MANILA, Philippines–Pia Wurtzbach, of Cagayan de Oro City, was crowned Binibining Pilipinas Universe 2015 on Sunday night at Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City.
The 25-year-old professional model and culinary arts graduate was tearful and beaming as she received her crown and sash from the outgoing Bb. Pilipinas Universe Mary Jean Lastimosa.
Wurtzbach, who was also awarded Bb. Creamsilk, triumphed over 33 other competitors from across the country.
Moments before she emerged victorious, she was asked by Rep. Leni Robredo about her thoughts on Internet censorship.
“I think that we should be careful with what we post online especially our thoughts and our opinions that we don’t hurt anybody,” she said. “Especially selfies, we have to be careful with what we post, especially with our bodies and our faces. So always think before you click.”
Being one of the pageant’s crowd favorites, Wurtzbach’s answer set off a wave of applause and screams from diehard fans.
It was Wurtzbach’s third time in a row to join the contest. She was Bb. Pilipinas 2013 first runner-up and also made it to the Top 15 last year.
Janicel Lubina, of Palawan, was proclaimed Bb. Pilipinas International. She also won the Best in Long Gown and Best in Swimsuit awards.
Ann Lorraine Colis, a BS Management Accounting graduate, took home the Bb. Pilipinas Tourism title.
Bagging the Bb. Pilipinas Supranational award was 23-year old Rogelie Catacutan.
Christi Lynn McGarry, of Nabua, Camarines Sur, was declared Bb. Pilipinas Intercontinental.
One spot shy of the crown was first runner-up Hannah Ruth Sison. Kimverlyn Suiza was second runner-up.
Teresita Ssen Marquez, daughter of actor Joey Marquez and actress Alma Moreno, seized the Best in Talent, Best in National Costume and She’s so Jag 2015 awards.
Other winners include Toni Alyessa Hipolito (Ms. Friendship), Cannielle Faith Santos (Ms. Photogenic and Manila Bulletin Readers’ Choice awards) and Kylie Versoza (Bb. Philippine Airlines).
Among those who made the Top 15 cut were: Princess Joy Camu, Brenna Cassandra Gamboa, Teresita Ssen Marquez, Maolin Yalung, Alaiza Flor Malinao, Justine Beatrice Felizarta, Anja Vanessa Peter and Kylie Versorza.
Early in the competition, the candidates flaunted their toned bodies in red bikinis. R ‘n’ B Prince Jay-Ar and Voice of the Philippines champion Jason Dy lit up the stage with upbeat music as the beauties sashayed on the stage in their evening gowns.
Meanwhile, pageant host Toni Gonzaga announced that Bb. Pilipinas Charities Inc. now invites local designers to submit their creations for the national costume of the country’s representative for Miss Universe later this year.
Binibining Pilipinas, now in its 52nd edition, is the longest-running and most prestigious beauty pageant in the country. It chooses the country’s representatives to major international beauty contests.