That’s right — the heavy traffic in Metro Manila almost affected Pia’s bid for the crown.
In the midst of Typhoon Nona, Filipino designer Albert Andrada — the man responsible for Pia’s beautiful blue gown in the finals!– had to brave through five hours of traffic and torrential rains in order to deliver Pia’s dresses before the Miss Universe final event on December 20.
Word has it that the original gown bought by the BPCI was a bad fit on Pia, and rather than risking an ill-fitting dress, the team decided to go with two of Andrada’s original dresses. The designer’s original flight was scheduled on December 18, but he decided to fly in on December 16 for any last-minute alterations.
Turns out, even Andrada’s earlier foresight wouldn’t stand against the intense 5-hour traffic he had to endure! Needless to say, he missed his flight.
Trying to troubleshoot the situation, Pia’s team rang up Los Angeles-based Pinoy designer Oliver Tolentino, who immediately sent Miss Philippines nine gowns from his boutique. Thus, the stunning red dress that Pia wore for the preliminaries, where she was chosen as a Top 15 finalist was an Oliver Tolentino creation!
Albert’s dresses made it just in the nick of time for the finals, where Pia chose to wear a blue serpentina gown. Of course, we all know how the story ends.