Pia Wurtzbach will be the first Filipino ever to have a wax figure in one of the famous Madame Tussauds museums. Photo: Grace Dandan / Asia Times

The Philippines is about to set another milestone as Pia Wurtzbach becomes the first ever Filipino to have a wax figure in one of the famous Madame Tussauds museums.

In an announcement first made on September 24, 2018, Madame Tussauds Hong Kong said it had chosen Wurtzbach, Miss Universe 2015 and an HIV/AIDS advocate, as the first Filipino to have a wax figure in its museum. Wurtzbach said in an Instagram post that the news was announced on her birthday and her wax figure will be featured in Madame Tussauds Hong Kong.

This Sunday, Madame Tussauds, along with the Philippine Consulate General in Hong Kong, Prime Credit Ltd, the Hong Kong Musicians Union, PLDT Smart, Free Bee and Global Alliance Hong Kong held a meet-and-greet event for the Filipino community in Hong Kong with Wurtzbach herself. The event began with performances from Filipino talents in Hong Kong and organizers prepared games and prizes for the audience.

Pia Wurtzbach during a meet and greet with the Filipino community in Hong Kong. Photo: Grace Dandan / Asia Times

Jenny You, general manager of Madame Tussauds Hong Kong, said having the first Filipino wax figure in the museum had been a long time coming and that it was important to choose someone whose character and impact were truly iconic.

You said Wurtzbach “is a true global icon. Not only that, she has gone above and beyond her title and using her platform to bring light to HIV issues as a UNAIDS ambassador. So we definitely chose someone special.”

Speaking for Philippine Consul Antonio Morales, Deputy Consul Germinia Aguilar-Usudan said Wurtzbach was a proven role model for Filipinos through her career and her wax figure would now give her access to another international platform for representing the Filipino people.

“We are extremely grateful and proud that a Filipino personality will now be immortalized through a wax figure as part of Madame Tussauds’ collection,” Usadan said.

The highlight of the afternoon was Wurtzbach’s arrival and meeting members of the Filipino community in Hong Kong. Earlier in the day, Wurtzbach held an Instagram live video where she was seen touring Madame Tussauds Hong Kong. She said her wax figure would be placed besides those of famous actors Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie.

Wurtzbach said it wasn’t her first time in Hong Kong, as she had visited the city many times. She added that she was a longtime fan of Madame Tussauds and loved taking pictures with the many personalities in the museum.

“When I realized that I will be a part of this, that I would have my own wax figure, I really can’t believe it and I am very happy,” Wurtzbach said.

She said the process of making her wax figure was very meticulous and precise. She said the Madame Tussauds team took note of her exact hair and eye color, and had consulted with her dentist in Manila to get her smile just right. She posed for several hours so that the team could take her measurements and pictures. The whole process is to ensure that the wax figure is as accurate as possible.

“I did not have second thoughts. For them to choose me as the first Filipino to be there [in the museum] and in Hong Kong of all places, I am very grateful,” she said.

Wurtzbach’s wax figure will first be unveiled in the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City, Philippines, in March before it makes its way home to Madame Tussauds Hong Kong in April, where it will be open for public viewing.

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