No doubt Pia Wurtzbach has a lot of fans, but her biggest one might just be Miss Universe 2017 Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters
Speaking with ABS-CBN News' Dyan Castillejo, Nel-Peters opened up about why she considers the Pinay beauty queen as one of her main inspirations for joining Miss Universe this year.
"I love the fact that Pia worked so hard to be where she was," she said of Wurtzbach, who earned the chance to represent the country in the pageant after three tries. "She never took anything for granted. And I know she wanted this just as much as I did."
She also praised Wurtzbach's reign, acknowledging "that she never stopped putting in effort."
"Every single day she would look her best, and that she would be the best version of herself. ...To carry that through for a whole year is really remarkable," she said.
Nel-Peters is here in Manila to help promote the country after being invited by the Department of Tourism, along with some of the other candidates of the 2017 Miss Universe pageant and last year's winner, Iris Mittenaere.
"This is such a big honor to be here," she told Castillejo, before gushing over the warm welcome she received from pageant fans. "Everybody just wants to feed you and give you so much love!"
Earlier in the day, she and Mittenaere hosted a Facebook chat with Wurtzbach on the Miss Universe Facebook page. She said that being in the same room as the two was "special."
Nel-Peters won the Miss Universe title in Las Vegas last month. She said she wants to wants to use her reign to champion HIV/AIDS and self-defense causes.
"The reason why I wanted Miss Universe is that it is such a powerful platform that's given to you. Not only just for the winner, but to all the ladies that were on that stage with me all night," she said.