MANILA - Reigning Miss Earth Angelia Ong felt overshadowed. Having made it back-to-back wins for the Philippines in the international pageant, Ong dreamed of being welcomed in the country with a grand parade and meeting the likes of former president Benigno Aquino III and current president Rodrigo Duterte.
None of that happened when Pia Wurtzbach ended the country's Miss Universe decades-long title-drought, two weeks after her win.
"There was really a time. Iniyakan ko po," she admitted in an interview on "Tonight With Boy Abunda" Wednesday.
"As a Filipina, I'm so proud of her. I adore her. I respect iyong pinagdaanan niya. Nakaka-relate po kasi ako. It wasn't also easy for me. As Miss Earth nalungkot ako ng kaunti. Hindi na ako nagkaroon ng opportunity to have a welcome home parade. Siyempre, I wasn't also able to meet the president, even the past one. Nasaktan talaga ako," she explained.
However, Ong added: "Pero what I did, I went back to the reason why I did this. It's not just about fame or about the attention, I joined not only for myself and my family, but also for the advocacy of the pageant, which is protecting the environment. So naging busy po ako for the past few months for the pageant."
Ong, who is set to crown her successor on Saturday in the Miss Earth pageant to be held at the Mall of Asia Arena, also clarified that she holds no ill feelings towards Wurtzbach, whom she is looking forward to meeting.