WATCH: Pia Wurtzbach on how bashing made her 'bulletproof'
MANILA, Philippines – Pia Wurtzbach has had her fair share of critics, and she hasn't been afraid to call them out and face them head-on.
Case in point: in November, Pia asked her critics to manage their expectations when it came to her HIV awareness advocacy.
"I haven't forgotten about my advocacy, okay? I'm so tired of people complaining that I haven't found 'the cure' for HIV when clearly I said I would raise awareness," the 2015 Miss Universe said on Instagram.
She added that just because she wasn't posting anything on social media didn't mean that she was breaking her promise to raise awareness. (READ: Pia Wurtzbach to critics: I don't have to post everything on social media)
We spoke to Pia in December, when she was in the Philippines to welcome some Miss Universe candidates to the country. The pageant is set to be held here, with its coronation night on January 30, 2017.
When asked why she thought it was important to call out her bashers, Pia said that it would be wrong of her not to.
"I think it would be hypocritical of me to tell young girls or tell the youth to stand up for themselves if I can't even do it myself. I mean, I'm not setting a good example if I'm just taking everything that's being thrown at me, even though I know that, 'Wait a minute, I have something to say, hear me out,'" said Pia.
She continued: "I know I'm a public figure, but I don't think that means that I should be exempted from defending myself from people who don't even know the whole story. So I was just trying to clear things up. And that's why I did it."
When asked where she got the courage to stand up for herself, Pia said she wasn't always like that, but credited her very same critics for making her strong.
"I also had some moments when some words sting, and they would hurt, and I would feel bad about it for a while, and I'd sulk and you know, it hurts. But I guess because of all the bashing that I went through before, it kind of made me bulletproof now," said Pia.
Pia will be crowning her successor on January 30, 2017 in the Philipines. The coronation night will be streamed through etc, a channel handled by the organization's local partner Solar Entertainment. – Rappler.com