MANILA - Reigning Miss Universe Pia Wurtzbach came to the defense of Jessy Mendiola after the actress drew criticism for joking that she beat the Filipina beauty queen for the title of "Sexiest Woman in the Country."
"What I saw was a girl who was just really ecstatic to be given that recognition. Nothing wrong with that. Congratulations, Jessy!" Wurtzbach wrote on Twitter, one day after a video of the incident went viral on social media.
In the said clip, Mendiola was asked during her turn on the stage at a FHM Philippines victory party celebrating her win to share her secret in staying confident about her figure despite her bashers.
"I think that's what people like about me," she told the crowd. "I have a different type of body from the usual sexy and I am here to prove that everyone can be sexy."
She laughingly added: "Talo ko pa si Pia Wurtzbach, 'di ba? Nakakaloka iyong ganito. Sobrang overwhelming. Kung siya ay confidently beautiful with a heart, tayo ay confidently sexy with a heart."
Mendiola was referring to the results of the online poll by the men's magazine that saw Wurtzbach, the first Filipina to win the title of Miss Universe in over four decades, finish 15 places behind her.
"I'm just really happy na nandito ako tonight. It feels surreal and it feels so nice to be called the 'Sexiest Woman in the Philippines.' So thank you very much," Mendiola concluded.
Many of Mendiola's critics felt that she belittled Wurtzbach and was overconfident, with some even calling the actress "stupid" and threw her expletives for her answer.
Some, however, defended Mendiola. "It was obviously a joke and I really don't get why people have to make a huge issue about it," one comment read from a Facebook user who is admittedly not a fan of the "Maria Mercedes" star.