MANILA - The president of the Miss Universe organization said Pia Wurtzbach has been a hard-working beauty queen and that she will be missed "so much" after she turns over her title next January.
"Because Pia's just amazing," Paula Shugart, the head of the New York-based organization, told ABS-CBN News' MJ Felipe on Saturday. "She really is. She's confidently beautiful with a heart, she's so passionate, and she gives so much."
Shugart added: "She is the person that without any sleep, or if she doesn't feel well, she will be there and take a photo with every single person in the room, with every child in a hospital."
"She will just always go above and beyond. When we're tired or when we're about to leave, she is still standing there looking amazing, still saying words of encouragement. So, just in general, she's been great."
Shugart is in the Philippines to kick off a promotional campaign for the international pageant to be held here next month. She was accompanied by Wurtzbach herself and other pageant contestants.
"I'm really, really excited. I've worked for so many years to bring the pageant here," admitted Shugart. "But I'm also so sad that Pia's giving up the crown. We're going to miss her so much."
The Miss Universe pageant will happen at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City on January 30, 2017, the first in the country since 1994.