What Paula Shugart told Pia Wurtzbach

What former Miss Universe President Paula Shugart told Pia Wurtzbach

/ 07:55 PM April 04, 2024

What former Miss Universe President Paula Shugart told Pia Wurtzbach. ARMIN P. ADINA

Pia Wurtzbach. ARMIN P. ADINA

Paula Shugart may have already stepped down as president of the Miss Universe Organization (MUO) after her tenure of more than two decades, but her impact on the lives of the international pageant’s titleholders still remains, including 2015 winner Pia Wurtzbach, the third queen from the Philippines.

“When I won Miss Universe, I had a list. [Shugart] told me ‘have a list of things you wanna do. You know, you wanna have things that you pursue after,’” Wurtzbach said at a gathering in Makati City attended by members of the media, content creators, and some of her friends.


“So then I listed a few ideas down, and one of them is to write a book. And then under book, I had a few ideas—self-help, look book, [and a] novel,” continued the beauty queen, who saw the fruition of the plan she made in 2015 just last year with the publication of “Queen of the Universe,” that tells the story of pageant queen Cleo whose travails were loosely based on her own life.


And Wurtzbach has made it her annual habit since heeding Shugart’s advice almost a decade ago. “I have a list, and I’ll write it down. But then I always think ‘mangyayari kaya (will it happen)? Am I setting myself up for false hope here? Am I reaching for the stars too much?’ But I write my plans down anyway. And I do it every year. And that’s one of my most favorite things to do,” she shared.

She confessed, though, that one thing remains to be the first she would fail at, and that is to work out every day. “Pero iyong iba naman trina-try ko talagang gawin (But the rest I really try to accomplish),” Wurtzbach declared.

When she was making her plans for 2023, Wurtzbach said she was “not in a very good place,” and she was not sure she could pursue everything she had listed down. “I was like, ‘it’s been seven, eight years since Miss Universe. Is it too late? Should I have tried this a couple of years ago? Am I doing this right? What’s next for me?’ I can’t do pageants forever, I have to evolve,” she said.

But her anxiety was unwarranted because she was able to publish her book, that eventually became a bestseller. She has also graced several global events, including the Cannes International Film Festival, and several events during the Fashion Weeks in some of the top fashion centers in the world.

She has also returned to the global fashion scene this year via the 2024 Milan Fall/Winter Fashion Week, where she became the second-ranked personality with the highest media impact value, according to influence analytics company Launchmetrics.

Influencer marketing platform Lefty, meanwhile, placed Wurtzbach on the sixth spot in the list of the “most visible influencers” who generated high media value at the Milan Fashion Week. She joined Hollywood actress Anne Hathaway and Korean idol Hyunjin from the K-Pop girl group Stray Kids in the rankings.


For those struggling to fulfill the plans they laid out at the beginning of the year, Wurtzbach said the key is not to rush. “I try to remember that those things don’t happen overnight. It’s the little things that you do every day, the baby steps towards that direction,” she said.

“So if my goal is to start my own business, then I have to change the things that I do. For example, I didn’t go to university for business, but there is the internet, there are so many podcasts, and videos and things that I can get into to listen to it. So maybe while I’m in the shower I’ll listen to something. At least I’m doing a little thing every day towards that goal,” she shared.

Wurtzbach also advised people to be aware of oneself and the intricacies of one’s personality. “I find that I am at my best when I always have something to look forward to, I always have a goal,” she said, also adding that she feels good to be faced with a challenge, to see how far she can go and how much more she can learn.

She added: “I am fortunate to be around people who are generous with their knowledge, and also who encourage me to give things a try.”

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After jetting overseas to launch her book and for other commercial commitments, Wurtzbach also teased that she will be working on an Amazon show this year.

TAGS: Paula Shugart, Pia Wurtzbach

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