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Pia flies back to US, mobbed by fans in San Francisco

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(Photo from Philippine Star)


SAN FRANCISCO — After a week-long homecoming tour in the Philippines which included visits to Malacanang and Congress, Miss Universe Pia Wurtzbach returned to the United States and was mobbed by fans upon her arrival at the San Francisco International Airport.


From the airport, she motored to the Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, California before going back to New York.


In Santa Clara, Pia worked as a special correspondent for the syndicated entertainment newsmagazine show “Inside Edition” covering the "Super Bowl 50" with the show’s regular correspondent Megan Alexander.


Top network ABS-CBN covered Pia's arrival in San Francisco reporting that the Filipina-German beauty queen was given a warm welcome by fans at the airport.


Fans literally mobbed Pia as they tried to get a glimpse of her who still looked fabulous after a 12-hour flight from Manila.


On television reports monitored in Manila, even police officers were seen taking photos with Pia.


The Filipina beauty queen arrived in San Francisco via Philippine Airlines Flight PR-104 at around 10 pm.


Jonas Gaffud, Pia's Miss Universe trainer, sent her off at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

The mediamen were barred from interviewing her at the airport because they needed prior approval from the Miss Universe Organization (MUO).


Once she is back in New York, she is expected to be deluged with engagements as she continues her reign as Miss Universe.


Manila Bulletin reporter Robert Requintina said Pia vowed to come back in Manila if her tight schedule would permit.


For sure, she is expected to return for the grand coronation night of the 2016 Binibining Pilipinas beauty pageant at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Cubao, Quezon City on April 17.


Pia's appearance on Feb. 7 as the “Inside Edition” special correspondent for Super Bowl 50, the National Football League championship, would be her second appearance in the same magazine show. The first one happened weeks after she was crowned Miss Universe.


A day before she left for New York, Pia made true to her promise to attend the wedding of her close friend, actress Pauleen Luna with actor-television host Vic Sotto.


In her message to Sotto, 61, during the wedding, as reported by GMA News, the beauty queen said: “Please take care of her. I know that she’s very strong and she can take care of herself, but deep inside, there is a fragile heart. So, please take care of our friend. We love her very much, as you do. We’re confident that she’s in very good hands.”


Pia acted as bridesmaid to Luna, 27, during the wedding held at the St. James The Great Parish Church in Alabang, Muntinlupa City.


The Filipino-German beauty queen also had a chance to meet Nicomaine ‘Yaya Dub’ Mendoza of the mega-hit ‘kalye-serye’ aired over of top-rating noontime show Eat Bulaga.


Pia relayed again her gratitude to the legions of AlDub fans who voted for her in the 2015 Miss Universe pageant in Las Vegas, Nevada on Dec. 20, 2015.


“Thank you AlDub fans for supporting me in the Miss Universe pageant,” she said.


In her Instagram post, Pia posted a photo with the newlyweds and captioned it: “And they lived happily ever after.”


While in the Philippines, Pia was honored with parades and programs, including a call on President Aquino in Malacanang and the two houses of Congress where she was awarded citations.

At the Senate, Pia expressed her wish to enter politics someday, a statement which caught Senate President Franklin Drilon flat-footed. Drilon advised her to slow down on her political plans.

Pia had her big moment when she was honored at the Araneta Coliseum with beauty queens in attendance.

In the event, Pia made her victory walk in her royal-blue gown by Albert Andrada, cheered right on by the audience that love her like a sister.


The grand homecoming special show was made more memorable by the presence of past Bb. Pilipinas-Universe winners, except Gloria Diaz, the country’s first Miss Universe (1969), who was reported to be in Japan.


The beauties were led by Margie Moran who last won Miss Universe in 1973, with the 42-year drought broken by Pia, the “confidently beautiful with a heart” after her week-long hectic homecoming.


The original plan was for Gloria and Margie to reenact the crowning of Pia. Only Margie did the honors.


Other beauty queens in the event were former Bb. Pilipinas-Universe beauties were acknowledged on stage, namely: Simonette delos Reyes-Ferraren (1970), Vida Doria-Legaspi (1971), Chiqui Brosas-Hahn (1975), Dang Cecilio-Palanca (1979), Maricar Mendoza-Du (1981), Desiree Verdadero-Abesamis (1984), Joyce Ann Burton-Titular (1985), Gem Padilla-Thomas (1990), Abbygale Arenas-de Leon (1997), Miriam Quiambao-Roberto (1999), Nina Ricci Alagao-Flores (2000), Karen Loren Agustin-Ostrea (2002), Gionna Cabrera (2005), Lia Andrea Ramos-Moss (2006), Bianca Manalo (2009), Venus Raj (2010) and Ara Arida (2013).  


Also present were Jorge Araneta and wife Stella Marquez, Miss Universe Organization (MUO) president Paula Shugart, MUO talent director Esther Swan, Pia’s mom Cheryl Alonzo-Tindall and aunt Olive; and Binibini queens Pia’s batchmates Bea Santiago, Mutya Datul and Cindy Miranda; Lara Quigaman-Alcaraz, Jennette Fernando-Dizon, Lia Andanar-Yu, Issa Gonzales, Gladys Dueñas, Patty Betita, Alma Concecpion, Peachie Sacasas-Alimurung, Denille Valmonte-Valera, Carlene Aguilar-Ocampo, Patricia Fernandez-Garcia, Czarina Gatbonton, Dianne Necio and Kim Suiza.  


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