Back in 1969 and 1973 when the Philippines experienced its first two tastes of Miss Universe glory, both Gloria Diaz and Margarita Moran were welcomed back to the country with such funfare that their respective parades (while seated on a top down car) around Manila were attended by so many proudly cheering Filipinos showing their joy in seeing a Filipina being crowned the most beautiful in the universe. The arrangements were not yet as complex back then – with no lockdowns from the organizers and uber restrictions on protocol and how the homecoming proceeded from Day 1. Their schedules were not clamped down in terms of how long they can stay in the country or how soon they need to go back to the home base in the US.
Nowadays, becoming Miss Universe means chasing time. The upcoming arrival of Miss Universe 2015 Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach in the country was scheduled to jibe with a MUO-committed annual visit to Djakarta where she will crown the winner of Puteri Indonesia 2016. This is the reason why she will be flying in from the Indonesian capital on January 23, and not New York City. And it’s not like she will be given enough “me” time in Manila. With all the scheduled Press Conferences, ticker tape parade, Malacañan Palace courtesy call and countless appearances and reception, it’s good that she was able to negotiate for an extra few days so that she can settle personal items like her rented apartment, personal effects and a previously-agreed date to attend the wedding of her best friend (actress) Pauleen Luna to actor/comedian Vic Sotto.
It’s going to be a whirlwind of a homecoming such that you will certainly start missing Pia even before her scheduled stay in the country starts. But we all want this crown. And in return, we should whole-heartedly share our Queen to the Universe. Her reign has just started and the months ahead will surely be so jet-settingly busy, let alone hectic. 🙂