Pia Wurtzbach opened up about seeing a therapist during her reign as Miss Universe back in 2015.
In an interview with Miss Universe Canada 2016 Siera Bearchell, the 31-year-old beauty queen went on a trip down memory lane as she recalled her experience in the Miss Universe pageant.
Pia reiterated it was never just a personal victory for her, but rather a winning representation of the Filipino nation. Then again, she admitted she felt a lot of pressure during that time.
“It was more than a personal victory. I felt like it was a victory for the whole Philippines ‘cause you know, back home it’s really a big deal and before I competed, the Philippines has always been placing Top 10 or the runner-up positions so, you know, the pressure was on every year. Like you didn’t want to be the girl who broke the streak that runner-up streak or the Top 10 streak. So people’s expectations were high,” she said.
“I felt like I wasn’t doing it for myself. I was doing it for everyone or people who were cheering me on. And it did feel like I was really carrying the whole Philippines with me because when I was wearing that sash, it said Philippines. It didn’t say Pia. So whatever I do, ‘Oh it’s Philippines did this’. They never say Pia. So I felt like I’ve got to represent and I’ve got to make everybody proud. So there was a lot of pressure. I remember that,” she added.
While she felt the pressure, she said she felt happy knowing the Filipino people were there for her.
“But it also felt good when all of the hard work paid off in the end. It’s such a nice feeling hearing your fellow countrymen cheering you on. It’s such a nice feeling seeing them waving the flag and knowing that that’s you. Like they’re doing it for you. Most of these people don’t even know me. But somehow, they all believe in me and then that I can do it. It’s a really nice feeling,” she continued.
With a lot of pressure surrounding her, Pia said she started seeing a therapist to help her come with the anxiety.
“Not a lot of people actually know this, but I actually went to therapy session every week just to like talk it out with somebody, you know. All of these — this is different. Like suddenly your life changed overnight and I needed time to absorb what’s going on and really make sure that I’m okay and then I don’t get overwhelmed and that I don’t suddenly make mistakes along the way or like let it get in my head,” she said.
While most people thought she was doing fine on the outside, Pia said it was never really the case from the inside.
“Work-wise, from the outside, people saw that I was okay, I was doing the job. Everything was good. I can’t speak for the other winners, but I get homesick. You think about your family, you think about the people back home. And every little mistake you do is so magnified because it’s like ‘Our Miss Universe did this and that and that’. So, I was missing my family that was one of them. I was living in New York. It was fun, but kind of like an adjustment also,” she said.
Although she didn’t mention the name of the guy she was referring to, Pia said the public disapproval of her relationship while she was busy with her preparations for Miss Universe also affected her. \\
“I also had a boyfriend at that time and people back home didn’t really approve of that idea. Because they felt like ‘Oh you’re Miss Universe. You should be focusing on your reign and you shouldn’t have time for your love life yet. You should be focusing on your responsibilities. And you know, it affected me. That really hurt me and I felt like I’m very hard on myself,” she said.
She went on: “So, I felt like I was letting people down. So, you know, those thoughts. It’s really me versus me. Miss Universe really took care of me and I had somebody to talk to every week who just understood because that what they do.”
Meanwhile, Pia shared why she decided to see a therapist, citing her inner struggles.
“Because all of this is something new. Like how many people can say they watched a pageant won by millions of people and you also didn’t win in the conventional way. So it was a lot. From the outside, I think people thought that I was okay. But was trying to do my job as a Miss Universe once hundred percent. But I was also trying to, you know, overcome these inner struggles within myself,” she said.
Watch the video below:
Pia was crowned Miss Universe in 2015.