felt at first that he was joking because he was funny and was joking earlier sa show. It was really an awkward moment and I felt really bad for Colombia but I was feeling happy for Pia too. She made me proud to be a Kagay-anon and to be a Filipina,” Vacalares said.

Local fashion designers and photographers also gave their reactions.

“With the answer given by the top three, I’m pretty much sure that Pia would grab the crown,” said Mark Christopher Yaranon, president of Oro Fashion Designers Guild.

“Pia simply deserves the crown. The way she reacted when she won in Bb. Pilipinas and her winning the Miss Universe really amazed me,” fashion designer Benjie Manuel said.

“She was kind and gracious. Though the moment was not the usual announcement because of the host’s mistake, it showed pure humility on Pia’s part. A true winner,” Manuel added.

“It’s every TV producers’ nightmare,” Donna Ocampo, a TV producer and station manager of ABS-CBN, said.

“And to think, live pa! It was not easy for Steve Harvey, I think it was his first time to host a pageant. It was sad for FOX as well because they were obviously trying to come up with innovations to the show,” Ocampo said.

But Ocampo said it was a great show, nevertheless, short and sweet.

“Besides, don’t we all want a bang in the end,” she said.
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