Miss Universe 2015, Miss Philippines Pia Wurtzbach and the 5 Stages of Grief

The Miss Universe, as Miss Philippines Pia Wurtzbach herself noted, is huge in the Philippines. It’s like boxing. If the Philippines feels like a ghost town during Manny Pacquiao fights, the same can be said about pageant night. Well, at least to ladies and our gay friends. Just a tip: if you’re in the Philippines and badly need a haircut, and the reigning Miss Philippines loses in the pageant, we suggest you postpone your haircut a few days down the road, when the 5 stages of grief has passed (with the hairdressers having a bad day, you don’t want them touching your hair, seriously). During the 2015 Miss Universe, the 5 stages of grief — denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance — were compressed in less than 10 minutes. Allow us to illustrate the 5 stages of grief, based on the Miss Universe 2015 reactions of Filipinos around the world:


There are two variations of denial, emerging separately or together at the same time — “bullshit” and “this is rigged.” We’re terribly sorry if we have to spell it out, but that’s the only way we can approximate the crispness of this word uttered by Filipino fans around the world. It usually goes, “No way…(loooong silence)….this is bullshit! …. (long silence, again)….ahhh…..oh my god….oh my god!” We really don’t know if “oh my god” dilutes the bad word that precedes it, but, yeah, it’s the emotions, folks.

(Courtesy of youtube.com/Nestle Alonzo)

When Miss USA was announced as the 2nd runner up, the excitement was just too high — the Philippines has a big change of getting the Miss Universe crown after 42 years. Then Steve Harvey announced that the 1st runner up is…well, the Miss Universe is (or, uhm, was?) Miss Colombia. At that exact moment, the Filipino world entered the collective stage of grief.


Anger came swiftly. While the next stage of grief may take days or months in some cases, the next stage (anger) in the Filipino psyche came a few milliseconds after. WHAT? WTF! While some viewers were composed, like the previous video, others were less in control of their emotions, like this Pinoy who lost it and began throwing…what is that…a bouquet? Watch:

(Courtesy of youtube.com/Gerald B.)


Bargaining came in the form of encouragement for Pia. This is very, very common among the viewers. “It’s ok, Pia, you’re still our queen.” “We love you Pia.” It’s like, “ok, that was a shocker, we thought Pia won, but hey, Pia, you deserved to win. You’re still our Miss Universe.”

(Courtesy of youtube.com/Alfie Bart)


And so, in just a minute or two, depression ensued. No, we’re not kidding. We’re not experts in characterizing depression, but we strongly believe that this reaction is pretty much close to what depression is:

(Courtesy of youtube.com/cutielouisse)


Yep, Steve Harvey came walking back like a sly kitten that looked guilty after doing something terrible. From the moment Harvey uttered “I apologize,” there was a collective gasp, an electric moment when Filipinos began to believe that all is not lost. “The Miss Universe…is…Miss Philippines.” Acceptance, right there. It’s amazing how the acceptance was utterly 100% and yet the Filipinos had a uniform empathy for Miss Colombia. It was not Pia’s fault (so, our dear Colombians, don’t hate Pia for it).

(Courtesy of youtube.com/Anna Joaquin)

Seriously, what’s clear from all these reactions is that Filipinos — whether here in the Philippines or abroad, whether first or second generation abroad — share the same pride and joy with the win by Miss Philippines Pia Wurtzbach. Congratulations, Queen P!

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