|Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach poses under the crown held by her Madame Tussauds wax replica, which was unveiled to the media during an event at the EDSA Shangri-La yesterday. / Jesse Bustos
MANILA, Philippines — Former Miss Universe Pia Wurtzbach felt like a winner again as she unveiled in Manila yesterday her wax figure for Madame Tussauds Hong Kong.
Wurtzbach is the first and only Filipino celebrity to have a figure at the popular wax museum chain’s flagship attraction in Asia.
“It’s so surreal. I cannot explain how happy I am now. I feel like I won again,” the 29-year-old beauty queen and actress told The STAR.
Wurtzbach said she used to go to Madame Tussauds and even had a throwback photo from 10 years ago when she went to the wax museum in Las Vegas, USA.
“So I know how fun it is there, how fun it is to take photos with the celebrities in wax figures. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I’m gonna be immortalized,” Wurtzbach said.
“I’m going to look young forever,” she quipped.
When asked how she was selected, Wurtzbach said she was informed that a survey was undertaken on Filipino celebrities.
“That’s what they told me. They did like a survey, a study, and that’s how they decided to select me.”
According to Madame Tussauds Hong Kong general manager Jenny You, they decided to have a Filipino wax figure due to the request of their Filipino visitors. “Our Filipino guests have always been important to us and we’ve always believed we should have a Filipino wax figure, so we’re very pleased to have Pia mark this milestone with us. We can’t imagine having anyone but her to represent the Philippines in this way.”
She added, “More than being a queen, (Wurtzbach) has all the makings of an icon and we’re proud to be able to house her wax figure at Madame Tussauds Hong Kong for the rest of the world to be able to interact with.”
At the big reveal held at the Edsa Shangri-La Hotel, it was like seeing double for the media as Wurtzbach came face to face for the first time with her wax version. It wore the same stunning Swarovski-embellished royal blue ball gown by Michael Cinco, which she donned when she passed the Miss Universe crown in 2016.
People will enjoy their own crowning moment with Wurtzbach’s wax version. “I really love it. I really love the pose. It’s very interactive. People are going to be able to touch it.”
To come up with such a flawless resemblance, the process of getting her measurements took four to five hours. The making of the figure took six months, with 20 artists working on it in London where Madame Tussauds originated.
“I had to do the pose for quite sometime because they had to measure everything, like the distance from my wrist to my elbow, everything. They had to measure manually,” she said.
They also took a lot of pictures of her face, from different angles, but Wurtzbach said, “I never got tired because I was too excited, my adrenalin was up.”
She continued, “They really paid attention to detail. They checked the color of my hair because iba pala ang color natin dito sa harap, sa likod, sa ilalim, the hair has highlights and lowlights and then I had to step outside into the natural light so they could get the exact color of my eyes. And fun fact, the teeth (are) exactly the same because they got my dental impression from my dentist.”
The Miss Universe crown used in the wax figure is the Mikimoto crown as approved by the Miss Universe Organization.
Her wax version is home for the #PiaMadeIconic Travel Festival today at SM Mega Fashion Hall. The festival is a joint effort of Madame Tussauds Hong Kong with two other major travel brands, international airline Cathay Pacific and booking platform Klook.
Special packages are being offered at the event for first time and frequent travelers to Hong Kong.
After the travel fest, Wurtzbach’s wax figure will be flown to its permanent home at Madame Tussauds Hong Kong, where it will join life-size replicas of some of the world’s most famous celebrities and historic icons in themed galleries.
Source: The Philippine Star, 3/29/2019