Pia Wurtzbach’s Sweet Victory and Hannah Ruth Sison’s Bitter Loss at Bb. Pilipinas 2015
When pageant hosts Xiam Lim and Toni Gonzaga announced that the new Bb. Pilipinas Universe (or Miss Philippines Universe 2015) was Pia Wurtzbach I saw mixed emotions fly across her face. And as she stepped forward to feel that crown settle on her head, the adoring crowd at the Araneta Coliseum cheered like it was New Year’s eve!
This crown was three years in the making for the former actress turned beauty contestant. Pia Wurtzbach first joined in 2013 and placed as the sole runner-up. In 2014 she returned to the Bb. Pilipinas stage with high expectations but only entered the Top 15. It was a bitter loss that almost made her turn her back on competing forever. But this year, Pia decided to give it one more shot and the risk paid off. She finally landed the crown that she worked so hard for.
It is quite an interesting coincidence that her predecessor, MJ Lastimosa, winner of last year’s Bb. Pilipinas Universe (Miss Philippines Universe 2014) was also a 3-peater who was a runner-up the first time, a semi-finalist in her second attempt then, finally, crowned winner on her third try.
Many fans now are wondering if this is the new trend – you need to be a 2 or 3-peater before you win. But I don’t think so. The scuttlebutt I heard during the victory party was that contestant #19 Christi McGarry, a Bb. Pilipinas 1st timer was also being considered by judges for the Universe title but due to residency issues, they gave her the Bb. Pilipinas Intercontinental title instead.
That alone presents a whole new set of problems since McGarry has ALREADY competed in the Miss Intercontinental and even placed in the Top 15 in that international pageant. Read more on this issue here…
Back to Pia…
…at the victory party she greeted me with the unrestrained smile of a coed who just turned homecoming queen. And it was such a blessing to see her so happy! She so deserves it!!!
But as Pia finally reached her dream, someone else saw her dreams shattered. Contestant #28 Hannah Ruth Sison who many thought would land a crown too this year only got 1st runner-up.
But during the traditional huddle of winners, Hannah reportedly ran off stage because she couldn’t hold her tears back. So in the photo below, taken after the huddle, she can no longer be seen.
Just like Pia, Hannah is a 3-peater. The first time she joined in 2013 she was unplaced. In 2014, she became a runner-up and then tonight she was announced runner-up again.
I can’t begin to tell you how quiet Araneta Coliseum was when she was called forward as runner-up. I could feel the dismay coursing through the audience. I had to stifle my own disappointment. Hannah has always been a favorite of mine so I didn’t take it well. My disappointment deepened when I noticed that she wasn’t at the victory party. I heard that she was crying at the dressing room and couldn’t come out.
While I wished Hannah Ruth Sison had the boldness to show up at the party, I can’t blame her. This was kind of like her ‘last hurrah’ since she is ‘aging out’ in August this year – she turns 27.
I do not know what will console her since I sit here inconsolable myself over her loss. But I have discovered that getting over stuff does happen but it just takes time. And that beauty can come out of pain. That we can be proud of our battle scars. That we can celebrate the victories of others even if we are not victorious. That we are not alone in loss. That we can move on and know that there are other mountains to climb. And I sure hope Hannah finds them and climbs them.