beauty queens

LOOK BACK: Filipina beauty queens in the Miss Earth pageant

Paolo Alejandrino

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LOOK BACK: Filipina beauty queens in the Miss Earth pageant
Who will be the next Miss Philippines Earth?

Considered among the top international pageants, the Miss Earth pageant prides itself in highlighting “beauty for a cause.” 

What makes the Miss Earth pageant different from the “Big Four” of international pageantry – which includes Miss Universe, Miss International, and Miss World – is that it focuses on environmental awareness and ecological conservation.

The pageant is also quite close to the hearts of many Filipinos as it was established in the Philippines in 2001 under Carousel Productions.

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So far, four Filipinas have claimed the Miss Earth crown, with the latest in 2017 following the country’s iconic back-to-back victories in 2014 and 2015. As Miss Philippines Earth is set to crown its new queen, let’s look back at the Filipinas who shone the brightest in the competition:

Karen Ibasco

Despite criticism thrown her way following her win, Karen Ibasco continued to fulfill her duties as a beauty queen-advocate for the environment. She was crowned Miss Earth in 2017, handing the Philippines its fourth crown after back-to-back wins in 2014 and 2015.

Since her win, Karen has continued to forward her cause as an ambassador of WWF-Philippines. 

Karen was a university lecturer at the University of Santo Tomas, where she also earned her physics degree. She now focuses on her hosting gigs as well as speaking engagements involving the youth, education, and the environment.

Angelia Ong

“We will because we can!” – that was the iconic answer of Angelia Ong, then 25, in the final question and answer portion where she was asked to come up with a slogan for Miss Earth for the next 15 years.

She claimed the Miss Earth title in December 2015 during the pageant finals in Vienna, Austria. Her win was the start to a blissful pageant cycle for the Philippines – a couple of weeks after her success, Pia Wurtzbach was crowned Miss Universe, and months later, Kylie Verzosa won the Miss International 2016 title.

Angelia bested 37 other candidates vying for the Miss Philippines Earth title. She was crowned by Miss World 2014 Jamie Herrell, who’d also later crown her Miss Earth. 

Before Miss Philippines Earth, Angelia joined Binibining Pilipinas in 2011, representing Iloilo City. She won the People’s Choice Award as the Face of Binibining Pilipinas.

After her reign, Angelia continued to be a staunch advocate for the environment, traveling to different countries forwarding concerns about climate change and sustainable development goals.

In 2016, she graduated with a degree in marketing management and now divides her time as an events host and model.

Jamie Herrell

Filipino-American host and entrepreneur Jamie Herrel claimed the Miss Earth crown when she was 20 years old. 

Jamie is no stranger to beauty pageants. Prior to joining Miss Philippines Earth, she had already competed in her home province’s beauty pageants, beginning with Reyna ng Aliwan, Sinulog Festival Queen, and Miss Mega Cebu – all of which were held in 2013.

In 2019, she became a news anchor for One News and One PH. She has eventually pursued modeling and hosting.

Karla Paula Henry

Hailing from Cebu, Karla Paula Henry’s pageant career started with her professional competition at Miss Cebu where she placed second runner up. From then on, she moved to Manila to participate in Binibining Pilipinas 2008 but did not make it among the Top 10 finalists. Karla later became the first Filipina and Asian to bring home the Miss Earth crown.

She now spends her time as a model and events host. In 2018, the Filipina-Canadian married Rico Ammann, brother of Miss World Philippines 2012 2nd Princess Vanessa Claudine Ammann. She has two kids.

Other Filipina Miss Earth placers include Catherine Untalan, who won Miss Earth – Water in 2006; Sandra Seifert, who was crowned Miss Earth – Air 2009; Athena Mae Imperial, who was crowned Miss Earth – Water 2011; and Stephany Stefanowitz, crowned Miss Earth-Air 2012. 

Roxanne Allison Baeyens represented the Philippines in the 20th cycle of the Miss Earth pageant, the first edition held virtually due to lockdown restrictions. She clinched the Miss Earth – Water title in its first-ever virtual pageant, during which USA’s Lindsey Coffey was crowned Miss Earth 2020.

Roxanne is set to pass the Miss Philippines Earth crown on August 8. 

The official candidates are set to compete during the virtual coronation. Miss Air, Miss Water, Miss Fire, and Miss Eco-Tourism will also be up for grabs. –

Paolo Alejandrino is a Rappler intern.

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