What many loved about Pia Wurtzbach's Miss Universe win back in 2015 was not just the fact that she ended a decades-long streak of disappointment for Filipinos, it was also because of how she got to that point --an uplifting story about not giving up.
Her impact, compared to other winners, is quite different and will perhaps never be forgotten, living on with those who were inspired to chase their dreams despite previous heartbreaks.
One example is Philip Galit a.k.a Shadow Ace, a "hand shadow artist" who just booked his place in the grand finals of the third season of "Asia's Got Talent" (AGT).
Similar to how Wurtzbach failed to win the chance to represent the Philippines in the Miss Universe pageant in her first two tries, Galit also fluffed both his auditions for the previous seasons of "AGT."
"Na-inspire lang talaga ako ni Pia Wurtzbach," he told ABS-CBN News in an interview this Friday, explaining that he never really had any belief that his talent belonged in the big stage.
He said that the only reason he auditioned again was because of Wurtzbach's story, and that he would have given up performing "hand shadows" for good if he got rejected for a third time.
"Kasi ganun din po ako eh. Sabi ko, 'Sige, last na ito. Kapag hindi pa ito nag-work, wala na'," he said.
But it did work, and things got even better for him as he is now in the grand finals, just one more step away from winning the huge $100,000 (more than P5 million) cash prize.
Passionately, he said that this achievement of his is his message to all those who bullied him in school for his weight and for being a "sakitin" boy who didn't play any sports.
Addressing his bullies directly, Galit told them that he took home a piece of the confetti that rained down on him when he was given the show's golden buzzer during the audition rounds as proof.
"For me, I got this to prove that I achieved something big. I will not talk, hindi kita aawayin or kung ano man. Hindi na ako magsasalita, alam mo na that I achieved something.
"Thank you for bullying me dahil kung hindi mo ako binuilly, hindi titibay ang loob ko. Lumakas iyong loob ko para lumaban."
Galit, one of the two acts from the Philippines to make it to the grand finals of "AGT," describes himself as a "hand shadow artist." You can check out his semifinals performance below:
He shared that he only learned his unique talent because of his frustrations about becoming a dancer. He added that he only practices it inside his room in his home in Batangas, and that it takes him a single night to come up with a choreography.
"Dare to be different," was his motivation for mastering his talent, along with the desire to make his parents proud.
"Seeing my mother and father proud [and cry] tears of joy, feeling ko napaiyak ko sila dahil narating ko ito," he said of his stint in "AGT" --a journey he hopes will end similarly to Wurtzbach's story.