The Philippines’ Miss Karla Paula Henry was crowned Miss Earth 2008 at the Clark Expo Ampitheater in Pampanga Sunday besting a field of beautiful, talented and environmentally- conscious girls from 85 countries. It was the first time that a Filipina won the Miss Earth pageant which is considered as among the top 3 pageants worldwide.
Other winners are Tanzania’s Miss Miriam Odemba 25,1st runner-up, who was crowned Miss Earth Air; Mexico’s Miss Abegail Elizalde Romo 23, 2nd runner-up who was crowned Miss Earth Water and Brazil’s Miss Tatiana Kelen Alves 24, 3rd runner-up who was Miss Earth Fire. Aside from the four, those who made it to the top eight were: Spain’s Miss Adriana Reveron Moreno, 23; Colombia’s Miss Ariane Rodriguez Merchan, 22; Venezuela’s Miss Daniela Torrealba Pacheco, 19 and Switzerland’s Miss Nasanin Nuri, 19. Rounding up the top 16 were Thailand, Poland, Nigeria, Czech Republic, Romania, USA, Russia and Korea.
The question and answer portion was the clincher for the Filipina where the final four were all asked the same question, “ If you are given the chance to speak with newly-elected US President Barack Obama about the state of our global environment, what will you tell him?” Karla Henry said that she would encourage Obama to implement an environmental subject in the curriculum of schools. She added that it is important to teach the youth knowledge about the environment so that in the coming years, they will take care of Mother Earth. “I believe our future lies in the youth”, she concluded.
Karla won US$20,000 while the three others won US$2,000 each on top of other prizes and perks. Karla also won as Miss Photogenic aside from winning the very first Fashion Design competition held at the Amazing Theatre in Pasay City on November 4, 2008. She wore an Ivan Raborar creation.
Miss Venezuela’s Daniela Torrealba wearing a luscious and elegantly-designed dress which complemented her classy personality won the Best in Long Gown Award during the long gown competition held at PAGCOR, Grand Theatre in Paranaque last November 3, 2008. Miss Talent was won by Australia’s Rachael Smith during the Talent Competition held last November 2, 2008 at Tamayo’s Villa Immaculada in Manila.
The preliminary swimsuit competition was held last October 25, 2008 in three locations: Sabang Beach Resort, Puerto Princessa, Palawan; Golden Sunset, Calatagan, Batangas and Manila, Philippines. The candidates were divided into three groups and the top 15 in each group then competed in the final swimsuit competition held at the Fontana Leisure Park in the Clark Freeport Zone, Angeles City, Pampanga last November 1, 2008. The Best in Swimsuit and Miss Fontana awards were garnered by Miss Mexico Abigail Elizalde and Miss Philippines Karla Paula Henry respectively. The National Costume competition was held at the PAGCOR Grand Theatre in Paranaque City last October 28, 2008. The Best in National Costume was won by Miss Panama Shassia Ubillus who was unanimously chosen by the members of the press.
The Miss Earth candidates have been touring the country’s different tourist destinations like the Philippines’ bets in the New 7 Wonders of the World- The Puerto Princesa Subterranean River, Mayon Volcano, Chocolate Hills and other sites planting trees, picking-up garbage and promoting the message to protect our Mother Earth. Several of them including Miss Earth Japan, Hungary, Netherlands, Guam, Israel, Liberia, Brazil and Mexico were here in Legazpi City last October 22-24 planting trees, promoting Mayon Volcano and joining the Parada de Legazpi last October 23. Among Legazpi’s visitors were Mexico’s Miss Earth Water Abegail Elizalde who was also the Best in Swimsuit and Brazil’s Miss Earth Fire Tatiana Alves.
Photo credits: XINHUA/ Reuters