Pia Wurtzbach celebrates her birthday with an HIV-AIDS education advocacy group

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Pia Wurtzbach enjoys a slice of the first of her many birthday cakes at the LoveYourself Kingdom launch in Pasay City. Image: Philippine Daily Inquirer/Armin P. Adina

MANILA, Philippines — LoveYourself kicked off its new community center in Pasay City with a birthday party for its longtime advocate and supporter, Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach.

Even before winning her international title, the beauty queen, actress and model has been an active supporter of the group’s work on HIV-AIDS education, prevention and treatment across the country. The team greeted her with a feast and showered her with good wishes when she arrived at the new LoveYourself Uni on the second floor of Centro Buendia Bldg. on Gil Puyat Ave. in Pasay City on September 21, three days before his birthday.

Wurtzbach led the inauguration of the hub, along with representatives from USAID (United States Agency for International Development) and officials from LoveYourself. Uni is open Friday through Tuesday, 12 p.m. to 7 p.m., to provide free HIV testing, counseling and HIV-AIDS medication.

To mark the opening of its new location and to celebrate the birthday of its most prominent celebrity advocate, LoveYourself has prepared a series of deli staples, sliders and even a whole lechon (roasted whole pig). Wurtzbach also received several birthday cakes which she shared with volunteers and guests.

Pia Wurtzbach, attorney for LoveYourself and Miss Universe 2015, presents the spread prepared for her birthday by the HIV-AIDS advocacy group. Image: Philippine Daily Inquirer/Armin P. Adina

“It’s my birthday on Saturday, and I really asked to be with you, my LoveYourself family. Thank you for allowing me to share my blessings with you. You are like family to me. And it’s also a way to really refreshing to celebrate my birthday,” Wurtzbach said.

She said it had been a productive day for her, as she had just arrived from the National Mental Health Center and San Lazaro Hospital in Manila before heading to university, which she said “reflects the spirit of LoveYourself”.

Wurtzbach added: “Volunteers are the heart and soul [of Love Yourself] it is therefore normal that this Uni is full of colors and is really beautiful. It really captures the spirit of the LGBTQ (lesbian, gay bisexual, transgender, and queer) community. So I’m really grateful for that.

The beauty queen and lawyer cited the importance of keeping connected with people she met before becoming Miss Universe, including members of the local media who covered her trip to Binibining Pilipinas (she joined the pageant for three consecutive years before winning a crown), to support advocacy against HIV-AIDS.

“As ambassadors, people of influence, we must share ourselves, show ourselves with the communities behind which we have rallied. And in doing so, we have to show that we care by immersing ourselves, by being there for them, especially in the most difficult times,” Wurtzbach explained.

Pia Würtzbach

Pia Wurtzbach (third from L) has fun outside the photo booth with her family LoveYourself. Image: Philippine Daily Inquirer/Armin P. Adina

LoveYourself revealed that since Wurtzbach became involved with the organization in its early days, she has been very generous with her time and has lent her voice for different programs. While the beauty queen commutes to different parts of the world for work, she is barely in the Philippines. But every time she gets home, she gets in touch with the team to collaborate on anything she can contribute.

The team said Wurtzbach will dedicate days with LoveYourself to develop materials slated for release throughout the year.

“By benevolence we mean sharing ourselves, our time, our resources, our energy to help advance our joint advocacy and to be able to link promotions to programs and policies for the community,” a- she declared.

Wurtzbach also called for funding for the organization and expressed gratitude to agencies that already support LoveYourself. J.B.

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