The interesting timing of Pia Wurtzbach’s homecoming

All the big events seem to have come together on this day, the 25th January. It’s the birth anniversary of the late Corazon ‘Cory’ Aquino, mother of current President Benigno Simeon ‘BS’ Aquino III. On this day also, exactly 12 months ago, 44 elite police officers of the Philippine National Police (PNP) Special Action Force (SAF) were massacred by members of the terrorist Moro Islamic Liberation Front in Mamasapano.

Today is also the much-anticipated homecoming of newly-crowned Miss Universe Pia Wurtzbach who ended a 42-year title drought since Margie Moran won the crown in 1973. An interesting theory making the rounds in social media is that the Philippine government had something to do with the timing of Wurtzbach’s triumphant return to the Philippines. Theorists speculate that today was specifically chosen to schedule her arrival to distract Filipinos from the Mamasapano incident which, to this day, the Aquino government is still to convincingly address head-on. As if confirming this conspiracy theory, Senate President Franklin Drilon, during a courtesy call paid by Wurtzbach to the Senate reportedly quipped, “Your presence here has generated more interest than the Mamasapano hearing…”


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Indeed, there is much that Filipinos need to be distracted from. The Aquino government needs to distance itself from Mamasapano even as it struggles in vain to desperately wash the murdered 44 SAF officers’ blood off its hands. At stake is the candidacy of the ruling Liberal Party bet (and Aquino minion) Mar Roxas who as Department of Interior and Local Government Secretary at the time of the massacre himself also has a lot to answer for.

Wurtzbach also publicly supports United States military presence in the Philippines under the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) recently upheld by the Philippines’ Supreme Court.

“I think that the United States and the Philippines have always had a good relationship with each other. We were colonized by the Americans and we have their culture and our traditions even up to this day and I think that we’re very welcoming with the Americans. And I don’t see any problem with that at all,” she said during the top 5 contestant’s question-and-answer portion of the pageant which she eventually won.

Obviously, Miss Universe’s immense star power lends credibility to these words, so much so that no less than a Philippine Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago herself (a staunch critic of the EDCA and related military agreements with the US) has expressed an interest to discuss the matter with Wurtzbach.

If indeed Wurtzbach had succeeded at overshadowing Mamasapano and Cory Aquino’s birthday today, there is irony in that achievement considering that she is, as the other two were, once again pitched by the country’s noted opinion shapers as the quintessential Filipino “hero”.

Unfortunately, the substance beneath what being a “hero” is really all about routinely flies over Filipinos’ heads. The important common denominators — the gruelling training that earns SAF troopers their special place in the police and armed forces, the “sacrifice” of Cory Aquino that propelled her to the presidency in 1986, and the hard work in Wurtzbach’s long journey to the top — are all key to how Filipinos should be regarding their heroes. When Filipinos begin to understand the true essence of what it means to be a “hero” to a people, the aspiration to emulate these heroes becomes a bit more realistic and even practical — and the hollow idolatry ends.

Perhaps then it is fitting that the Philippines’ third Miss Universe share this important day with the 44 fallen SAF troopers and former President Cory Aquino as one to commemorate every year. Collectively, they are perfectly aligned to highlighting the juxtaposition of rare beauty, preventable tragedy, and emo politics that are constant features of the bewildered character of Philippine society.

[Photo courtesy]

17 Replies to “The interesting timing of Pia Wurtzbach’s homecoming”

  1. The only thing Failipinos are good at is bragging about their petty and individual accomplishments (boxing and beauty pageants)– instead of coming together as one nation to end poverty and corruption in the Failippines. How does Manny Pacquaio and Pia Wurtzback’s individual accomplishments help move the country forward, without adding more fuel to the Failipinos’ overbearing delusions of their proverbial “Pinoy Pride”?

    1. To Aeta:
      Do we have a national goal.. a benchmark towards which the government might lead all citizens? If there is, it probably is so confidential, not even the Cabinet Secretaries know about it, or, are simply unwilling to let the citizens in on it. The Filipino.. damaged culture, flawed psyche and all.. might not be entirely to blame. It could, after all, be the clueless and feckless leaders, who we trusted and voted into office and who, then, simply looked out for themselves.
      There must be a way.. a nasty way.. that we could hold them to account.

