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EXCLUSIVE: This Is The Most Important Life Lesson Pia Wurtzbach Learned From New York

Oh, New York. Many dream of living there, to enjoy and immerse in the dynamism of the place and get in an empire state of mind. It's not hard to fall in love with the city given its vibrant streets, overall upbeat energy, beautiful sceneries, storied landmarks, and diverse culinary scene. And Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach—who stayed there during her reign and recently went back to The Big Apple—experienced what it was like exactly to call this place home.


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“There’s nothing in the world like New York,” declares the beauty queen who will spearhead "The Universe Gives Back" benefit gala on June 4 along with reigning Miss Universe Catriona Gray. Pia says, “It’s one of my favorite cities in the world. Halos four hours lang 'yung tulog ko du'n every day but I kept fighting it. I wanted to see everyone, I wanted to do everything, I wanted to visit every place in it!”


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Pia returned to New York recently to attend the 20th anniversary celebration of Smile Train, an international children’s charity with a sustainable approach to a single, solvable problem: cleft lip and palate. “Bitin na bitin 'yung trip ko but it was very sentimental. I got to reunite with Olivia Jordan, Catriona, and I also met the new Miss USA,” she muses. “I got to see so many people in just a few days so it was a short but very productive and meaningful trip.”


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When asked about the most important life lesson she learned from the city, she was quick to point out that life is bigger than anyone thinks. “Every time I fly to New York after being in the Philippines, I realize that my problems are so small. I realize there’s a big world out there just waiting to be discovered and then my dreams can come true,” Pia tells Metro.Style. “When you’re in New York, you really feel like you can be anyone you want to be and no one will judge you. Parang narere-energize ako, bumabalik 'yung lakas ko—that’s how I felt when I visited New York. I felt like there’s a big world out there waiting for me after Miss Universe.”

Swipe through the gallery for some of our favorite photos from her NY trip!




"The Universe Gives Back" benefit gala on June 4 will feature creations by top Filipino designers like Albert Andrada, Rhett Eala, Michael Leyva, Ito Curata, Jot Losa, Avel Bacudio, Cherry Veric, and Martin Bautista. Their designs will be modeled by the current candidates of Miss Universe and Binibining Pilipinas. The beneficiaries were chosen by Pia Wurtzbach and Catriona Gray: Love Yourself (which promotes self-love and equality as well as HIV/AIDS awareness) and Young Focus (which helps provide education for underprivileged children in the Philippines. 


Photos from @piawurtzbach