Are Today’s Earth Warriors
As beauty pageants have come down to putting special emphasis on their search for “beauty with brain” candidates, the recent selection for the country’s representative to the Miss Earth finals on November 4 was, in a word, trendsetting. It could even be said that it did not disappoint the judges – and more so the huge crowd that exciting night at the MOA Arena.
Here, with her well-articulated responses in the question-and-answer segments, Manila’s candidate, Karen Ibasco, 26, rises clearly to the top and claims to her joy and pride the Miss Philippines Earth 2017 crown.
In the first test of the Top 10 finalists’ brain power – called the hashtag portion – Karen picked #fake news, and she said: “Nowadays, a lot of people distribute fake news but one of the most important media is social media. We have to learn to use it for social good. We have to learn to disseminate…and also to filter the right information not just for yourself...but also for the people in your circle of influence.”
Finally, in the Top 5 – with each candidate a sure shoo-in for a title – Karen was asked what she wanted to change about the environmental policies of the country. She was quick with a response: “In terms of environmental policies, everyone is experiencing climate change. The whole world is experiencing climate change and I’m just grateful that the Philippines signed the Paris Treaty. What I want to see is to pass a carbon tax. In that way, we would invest in renewable energy to help our world be a better place, greener and habitable for the whole humanity.”
The four members of Karen Ibasco’s “elemental court” were asked the same question: “The government’s slogan is ‘Change is coming.’ What change would you like to see in terms of environmental policies in the country?” Here are their corresponding answers:
Miss Philippines Water Jessica Marasigan, 23, from Caloocan City, said: “I want us as a nation to be educated and to be aware that global warming is real and we must do everything that we can to save Mother Earth.
Miss Philippines Air Kim de Guzman, 24, from Olongapo City, said: “In our country, we must work for the change within ourselves. That change started within ourselves because from that we’ll be able to progress as one country if we start with youth.
Meanwhile, Miss Philippines Fire Nellza Bautista, 19, from Villanueva, Misamis Oriental said: “First, I want to change the discipline here in our country. I know nothing is constant in this world but change. It’s not too late for us Filipino people to change our attitude and our minds, for us to help to preserve our environment for the next generation.”
And Miss Philippines Eco-Tourism Vanessa Mae Castillo, 21, from Lobo, Batangas, said: “The change that I want to see not only for our government but also for our people . We are already equipped with the right law. We just need to implement it and we just need to follow the rules and, most importantly, keep in mind the five Rs – reduce, reuse, rethink, recycle and respect. Let us work together because it may seem difficult but it is never impossible.”
About Miss Philippines-Earth
After establishing a track record in mounting world-class beauty pageants over the last decade, Carousel Productions Inc. decided to reinvent and improve the concept of beauty competitions for the new millennium.
Because many people admire and aspire to be a beauty queen, Carousel Productions, Inc. believed beauty queens would be a good and effective advocate of worthy causes. To give life to this vision, Carousel Productions Inc. organized and launched in 2001 the MISS PHILIPPINES-EARTH Beauty Pageant, a beauty event whose raison d’etre was to have its candidates and winners actively promote and get involved in the preservation of the environment and the protection of Mother Earth.
Together with the Miss Earth Foundation, MISS PHILIPPINES-EARTH aims to give a strong emphasis on environmental awareness programs.
The winner of MISS PHILIPPINES-EARTH will serve as the Ambassador to environmental protection campaigns in the country, and represent the Philippines to one of the biggest international beauty competitions - the MISS EARTH Pageant.
Today’s earth warriors
With environmental protection as its main advocacy, the Manila-based pageant – also the third biggest after Miss Universe and Miss World – has presented before the world’s stage hundreds of “beauties with brains” from all over the world, and who, by design, have come to be known as “earth warriors.”
This year’s batch of Filipina earth warriors have each a personal course of action and resolve in their collective advocacy of helping in the protection of the environment.
Early on, Miss Philippines Earth 2017 Karen Ibasco is so self-assured that she has always wanted to be one because “I know I could use this platform to share my voice, advocacy and to be a good example to everyone as I share and live a message of hope that we can all work together as a community to save our planet Earth,” adding that, “As a physicist, I understand the importance of daily consumption of energy – that is why my environmental advocacy is the conservation of energy and to embrace renewable and sustainable sources of energy in exchange for fossil fuel, which contributes to a huge percentage in global warming.”
“My environmental advocacy is to spread awareness of the usage of Solar Energy in the Filipino community. The Philippines is known for being a sunny and bright country so we should take that to our advantage with the use of solar panels to promote saving energy,” says Miss Philippines Water Jessica Marasigan, who also aimed at “helping to lead others to become more responsible and take action in helping Mother Earth.”
Kim de Guzman have always wanted to be a Miss Philippines-Earth and believed that this is her year. Now that she has just won a major title, Miss Philippines Air, her environmental advocacy remains: “The Philippines is one of the best countries in the world that is known for its naturally beautiful tourist destinations. Now it’s time to influence people to be an ‘eco tourist,’ a responsible traveler who will help conserve the environment for the well being of the present and future generations.
Nellza Bautista’s ambitions are: To be a chef, a Victoria’s Secret Model and to be Miss Philippines Earth 2017. For now, before becoming a chef and a lingerie model, she’s Miss Philippines Fire 2017. Her environmental advocacy? “As I picture the perfect place where I want to live, I’ve been active in the clean and green program here in my municipality, Villanueva (Misamis Oriental). I choose to support this program and make it my advocacy because it is simple but full of impact if we cooperate and be one as a unit of change to save mother earth for tomorrow’s generation.
Her ultimate ambition is to be a flight attendant, a work that she says “will allow me to enjoy working and traveling at the same time and to represent the Philippines in an international pageant promoting my advocacy.” That said, Miss Philippines Eco-tourism Vanessa Mae Castillo’s environmental advocacy goes back to her hometown: “The municipality of Lobo is a hidden gem in Batangas waiting to be discovered. Lobo is rich in flora and fauna, virgin beaches and green forest. Lobo is also blessed in marine environment, mountains and other tourist destinations. My advocacy is called “EcoTraveling” - being a responsible traveler in visiting tourist spots such as forest, mountains, marine areas and beaches. To date, traveling has been one of the hobbies or recreational activities of many millennials. I would like to instill in travelers and tourists that by visiting a place they are also responsible in helping to preserve the place. It is always our collective and individual responsibility to maintain the beauty a
nd respect the balance of nature. Be an EcoTraveler and protect the place from possible damage, keep it unspoiled so that the next generation will be able to experience and witness the beauty our world has to offer. “Visit the place, leave no trace. Be an EcoTraveler.”
Miss Philippines Earth 2017 Karen Ibasco steps up next and on the spotlight when she joins other ‘beauties with brains’ in the Miss Earth Pageant on November 4, which would be another thriller in Manila.