MANILA, Philippines – Miss Philippines Earth Angelia Ong is looking forward to compete in the Miss Earth 2015 pageant, which will be held in Vienna, Austria on December 5.
"Masaya. Bukod sa excited, bukod sa kinakabahan, siguro masaya ako kasi I'm very very blessed to have this opportunity to represent our country for the 15h year or our Crystal Year, so doon palang, masayang masaya na ako.
(I'm happy. Aside from being excited or nervous, I'm happy because I'm very blessed to have this opportunity to represent our country for our 14th year. So just about that, I'm already very happy.)
"And bonus pa na it's in Vienna also, so I get to see the other side of the world. It's my first time, kaya nandoon yung excitement talaga," Angelia told reporters during her send-off party Wednesday, November 11.
Angelia won the title of Miss Philippines Earth last May 31 at the Mall of Asia Arena. This is the first time that the pageant's coronation night will be held in Europe.
"To be honest, I'll just let Vienna surprise me, I love surprises din naman. I'm just gonna be ready [for] whatever life brings but one thing's for sure, I'm really, really, really focused on getting that crown and to be able to get that back to back win for the first time in history in Philippine pageantry, to have a Filipina win it back to back," she said.
The title is currently held by Jamie Herrell, who won the crown last year in Manila. Karla Henry was the first Filipina to win the title in 2008.
"As much as possible I just don't read online anymore and I just start to focus on the things – or my weaknesses para I'd be more prepared. And I always believe that nothing is impossible. Sabi ko nga kanina (As I said awhile ago), as long as this Filipina heart is willing to fight, then I'll be there, I'll be there, and I'm gonna make sure that I'm gonna give these girls a difficult time."
With the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP21) soon to be held in Paris, France from November 30- December 11, Angelia shared that Miss Earth's themes are in line with the major event.
"Actually that's why we planted 21 trees nung November 9, kasi yun yung countdown eh, (that's the countdown) for that very big conference. And siyempre, pag binigay na ni Lord sa akin – kailangan ganun thinking positive – pag binigay na ni Lord sa akin yug bagong korona, (And of course, if God does give it to me – you have to think positive – if God gives the crown), I will be very happy, I will be more than willing to be part or to take part in the biggest conference nga for climate change. And since it's also the theme of Miss Earth this year, climate change," she said.
When asked why she deserves to be the next Miss Earth, Angelia said: "I really believe that I should be the next Miss Earth because the crown deserves to be home where it belongs and at the same time I know that I have the right mind, spirit, and I'm very prepared to take the challenges the next Miss Earth would have to face.
"And I believe that I would be the right person, the right channel to be able to inspire and educate people on how they can help the environment or help preserve and protect the environment in their own simplest ways. Kasi yung nangyayari kasi ngayon, (What's happening now is) people compromise for yun na nga sabi ko kanina, for comfort ganon, they think that saving the environment is a big responsibility. yes, it's a responsibility, pero it's not that hard as we think it is.
Angelia said simple things go a long way.
"We are here to remind people on how they can help. I really believe that education or educating them or reminding them would be the best way or the first step kasi through educated – through education mo lang talaga ma bibigay ng detail yung paano ba talaga (through education can only give them details on how it should be done).
"I think only through an educated society will distinct change happen. Kumbaga kailangan talaga matuto sila, malaman nila kung paano sila makakatulong. (In other words, they need to learn, know how they can help)." – Rappler.com