Two years after Pia Wurtzbach became only the third Filipina to win the Miss Universe crown, another Filipino-German beauty has emerged triumphant on the international stage.
Maureen Wroblewitz, 19, also became the first Philippine representative to win Star World’s “Asia’s Next Top Model” following a series of bridesmaid finishes.
“I wanted to win this for my country—the Philippines and I’m so happy to say that I did. This is all for you guys! We won this together,” Maureen posted on Instagram following her win.
Born in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Maureen lived in Germany after her mother passed away when she was 11. She later moved to the Philippines and was discovered by a modeling agent on Instagram when she was 15.
Maureen’s win came on the heels of consecutive runner-up finishes by Stephanie Retuya, Jodilly Pendre and Monika Sta. Maria on the show’s first three seasons. Last year, the Philippines finished a disappointing fourth after Julian Flores was eliminated on the 11th week.
This year, the Philippines sent three delegates to the competition. It initially didn’t look good for the Filipina aspirants after two of them, Anjelica Santillan and Jennica Sanchez, were eliminated on the first and third weeks of the show.
Maureen, however, was a standout from Day One as she finished first in the call-out order four times and landed in the Top Three five times throughout the contest.
During the finale where Pia Wurtzbach was a guest judge, Maureen bested Malaysia’s Shikin Gomez and Vietnam’s Minh Tu Nguyen to win.
Along with Katarina Rodriguez, who finished third overall in “Asia’s Next Top Model” cycle 2, Maureen was one of the most beautiful models to ever join the competition.
Not surprisingly, that was the only thing that her critics found wrong with her, as she was constantly called “a pretty face with no skills” and dismissed for her lack of experience.
“It became a perfect motivation for me to prove them wrong and to show them that being inexperienced doesn’t mean you’re a weak model,” she posted on Instagram following her win.
“Being inexperienced is not really that bad because it just gives you more room to learn. Because when you’re inexperienced, you’re like a sponge. You hear everything, you learn so much and you use that [to your advantage],” Maureen told InterAksyon and other media following the viewing party for the show’s finale held Wednesday at The Palace Pool Club in Bonifacio Global City.
In the end, even Maureen was surprised to realize that she was stronger than she had thought as she was more than able to hold her own against the other contestants who had underestimated her.
“They kind of tried to bring me down because maybe they thought that I was a threat to them… But I’m really happy that I was able to prove them wrong. I’m not just a pretty face. I’m more than that!” Maureen quipped.
Pia, who was also a guest judge on the show’s first episode that aired last April, felt the same way as she was impressed by how Maureen had come a long way.
“Good job. You’ve really proven that you’re more than just a pretty face,” Pia told Maureen after marveling at the latter’s photo.
Asked if she has plans to follow in Pia’s footsteps and join the Binibining Pilipinas beauty pageant just like Katarina who won this year’s Bibinining Pilipinas Intercontinental crown, Maureen said she had not thought that far yet.
“But I’m not closing my doors. Anything’s possible,” she concluded.
Among her prizes is a modeling contract from the prestigious Storm Model Management based in London.