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MANILA, Philippines – Miss Philippines Earth 2022 candidates Angela Okol, Reneé Coleen Sta. Teresa, and Cess Cruz will not be continuing in the pageant after being disqualified for their height.
In a Facebook post on Thursday, July 14, Reneé said: “I know that you are all excited for the announcement of Top 20 tomorrow, and I am very ready to make you proud, but sadly, my journey has been cut short because I learned a while ago that I did not meet the height requirement.”
“Though I am extremely heartbroken, my heart is still full of gratitude for the love and support that you’ve shown me for the past months,” she added.
Meanwhile, in an Instagram post on Thursday, Angela said that she, her family, and her team have been working hard since earlier in the year to meet the requirements for the pageant.
“However, we seem to have forgotten about one factor – my height. I was told that my height does not fit their pageant’s standards and that their organization would get bashed if they let someone below 5’4 push through the Top 20, hence, being grounds for disqualification,” she said.
“Had we been measured earlier on that this was the case, it would have been much easier to figure out what to do since we’ve already prepared all that was sent as requirements for both our online and face-to-face competition,” she continued.
Angela stressed that she has “nothing against Miss Philippines Earth’s environmental advocacies and queens” and that she was grateful for the opportunity she was given.
The beauty queen, who represented Del Carmen, Siargao, Surigao del Norte, in the pageant, assured her supporters: “this is not the end.”
“After all, when one door closes, another one opens,” she said.
A political science student, Angela entered Miss Philippines Earth following her run at Miss Universe Philippines 2021.
Podcast host Ayn Bernos, who competed with Angela in Miss Universe Philippines, threw her support behind her pageant sister, saying, “I find it ironic that an organization claiming to advocate for the flora and fauna of the Earth can’t hold the same compassion towards the women that walk their stage and promote their cause.”
Miss Philippines Earth organizer Lorraine Schuck thanked the three candidates for their participation, but reiterated the pageant’s height requirement.
She told ABS-CBN News: “The Miss Philippines Earth pageant has its own criteria. Prospective candidates must meet those requirements including the standard 5-foot-4 minimum height requirement.”
“I am sad at nakakahinayang talaga kasi ang gaganda nila (and it’s a shame because they’re all beautiful) and they’re bright but we also have to be fair with other candidates who have complied with the requirements,” she said.
“We thank Angela Okol of Del Carmen, Surigao; Cess Cruz of Antipolo City; and Renee Coleen Sta. Teresa of Ibaan, Batangas for their hard work in supporting the MPE and its advocacies and promoting their respective municipalities through their eco-tourism videos. Their videos will remain in our site and online platform and will still be considered for special awards,” she said.
The pageant is set to announce its top 20 on Friday, July 15. – Rappler.com