MANILA – These Filipina and American beauty queens consider Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach their inspiration.
Deshauna Barber and Olivia Jordan, who won Miss USA in 2016 and 2015, respectively, took to Instagram to thank Wurtzbach for being an “amazing” roommate and Miss Universe.
Wurtzbach stayed in a New York apartment with Jordan during the first half of her reign as Miss Universe, and Barber during the second half.
“I don’t know how I got so lucky to have our lives intersect how they did… but having you as roommate, sister-queen, role model and friend was the greatest blessing of my Miss USA experience. Thank you for always being authentically and unapologetically you. Thank you for showing me what it means to work hard and never give up on your dreams. Thank you for being a friend in one of the most rewarding yet challenging jobs of my life,” Jordan wrote.
“You will always be my Miss Universe, but I am so pleased that you crowned another ‘confidently beautiful with a heart’ queen today, who I hope will continue your legacy of wearing the title with humility, strength and grace,” she added, referring to newly crowned Miss Universe Iris Mittenaere of France.
Barber, who finished in the Top 9 of the 65th Miss Universe pageant held in Manila on Monday, for her part, said: “Thank you for being such an amazing friend, roommate, sister-queen and Miss Universe. I will miss you so much.”
Also on Instagram, Miss International 2016 Kylie Verzosa credited Wurtzbach for inspiring her in her journey as a beauty queen.
Verzosa competed with Wurtzbach in the Binibining Pilipinas pageant in 2015, but only made it to the Top 15. On her second try, she was crowned Binibining Pilipinas International.
“Pia, I love you! You’ve inspired me so much! ‘Di mo lang alam how much. Your shoes are going to be hard to fill. Thank you for inspiring us all!” Verzosa wrote.
Miss Universe 2013 third runner-up Ariella Arida, meanwhile, said she has always been proud of her close friend, Wurtzbach.
Back when Arida was crowned Miss Universe Philippines in 2013, Wurtzbach finished first runner-up.
This was the first time that Wurtzbach joined the Binibining Pilipinas pageant. On her third try in 2015, she finally got the Miss Universe Philippines title.
And the rest is history.
“You truly are an inspiration to everyone and a pride to our country, the Philippines! So proud of you! Mabuhay ka! Whatever you’re planning to do in the future, you will always have a fan, a supporter and Mars behind your back. Love you, our forever Miss Universe!” Arida wrote in an Instagram post.
Wurtzbach will continue to work for the Miss Universe Organization even after passing on her crown as an ambassador.
She previously said that she will also be busy with endorsement shoots and other work commitments, such as her stint on “Asia’s Next Top Model.”