It used to be in several years past that the national finals of Miss Philippines Earth followed the 10-5 elimination structure until last year when it made a slight change to 12-5 because of the June 12 (Philippine Independence Day) Coronation Night. For 2017, it will all be back to 10-5 once the big night unravels this coming Saturday night at the MOA Arena. And here is where it always get difficult because – out of the forty (40) Official Candidates vying for the crown of Loren Mar Artajos – there are more than ten (10) Earth Warriors who have the potentials of winning.
The 2017 batch is solid. The ladies may not have the tallest height average, but individually, their strengths as beauty queens-cum-environmental spokespersons cannot be taken for granted. And this could be the reason why – inspite of the initial public resistance to the idea – the lower half of the Top 10 is eventually sashed and declared as multiple runners-up instead of just being tagged as semi-finalists. This makes Miss Philippines Earth and her elemental court (plus Eco-Tourism) as major titleholders – sort of a Bb. Pilipinas mimic if you will.
With that being said, let me start by citing first the five (5) ladies who did not make the final choices for Top 10. I have to give them credit for proving to be such worthy competitors. Truly, the official first-cut slots are so hotly-contested that any one of them could actually spoil the line-up for one or two of my forecasted ladies.
The ladies occupying my 11th-15th spots are just good as speakers as the ones who made my personal Top 10. Manila’s Karen Ibasco, for one, is a Physicist who definitely knows more than just waste management and recycling, just as Korin Dizon of Angeles City is a well-spoken events host who can talk about anything under the sun. Lea Audrey Laano of Tayabas City, Vanessa Mae Castillo of Lobo, Batangas and Rianne Kalaw of the City of Lipa are also clearly-committed to their respective advocacies and can talk about their causes with much fervor.
But let us go to the beauties who scored highest in my own scoresheet.
If one or two of my 11th-15th could pull the rug from a couple of ladies in my Top 10, I can go out on a limb and say that at least three in my 6th-10th positions are capable of gunning for the Top 5. Anne Krishia Antonio of Porac, Pampanga is a well-rounded conversationalist who – along with her beautiful morena looks – can go from corporate to casual talks with equal ease. I can almost say the same for Shane Tormes of Mandaluyong City who – aside from having one of the best catwalks and physique – is such a warm and spontaneous individual who can be both a Miss Friendship winner and an elemental titleholder at the same time. On the other hand, Celine Pangan of Ozamiz City and Sherlyn Doloriel of Cagayan de Oro City are two of the strongest Mindanaoan bets who are very charming and possessing the right attitude at the same time. Both of them are so easy to get along with. So those could be strong plus factors when it comes to the assessment of the organizers and staff behind Carousel Productions. Let us not forget the uber pretty Jessica Marasigan of Caloocan City who won Gold as Best in Resort Wear. She has always made heads turn everywhere the candidates do their media/public appearances. She is also a delightful talker.
Onto the potential cast of Top 5, I am assigning the Miss Philippines Earth Eco-Tourism honor to Catherine Tabaniag of Panglao, Bohol. If she eventually goes this far (or even higher), it could be the worthiest placement of her province in the annual competition. And I bet she can do a lot of good promotion for Bohol’s environmental efforts and the entire Visayan region. Sandrine Stoelzaed of Puerto Princesa City and Jessica Rose McEwen of Fil-New Zealand are occupying my Miss Philippines Fire and Miss Philippines Water slots, respectively. They have been strong contenders from Day 1 and have managed to sustain their status as favorites up to this point. They will definitely give my Top 2 placers a tight run for their money. The final Q&A is very likely to spell the difference during the last segment of the finals proceedings.
Lastly, it could be a battle between youth and reality/celebrity reach for the Miss Philippines Air and Miss Philippines Earth crowns. Samantha Acosta of Pulilan, Bulacan can do a Jamie Herrell and win the highest plum at the age of 19. She has the strong support of the student sector and can actually be an excellent role model for Mother Earth with her Greentime advocacy. And quite undeniably, this University of Asia & the Pacific student has one of the most beautiful faces in this roster as well.
On the other hand, Kim de Guzman of Olongapo City enjoys the relative popularity/familiarity of being a former PBB (Pinoy Big Brother) housemate over at ABS-CBN, the pageant’s official network. She also capitalizes on her allure and natural charisma to win support over her side, while proving that she can also talk the talk if the demand is to speak on behalf of the environment.
It’s an either-or between Samantha Acosta and Kim de Guzman for Miss Philippines Earth 2017, just like 2016 when Imelda Schweighart and Kiara Giel Gregorio battled for #1 or in 2015 which saw Angelia Ong and Chanel Olive Thomas go head-to-head up to the actual announcement of winners.
Watch the finals of Miss Philippines Earth 2017 live at the MOA Arena. The forty candidates have been giving away free tickets since last week. See if you score a pass from one of them. Otherwise, you can catch the delayed TV telecast on Sunday night (after GGV) over at ABS-CBN.