Never in my wildest dreams did I think I’m going to be immortalized this way.
“I feel like I won again.”
This is what Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach said, almost teary-eyed, as she unveiled a wax figure in her likeness for display at the Madame Tussauds Hong Kong.
Pia is first Filipino to have one of her own there, besides being first in the history of Miss Universe to have received the honor.
“I’m at a loss for words. It’s so surreal,” she told Bulletin Entertainment at the sidelines of the big reveal. “People around the world are now coming to know more about Filipinos and also about beauty queens. I can’t explain how happy I am.”
Pia used to go to Madame Tussauds when she was younger. She even has a photo taken when she visited the wax museum in Las Vegas, USA.
“I know how fun it is there, how fun it is to take photos with and of the wax figures of the celebrities. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I’m going to be immortalized this way,” she said.
The beauty queen was selected on strength of survey results and a “study.” It was September last year when she was chosen to be part of it – the “best birthday gift” was how Pia put it.
On the official website of Madame Tassauds, she is described as “A queen herself – Miss Universe, actress, and humanitarian – it’s only fitting that Pia Wurtzbach be the pioneer Filipino wax figure at the world-renowned Madame Tassauds Hongkong.”
General Manager Jenny You explained: “Our Filipino guests have always been very important to us and we’ve always believed we should have a Filipino wax figure. Leading to this moment, we, of course, did our own research, and this is our way of showing the Filipino community living and visiting Hong Kong as well as our neighbor SEA cities that we heard them well. With Pia’s sweet, positive and fun personality, we really could not have imagined having anyone but her to represent the Philippines in this way and what better way to share this milestone but on her birthday.”
“More than being a queen, she has all the makings of an icon and we’re proud to be able to house her wax figure at Madame Tussauds Hong Kong for the rest of the world to be able to interact with.”
The wax figure depicts Pia relinquishing the famed Miss Universe Mikimoto crown to her successor, Iris Mittenaere of France. It perfectly replicates her physical features, including her Swarovski-embellished royal blue ball gown by Michael Cinco.
According to Pia, she stayed in the pose for almost four hours in order for a group from Madame Tussauds to take her measurements accurately. Her dentists even shared her dental impressions to the team to be able to restore her teeth for the wax figure.
“I didn’t get tired at all. When they said I have to this, I said yes right away without batting an eyelash.”
It took some 20 artists and about six months to complete the wax figure in London.
“They really paid attention to detail. They checked the color of my hair because it differs depending on the angle, it has highlights and lowlights. Then, I had to step outside into the natural light so they could get the exact color of my eyes,” the 29-year-old went on.
After a public display for Filipino fans, Pia’s wax figure will be brought to its permanent home in Hong Kong by April. It will be displayed alongside statues inspired by Kendall Jenner, Jackie Chan, Bruce Lee, Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Mel Gibson, Meryll Streep and David Beckham, among others.
There will be no shortage of projects for Pia in the coming months.
The beauty queen will fill summer with wanderlust as she takes viewers to awe-inspiring places via land, sea, or air in her first travel show “Pia’s Postcards.”
Then she will have a new movie with Vhong Navarro as leading man. She also expressed her desire to audition for the role of Marvel’s new Filipino heroine, Wave.
Pia currently hosts the reality competition series “World Of Dance Philippines.”
Speaking of hosting, she recently graced Lazada’s “Super Party” music concert held in Indonesia. The event is part of the eCommerce company’s seventh birthday.
Grammy and Brit Awards winner and British popstar Dua Lipa, along with Indonesian actress Agnez Mo, Philippines’ entertainers Nadine Lustre and Sam Concepcion, and winner of The Remix Contest 2015 and coach on The Voice Vietnam 2017, Dong Nhi performed at the concert.
Hosting for international gigs is a milestone for Pia.
“It helps me gain more experience and the fact that they are getting me, it goes to show that I’m doing a good job,” she said.
An avid Lazada user, she used to buy clothes, home supplies like pillow, cases and even lamps.
Pia also vows to continue her work as an HIV/AIDS advocate.
“You know, the work doesn’t end after you pass on the crown. I may not have the crown now but that doesn’t mean I have to forget about Miss Universe… the things that I’ve done as a Miss Universe,” she noted.
Since its summer, we asked Pia about the secret of maintaining a well-toned, beauty queen-like figure.
“Work out as much as you can. Don’t deprive yourself of the food you love but remember to keep yourself active. Make it a lifestyle rather than just a diet. “