Celebs congratulate Miss Philippines on Miss Universe victory

She is the fist Filipino in more than four decades to win the title.

Miss Philippines Pia Wurtzbach is crowned Miss Universe 2015. Valerie Macon / AFP
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Philippine contestant Pia Wurtzbach won the Miss Universe crown in Las Vegas on Sunday. The 26-year-old actress and model is only the third ­Filipino to win the beauty pageant, and the first for more than four decades. Gloria Diaz won in 1969 and Margarita Moran in 1973.

Wurtzbach’s victory was overshadowed by an embarrassing mistake made by host Steve ­Harvey, who misread the results card and initially announced Colombia’s Ariadna Gutiérrez as the winner. He was forced to apologise and revealed Wurtzbach had won and Gutiérrez was the runner-up.

“I can’t wait to share my victory with my countrymen,” Wurtzbach said backstage after the show. “Mabuhay ang Pilipinas” (Long live the Philippines).

“I felt calm when I was called first runner-up because I felt it was fate – but when they announced I was Miss Universe, I had mixed feelings. I was happy, because I really wanted to win, but felt sad for Miss Colombia. I even tried to approach her but we couldn’t get near each other because she was surrounded by the Latin American delegates.

“I won Miss Universe based on the judges’ votes. It wasn’t as if I took the crown from her. But I still plan to talk this out with Miss Colombia when things have settled down.”

The incident made headlines around the world and trended on social media, with several ­celebrities chiming in.

"Is it too late now to say sorry?" wrote Justin Bieber, quoting lyrics from his chart-topper Sorry.

Pretty Little Liars actor Keegan Allen wrote: "I actually wish Ms Philippines would have cracked the tiara in half and shared it with Ms Columbia to show that nothing really matters."

Kick-Ass actress Chloë Grace Moretz wrote: "Miss Philippines deserves that. She felt so genuine and real."

Born to a Filipino mother and German father, Wurtzbach entered show business at the age of 11 and became her family’s breadwinner. She made headlines last year when rumours emerged she was dating Philippine president Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III.

"But I don't think she liked Noy," actress Kris Aquino, the president's sister, told the Philippine Daily Inquirer on Monday. She said of Wurtzbach: "She's great, I like her".

It took Wurtzbach three attempts to win Binibining Pilipinas, the Philippines’ version of Miss USA, the contest used to choose the country’s Miss Universe contender.

When Wurtzbach left Manila for Las Vegas, she told reporters: “Winning Miss Universe will be my Christmas gift to all ­Filipinos.”

Beauty pageants, particularly Miss Universe, are an annual spectacle in the Philippines, with many fans skipping work or staying up into the early hours to watch live broadcasts.

After boxer Manny Pacquiao lost to Floyd Mayweather in May, Wurtzbach pledged to Filipinos: “Calm down, guys. I’ll take care of this. We’ll make it up at the Miss Universe.”

On Tuesday, Wurtzbach posted on Instagram: “42 years of drought and now it finally reigns.”

Philippine Orchestra to make history in NYC

The Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra is set to perform at New York’s Carnegie Hall next summer – the first Philippine orchestra to play the hallowed concert venue.

The PPO is due to perform on June 18, French conductor Olivier Ochanine revealed.

“For the past six years, I have had the pleasure of being immersed in the Filipino music scene, working with the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra and experiencing the ins and outs of Filipino artistry,” he wrote on Facebook.

“When I began my term with the orchestra, I made a commitment to the orchestra and to myself that [we] would perform in Carnegie Hall – if not the most, one of the most world-­renowned, prestigious performance venues in the entire world. The journey to making this tour was tough, at times feeling like a dead end over and over. However, some things are meant to happen.”

Ochanine recently announced that the PPO’s 2015-2016 concert season would be his last as a ­conductor.

A Second Chance sets box-office record

The romantic drama A Second Chance is now the highest-­grossing film in Philippine history. Released last month across the Philippines and around the world, including the UAE, the movie had made 556 million Philippine pesos (Dh43m) as of last weekend, according to Roxy Liquigan, an executive from production studio Star Cinema.

A Second Chance, which stars Bea Alonzo and John Lloyd Cruz, beat the record set by last year's The Amazing Praybeyt Benjamin, which made 446m Philippine pesos.

Alonzo and writer Vanessa Valdez flew to Dubai last month to promote the film. A sequel to 2007's One More Chance, it was screened in 21 theatres across the Emirates, five in Qatar, three in Bahrain, two in Kuwait and two in Oman.

It was also a hit in the United Kingdom, where it was screened for two weeks by cinema chain Vue ­Entertainment.