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After exactly one week when our country’s dearest delegate, Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach, reaped the Miss Universe 2015 crown in Las Vegas and my two-year-old niece, Savannah, requested that I buy a gallon of ice cream because we won our third crown at the sixty-fourth annual pageant, I’m still basking in the glory and pride, albeit not without a tinge of regret.

I remember how frozen I felt while glued to the telly when the proclamation of the new Miss Universe and her runners-up was about to happen. I fancied putting myself in Pia’s heels and, as a result, making me more nervous than excited, although I was a hundred-percent confident that Pia Wurtzbach was going to nail it hands down. Any armchair judge or even the deadest audience viewing the top three finalists that day would second my conjecture as surely as I’m sitting here now on the sofa of our office building’s career hub and typing my blog on my phone. If you’re watching the live coverage then or if you’re reviewing the pageant now via YouTube and you’re sane enough to take into consideration the total package of our very own Miss Philippines Pia Wurtzbach alongside Miss USA Oliva Jordan and Miss Colombia Ariadna Gutierrez—and you will say that either of the two other finalists could win the crown, then let me tell you that you’re probably not totally sober.

I was right about it—Pia would be one of the last two standing—because I believed in her powers of determination to reach the summit of her ambition, after trying her luck three times, finishing as first runner-up in her first attempt at Binibining Pilipinas 2013, going home empty-handed from Binibining Pilipinas 2014, and finally, wearing the Miss Universe Philippines 2015 crown during the coronation night of Binibining Pilipinas 2015.

But when the host Steve Harvey announced Miss Colombia Ariadna Gutierrez as Miss Universe 2015, I literally blew my top in front of the boob tube. In the vernacular, I vented, “Wala ko kauyon! Wala ko kauyon. Ngano? Ngano? Giunsa? Gisapot ko! Gisapot ko!”

Not again. I thought that this pageant had already improved its taste for beauty and eagle eye on a woman’s substance under the new owner, WME/IMG (William Morris Endeavor/International Management Group). I thought that gone were the days where just because you looked fierce or you had the face that could launch a thousand ships regardless of whether or not you made sense during the Q&A, you won the judges’ approval, or back were the good old days where Miss Universe did not only look stereotypically beautiful but also had a lot of gray matter between her ears—just like Miss Universe 2000 Lara Dutta, period.

I had nothing against Ariadna Guttierez of Colombia while watching the coverage, except that there must be something about the length and size of her neck which turned me off. Her catwalk was one of the best that night, but I’d rather see Miss Venezuela with the Victoria’s Secret-esque bed head or Miss Dominican Republic Clarissa Molina with the onliest turns or Miss Australia Monika Radulovic with the most elegant gown or Miss Brazil with the best curves (and one of the prettiest faces) in the top three.

There must be something wrong, I maintained. And when Steve Harvey walked back to the center of the stage, I instinctively felt that a bombshell was going to be announced. While I could not forgive the sight of Miss Colombia looking unfit for the crown with a neck too wide yet too short to carry all the duties and responsibilites of Miss Universe 2015, I started feeling sorry for her. Steve said, something to this effect: “Folks, I have to apologize. . . . The first runner-up is Colombia!”

And then he officially proclaimed Miss Philippines as Miss Universe 2015. The reigning Miss Universe Paulina Vega, who’s also from Colombia, relinquished her crown and placed it on Pia Wurtzbach’s head. But that was already after the wrong winner had luxuriated the crowning moment more and been given more of the winning moment in household TV screens by which most people were watching. When Steve Harvey told Pia Wurtzbach to take her first walk as Miss Universe 2015, I thought it silly, because the crown had not been transfered yet. But what could be more silly than chopping the live telecast off only one second after the rightful owner had savored her crowning glory in front of Filipinos watching all over the world and taken her first walk as the new Miss Universe?

Oh well, let me just take consolation by thinking that maybe, just maybe, there’s a bigger reason for this. The universe just wanted to put a halt to our forty-two-year drought—temporarily, that is, because another Filipina is yet to be crowned, hopefully, within the next three years. Choose: Miss Universe 2016, Miss Universe 2017, or Miss Universe 2018.

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