Miss Universe 2015 Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach on Monday, February 29, called for a “change of values” as she shared her experiences as a victim of bullies during an anti-bullying seminar in Toronto, Canada.
The 26-year-old beauty queen said that winning the crown doesn’t safeguard her from cyberbullying and scathing criticism.
“What we need here and the rest of the world is a change of values…to accept our differences. That is a fact of life. And the more we become accepting, the more we become tolerant. And the more we care,” Pia told students of the International Language Academy of Canada.
In an interview with ABS-CBN, she admitted experiencing “bullying in different forms”. Growing up in the province and being half-Filipino and half-German made her feel she was “the odd one out”, she said. “… And of course I was the tallest in my class and I felt kind of awkward.”
Reigning Miss Universe Canada Paola Nunez and former Canadian prime minister John N. Turner attended the event. The talk was followed by a charity dinner that raised about US$7,000 to benefit the SickKids Foundation.
A day before the event, Pia also met some of the candidates of Miss Universe Canada 2016 and offered pieces of advice to the aspiring beauty queens.
“Be good to yourselves and good to each other and root for each other,” she said. “Get to know each other and support each other and be there when adversity comes.”