If one were to run a joint Google search on Jeremy Jauncey and Pia Wurtzbach, it would yield a multitude of articles published on news, entertainment, and gossip sites, all fanning rumours of a romantic relationship. Eagle-eyed netizens were determined to put two and two together based on Instagram stories alone; matching Sunday brunch photos in New York City and beach trip snaps in Indonesia fuelled talks of are-they-or-aren’t-they. Wurtzbach finds it funny. Jauncey finds it flattering. “That photo taken in Hong Kong with me in the background of a fan shot and the shot of Pia in Indonesia wearing my Ray-Bans with her reflection seen in my stove are all part of our story now,” shares the Beautiful Destinations CEO and Tatler Asia contributing travel editor. “People have been so supportive and so encouraging despite not really knowing the full story, and I’m very grateful for that.”
There goes your confirmation. They are, in fact, an item.
Wurtzbach rose to global acclaim when she was named Miss Universe 2015, with the coronation going down as one of the most memorable in beauty pageant history due to presenter Steve Harvey’s mix-up. During her reign, she used her platform to raise awareness on HIV/AIDS testing as well as to champion the rights of the LGBT community. Post-Miss Universe, she went on to become an endorser, television personality, businesswoman, and UNAIDS Goodwill Ambassador for Asia and the Pacific. Some time ago, she opened BesTea, a milk tea shop she co-owns with close friends Pauleen Luna-Sotto and Nina Almoro.
Jauncey’s work takes him on a journey to some of the most beautiful places in the world, which led him to parlay his passion into a multiplatform business. Jauncey’s Instagram page is as aspirational as any travel-centric social media account can get, showcasing wondrous sights that help bring people together. A Global Ambassador for the World Wildlife Fund and an advocate of sustainable tourism, he champions climate change awareness wherever he goes.
The pair first crossed paths in London, where Jauncey approached Wurtzbach (“She blew me away,” he admits) to introduce himself. It was a real life meet-cute; the two had recognised each other from their respective Tatler covers. “He came up to me and told me about how much he loved the Philippines, where he had been to a few times for work,” says Wurtzbach. “There was definitely an immediate spark. We couldn’t stop talking. I found him to be such a warm person and I liked that he was always smiling.” Dinner plans had been set; conversation flowed freely, and before they knew it, it was well past midnight. They realised that they had almost met at an event in New York back in 2016, but he had left just before she arrived. “I guess it wasn’t time yet,” she adds thoughtfully.
Though the connection was instantaneous, it took some time before the two decided to become exclusive. Wurtzbach, who had just come out of a long-team relationship, asked for a courtship stage before they moved forward in any capacity. Though she did not have reservations about dating again so soon, she was not actively looking for a romantic partner, instead keeping herself busy with work. Respectful of her wishes, Jauncey readily agreed. “She set the parametres, and I happily accepted. It was a chance to show that I was serious about her and that I wanted to be a gentleman about it, which was very important to me. Imagine, we first met in London, then Hong Kong, then Indonesia, and then New York—talk about unconventional. I don’t think either of us would have made the investment if we didn’t think early on that it was worth it.”