      1. Vagoneto Rieles,

        We, the Failipino masses, may not be entirely to blame, but we are certainly a lot to blame. Each time we buy into our politicians’ political lies; buy condominiums and automobiles that destroy our environment; be entertained by our celebrities that dull our mental capacities, while they subliminally inject us with their elitists messages; shop in malls and eat at restaurants owned by Chinese moxnopolizers; or, if we live abroad and ignore the cry of our poor, and just fend for our families’ needs; we are indeed as much to blame—for we contribute to the profligation of a corrupt culture and system.


  2. i come to think that everything is a setup from the beginning. this is a political tactic. election is coming and this is very crucial. our miss universe supports USA. though we share the democratic principles we need to differ economically. we need to consider our real neighbors and the ASEAN.

    1. One thing that was coincidental is Donald Trump and Miss Philippines winning the Miss Universe contest. Mr. Trump is building one of his towers in the Philippines. So what the best way to promote himself to potential clients in the Philippines, than to let Miss Philippines win his wholly-sponsored Miss Universe contest?

  3. We should build a Memorial or Monument, for those Fallen 44 SAF Heroes, ignored by : Aquino, Roxas and the Liberal Party.

    Porky Drillon, one of those “stinking” Swines in the Hacienda Luisita Pig Farm, has the nerve to ignore the heroism of those 44 SAF heroes. Cory Aquino is not a hero; neither was Benigno Aquino, Jr. Both were used by the U.S./C.I.A., to promote the U.S. interest in the Philippines. Both were political opportunists.

    The opinion of Miss Wurtzbach is her own. We may, or may not disagree with her. I believe in protecting our own interests. Have our own Defence Force. Build our own defense industry, for our own Defense Force. Be in good terms with all countries. And, cooperate in the fight against Islamic Radicals and terrorism.

  4. I’ve just heard on TV that Ms. Wurtzbach is considering eventually entering into politics.

    Whether she does or doesn’t have the wisdom or genuine ability to run for public office yet remains to be seen. But, let’s face it. The scorecard result of a ‘Miss Universe’ committee was all it took to create this sense of entitlement—The bar is set so low that it was enough for those attention-starved/craving hollow “Pinoy Pride” masses to feel vindicated. ‘Shows there really isn’t much else going for our Pinoy society.

    1. That seems to be the common career trajectory popular entertainment and sports “heroes” gravitate towards in Philippine society. Perhaps it is a lack of imagination that drives them towards politics — because politics, specially in the Philippines, rewards mere popularity and does not penalise a lack of substance or qualification.

    2. “Tsinoy”, “Pinoy”, “Pinas”.. do we really have a problem with “Filipino-Chinese” “Filipino”, and the “Philippines”? Code-words (are they euphemisms?), cheapen and disrespect the objects so referred. This is probably why “Chicanos” for Mexicanos, “Chapins” for Guatemaltecos, “Ticos” for Costa Rizences, or, “Boriquas” for Puerto Riquenos are not used in polite company. If we are proud to be “Filipinos”, and If we love the “Philippines”, let’s say so in their beautiful and long-accepted terms; and, if we respect the ”Filipino-Chinese”, let’s call them out properly. Old fashioned? Maybe so.. but I could be right.

      1. All I know is the Chinese–pure Chinese nationals and/or Chinese-Failipinos (Chinoys)–have joined forces and monopolized the Failippine economy via our Failipino politicians. Anyone who denies atrocity is happening is either blind,deaf,and mute; or, simply in denial and lying.

        1. There’s is no difference between Failipino celebrities and Failipino politicians; both complement each other.

        2. To Aeta:

          The name of the game is competition. We either know, or, do not know how to play this game. We could either lead or follow; and if we can do neither, we would just be taking up space. We should just get out of the way of progress.. and perhaps, learn. Whining is not very helpful.

        3. vagoneto rifles,

          “Whining is not very helpful.” If that’s the case, then what the hell are we all doing on this forum, talking about the dirty little wars being waged in the Failippines that’s has destroyed the very fabric of life there?

          If all these bullshits that’s been going on in the Failippines is what you call competition, then I guess you’re okay with it.

          Does this Ted Turner “lead, follow, or get out of the way” euphemism you’re using includes cheating, lying, and deceiving? If it doesn’t, then you must be talking about other countries and not the Failippines.



    TELLUS:Exactly when was the last time any government official had to ‘ANSWER’ for anything they did? You can not do it because it has not happened. Keep dreaming.

  6. There were corpses here and there and pools of blood. I remember seeing a butterfly flutter up and down that street. Summer does not abdicate.

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