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Pia Wurtzbach to auction memorabilia for 10th anniversary as Miss Universe |

Fashion and Beauty

Pia Wurtzbach to auction memorabilia for 10th anniversary as Miss Universe

Deni Rose M. Afinidad-Bernardo -

MANILA, Philippines — It has been almost 10 years since Pia Wurtzbach ended the Philippines’ 42-year drought for a Miss Universe crown, but no matter how big an achievement it was, Pia did not want to be remembered only as Miss Universe 2015.

“That was one of my fears is to make or to let Miss Universe be the peak of my career,” she admitted in a speech last week for L’Oreal Paris’ “Sayang? No, I’m worth it” campaign launch in Manila for which she was among the endorsers.

“But to me, (Miss Universe) was a stepping stone, a platform into other things that I could do. It was a place for me to have opportunities and have a platform… After I won Miss Universe, yes, I got the recognition, I got the work. And you know, it was a big celebration in the Philippines. But there's always that question of what's next and it's a question of like, what else can I offer to others? And how else can I be of service to others? So that was a real challenge honestly, because I had a lot of people telling me na ang beauty queen, usually three years ang shelf life, then laos ka na.”

Thus, this year, in preparation for her 10th anniversary as Miss Universe next year, Pia wanted to do something out of the box. 

“There's so many things that I still wanted to do… this negative thought is actually motivation for us. Like we use this as fuel to prove people wrong and prove ourselves wrong that we can do more and be more.”

Shortly even after winning Miss Universe, Pia said she knew that one day she would sell her pageant memorabilia for a good cause.

“After winning Miss Universe… I had an idea about my Miss Universe memorabilia. I have so much at home. I don't have everything because you know, some of the clothes I have to return to the designers. But whatever I have at home, I have the opening dress, the Sherri Hill opening dress. I have all the shoes, I have the earrings, accessories. I have some of the gowns. I have the sashes, I have a tiara… I have my books, I have memorabilia and I'm still going through my storage right now. I have 30 pieces already, but those are just from the ones I have at home, wala pa ‘yung nasa bodega. So I'm really trying to collect more and more from the time that I was Miss Universe because I'm planning to auction this all on World AIDS Day on December 1.”

Pia vowed to share more about the initiative on her social media pages. “I plan on collecting all of the proceeds. I'll be super transparent with how much we collect and where it's gonna go, we're going to build a youth center in Metro Manila. So the auction will be this year because it takes a while to do make these things happen. It will be this year, the auction and then next year will be the building phase and hopefully it will be ready just in time for my anniversary.”

“So the goal is to create a youth center where it is a test and treatment center for HIV and all other STIs as well. Mental health counseling, a woman center, sexual health center. It's kind of a one-stop shop place where people can feel safe, but people can feel like they're welcome and we're hoping that this becomes the biggest hub,” she shared.

The youth center is in partnership with Love Yourself, a foundation dedicated to AIDS and HIV awareness, which Pia has been supporting since the start of her Miss Universe reign. The foundation, she said, has over 15 community centers all over the country, “so they know what they're doing.” 

“They are very credible. They are funded by the Global Health Fund and… they know how to do this. So I have the vision and I've been working with them since Miss Universe, so mag-te-10 years na rin, and then we are putting all our efforts together into making this happen. So that is my big goal for next year.”

Although her Miss Universe memorabilia is important for her, Pia said she would be happier if these would be used for something greater than just being tucked away and gathering dust.

“It will go all toward the charity because seriously like when I look at this memorabilia, of course, you know, I get sentimental for a few minutes and then I put it back in the box… I would rather put it back in the advocacy because especially now that I'm transitioning into a new phase of my life. And by next year, who knows? Maybe, you know, I won't have the same amount of time for my advocacies because I'm living between Dubai and Manila and I also, I'm married now. But I also want to leave something behind that is truly lasting, that will sustain itself that even if I'm not physically there, we are. I've helped build a youth center that is going to help others.”

When asked if she would name the center after herself, Pia said, “There’s already a community center named Oro Pia. I don't mind any suggestions right now. We’re still thinking about a few names. I am choosing between Bahaghari or Tahanan, so we'll see…”

Pia and Love Yourself are targeting to initially help 500 beneficiaries in the planned new youth center. 

“Even if we get 500 people that are under our treatment, that's 500 people who are, we are helping keep alive, that's 500 people who are now going to be untransmittable. It's a huge impact and there's nothing more would make me happy than to see all the memorabilia I've collected, go back toward the community and it's going to be a full circle moment and I would feel very happy if I can make this dream come true.”

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