NEW YORK, Dec. 27 (UPI) -- Miss Universe Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach declared Miss Colombia Ariadna Gutiérrez "an amazing woman" in a Christmas greeting she posted on Instagram.
Pageant host Steve Harvey mistakenly crowned first runner-up Gutiérrez Miss Universe before realizing the error and announcing that Wurtzbach, Miss Philippines, was the true winner Dec. 20.
Wurtzbach name-checked Gutiérrez in her Instagram post, explaining she admired how graciously the other woman handled the embarrassing incident.
"Wow. Words can't describe how grateful I am for this. It was quite a journey getting here with 3 attempts at winning Miss Philippines. Now, I finally got the best Christmas gift ever – and not just for me, for my country. I'd like to say thank you to everyone who believed in my potential and those who supported me from the beginning," said Wurtzbach's message, which accompanied a photo of her in front of the famed Rockefeller Center Christmas tree in New York. "To everyone who voted for me, especially to my fellow countrymen, thank you. Maraming salamat po sa inyong lahat. To Ariadna, you are an amazing woman and we are now bonded together forever by a unique experience. In the last 3 weeks we were together, I saw how strong and beautiful you are inside and out. You represented your country with honor and I know how proud everyone must be of you. Fate has a plan for you, and I'm excited to see what's ahead. And to all the fans who are still fighting about this...Please let's all stop now. The Miss Universe Organization is about uniting empowered women from all over the world. Arguing and sending hateful messages to each other defeats the whole purpose. You believe in the message of Miss Universe and so do I. Again, thank you for the love. I'm excited to begin my duties as Miss Universe and I wish everyone, all the contestants and all the supporters a great holiday with their loved ones. Happy Holidays and let's look forward to a great start to the new year!"