"Much has changed but the place feels exactly the same", says Pia Wurtzbach after revisiting her hometown, two months after winning the crown.
Leisurely spending two days in what is known as "The City of Golden Friendship", the 25-year-old Cagayan de Oro native and Miss Universe-Philippines titleholder made a triumphant return to her native city. Home to friendly and warm Kagay-anons, a traditional dance greeted her in the airport while a grand parade was held in her honor en route to a meet and greet event at a mall.
"It's definitely a lot of fun. People were calling out my name and saying congratulations. I definitely felt close to the people like they knew me from way back. It felt like family," Pia shares.
She also made a courtesy visit to the city mayor and together with some friends went to see personal landmarks that reminded her of her early years. They visited Corpus Christi where she finished her primary education, their old house in Golden Village in Barangay Carmen, and Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Parish Church where her younger sister was baptized.
It was bittersweet for Pia as CDO reminds her of the many memories she shared with her dad who already passed away. Nostalgic as it may seem, at the end of the trip, it was the overwhelming support that her kababayans expressed that topped the experience.