Kapuso actress Kelley Day is all set to clinch the crown at the 2021 Miss Eco International pageant to be held at Dahab/Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt from March 18 leading up to the coronation night on April 6.
She aims to replicate Cynthia Thomalla’s historic feat when the latter bagged the country’s very first Miss Eco International crown last 2018.
After having been postponed twice last year due to the global Covid-19 pandemic, the Miss Eco International pageant has finally been given the green light by its organizers led by pageant founder Dr. Amaal Rezk, whose hopes for promoting ecotourism remain undaunted despite the lingering health crisis.
Like most Filipinos who coped well amid last year’s adversity, Kelley made use of last year’s ‘downtime’ constructively. She says, “I think most of us can agree that we’ve spent a lot of time self-reflecting. One of the biggest challenges for me was actually learning to be alone with my thoughts, listening and really hearing myself without the distraction of normal life, and taking action on things I wanted to improve on for my personal growth and self-love. It hasn’t been easy, but I’m really proud of myself for getting through the global crisis and feeling like I have become a better version of myself,” Kelley discloses during her sendoff press conference held earlier at the Manila House, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig.
In addition, she also wrote a lot of music, learned some computer software programs for video and music editing, and finally began her online bachelor’s degree in Biological Sciences, which meant “predominantly sittingat the computer, and also learning yoga to reduce back pain.”
The proud Tarlaqueño had been undergoing intensive physical and pageant training since late last year, just to get a good headstart on her pre-pageant goals.
“Everything! Pasarela training, Q&A, personality development, home workouts, walking around my apartment in platform heels! Thanks to Aces and Queens, the training process has been extremely enjoyable and beneficial,” she beams proudly.
Under the strict supervision of her Miss World PH camp and trainers from Aces and Queens, the 24-year-old model/actress feels that she’s in her best fighting form now—physically, mentally and emotionally.
Apart from her pageant responsibilities, Kelley considers herself lucky to have been blessed with a windfall of showbiz projects, some of which include a TV mystery/suspense thriller and a feel-good romance movie, both of which star globally-acclaimed thespian Raymond Bagatsing and promising award-winning actor David Chua, who was last seen in the ABS-CBN teleserye Love Thy Woman.
“It’s a constant challenge leveling up my acting game, and I’m very excited about my onscreen chemistry with David, which is something a lot of fans and netizens tease us about,” she admits with a chuckle.
For now, Kelley prefers to keep mum about her style/glam team. She explains, “Some of that information is still a secret, but I do want to say a massive thank you to Francis Chee for putting together all of my outfits from a range of extremely talented Filipino designers. If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll be updated on all of my outfits and designers that we have collaborated with, so stay tuned! I would like to add that my final gown in particular is a masterpiece, and I hope to do it justice on stage.”
What part of the competition proper does Kelley anticipate as the toughest? She ponders, “I have always found Q&A to be the most daunting, but I have been working really hard on keeping calm and collecting my thoughts under time pressure and being on stage. Despite how people may perceive me, I’ve always been a little introverted and shy in front of big crowds! But my career over the last few years has really helped me develop my confidence and stage presence, so I think I should be okay.”
Among the daunting tasks of a Miss Eco International titlist is doing her share in spreading environmental awareness and conceptualizing concrete solutions for minimizing the country’s carbon footprint as well as staving off global warming, even while in the midst of the worldwide health scourge.
She shares, “During lockdown, I had to switch my drinking water supply from refilling the containers at refilling stations, to buying plastic bottles in the groceries (due to the restrictions and hygiene purposes). Over the months, I collected all the empty bottles into my car trunk, and hoped that after lockdown I could drop them off at a recycling center. To my dismay, I discovered in Metro Manila there is a great lack of recycling centers for public use, so I ended up donating them to my relatives in the province for their food businesses. For as long as plastic is being sold in stores, we must provide the public with convenient and accessible ways of recycling, if we truly want to save our planet. If I win Miss Eco International, I would like to use my platform to pursue it as my my first eco-based project.”
What does Kelley plan to accomplish for herself, assuming she bags the crown? She muses, “I would really like to work on making documentaries. I love watching documentaries! Assuming I win the crown, not only would I gain a platform to be heard and noticed, but also gain the experience and opportunities to share true stories and information that I believe can educate our world. Some examples would be a documentary about alopecia, a documentary about pageantry, a documentary about global environmental issues and solutions, etc. The opportunities are endless and very exciting, and it would fulfill my newfound interest in TV and movie production!”
The mestiza beauty also cherishes the love and support from her Miss World Philippines 2019 sisters. “Most definitely,” she asserts. “MWP 2019 was my first ever pageant, so I have been very accepting of the fact that I still have a lot to learn. In particular, Ro-Ann [Roberta Tamondong] who competed a couple of months ago in Miss Eco Teen (and won!) has been giving me plenty of advice when it comes to competing during a pandemic, and she has really put my mind at ease.”For his part, Miss World Philippines National Director Arnold Vegafria is confident that Kelley will be a standout among this year’s contenders. He says, “Since day one, Kelley had always been marked as a sure winner, and her words and actions define her even better as a woman of substance. It will be a tough battle, but I’m sure that her tenacity will carry her through.”
With barely three weeks before the competition, Kelley enjoins Filipino pageant fans and netizens alike to help boost her chances of winning by voting for her on the Miss Eco International’s social media platform. She appeals, “On the Miss Eco International Facebook page, voting has begun. So, please do head onto their page, and comment/like on the photo of me. Instructions are there, and the comments are tallied as votes.”
The Miss Eco International 2021 coronation night will be held in Dahab/Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt on April 6, 2021 and will be broadcast live via the pageant’s official social media platforms.