Pia Wurtzbach defends earning for family at age 11 | Inquirer Entertainment

Pia Wurtzbach defends earning for family at age 11

/ 11:43 AM October 07, 2018
pia wurtzbach

Image: Instagram/@piawurtzbach

Pia Wurtzbach’s challenging rise to the top hasn’t been a secret — the world-class beauty queen even has a “Maalaala Mo Kaya” episode about the adversities she faced in life.

The Miss Universe 2015 winner elaborated more on her struggles in an Instagram post to advertise a hair conditioning product yesterday, Oct. 6.


“I’ve been my family’s breadwinner since I was 11,” she said. “I’ve worked countless jobs from waiting tables to packing boxes in a paper factory — a testament that I hustled on and never gave up ‘til I reached my dreams.”

She said that more than the Miss Universe crown, promoting her advocacies such as a healthy lifestyle, AIDS awareness and women empowerment are more important to her.


Many were no doubt inspired by her personal reflection, but one netizen, @kassiesss wondered what Wurtzbach’s parents were doing while she was the family’s breadwinner.

Image: Instagram/@piawurtzbach

“You do know you’re basically telling everyone that your parents had let you work when you were 11, let you feed and support them instead of them working and supporting you?” the Instagram user asked. “What were they doing when you were 11? Just sits (sic) around waiting for you to come home from work? #childabuseawareness”

Not long after, Wurtzbach stepped in to clarify her side.

Image: Instagram/@piawurtzbach

“What I mean was I stepped in to be breadwinner of my family because I eventually had the most income through my modeling and acting career as a kid,” she explained.

She said she continued to attend school and that her mom was constantly watching over her. Meanwhile, her work at a restaurant and at a paper factory came later in life, when she was over 17.

“It was my decision to help my family. They never forced me,” Wurtzbach stressed.

“In the Philippines it’s not uncommon for children to decide to help their families out. As long as it’s within the law and you’re not hurting anyone,” she added.


Born in Germany, Wurtzbach’s early childhood was in Cagayan de Oro. But when her parents separated when she was 9, her mother singlehandedly raised her and her sister.

They eventually moved to Manila where she modeled and joined showbiz, starring in some TV shows while in her teens. For some time she lived in England with her family. It was there that Wurtzbach would find a job waiting tables; perhaps little did she know then that she had a bright future as a beauty queen.

“Wala po kaming nilabag na batas (We did not break any laws),” Wurtzbach said. “Mahirap lang po talagang lumaki sa hirap (It’s just difficult to grow up poor) and I’m not ashamed of where I came from.” JB


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TAGS: Beauty queen, breadwinner, Family, Pia Wurtzbach, Poverty
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