MANILA -- "What a day it was for the Universe."
Former titleholder Pia Wurtzbach made this statement on Instagram as she expressed her appreciation to three women who took part in the recently concluded Miss Universe 2019 pageant.
First on the list is the Philippines' representative Gazini Ganados, whom Wurtzbach co-mentored over the past months.
"You are courageous. You are beautiful. And we are so proud of you," the Miss Universe 2015 titleholder told Ganados, who finished in the Top 20 and won best in national costume.
"Thank you for representing the Philippines well. The rest is still unwritten!" she added.
Wurtzbach then praised another fellow Filipina, Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray, for her "beautiful reign."
"You have left us all feeling inspired! What a beautiful reign. Manila, she's coming home," she said.
Wurtzbach ended her post by congratulating the newly crowned Miss Universe Zozibini Tunzi of South Africa, saying she is looking forward to meeting her one day.
"You are our Miss Universe 2019! You are strength and grace in one -- truly an example of what an empowered woman is all about. Hope to meet you one day," she said.
Wurtzbach is the Philippines' third Miss Universe winner, along with Gray (2018), Margie Moran (1973), and Gloria Diaz (1969).