Since the finals of Miss Earth Philippines 2018 will have its big night at the SM Mall of Asia Arena this coming Saturday, May 19, I am sharing with you my final predictions for the pageant homage to Mother Nature based on how I see the forty-two Official Candidates vying for the top spots.
Truth be told, I am confident that the upper half of my filtered sixteen already has the eventual successor of Karen Ibasco among them. The matter is likely to be settled in the crucial Q&A. But just to complete the recognition, the ladies are:
1) Zahra Bianca Saldua of Las Piñas City
2) Gabrielle Camille Basiano of Tacloban City
3) Celeste Cortesi of Fil-Rome, Italy
4) Berjayneth Chee of Balingasag, Misamis Oriental
5) Marla Alforque of Cebu City
6) Leandrea Batingan of San Jose del Monte City
7) Jean Nicole de Jesus of San Rafael, Bulacan
8) Marra Cristy Dianne Silvosa of Cateel, Davao Oriental
9) Naomie White of Fil-Sydney, Australia
10) Lea Macapagal of Dinalupihan, Bataan
11) Noelle Uy-Fuentes Tuazon of Tangalan, Aklan
12) Lovely Lamptey of Taguig City
13) Halimatu Yushawu of Titay, Xamboanga Sibugay
14) Lean Quinto of Quezon City
15) Theressa Mariano of Fil-Queensland, Australia
16) We’am Ahmed of Davao City
Now let’s look at the first eight (8) in the line-up and you can see a variety of potential winners among them. Zahra Bianca Saldua is the proverbial clone of Karen Ibasco in terms of communication skills and public relations. In fact, she can offer one more advantage over the reigning titleholder because she is an effective host and speaker, not to mention the fact that she has also paid her dues in national pageantry prior to this. On the other hand, the quartet of Gabrielle Camille Basiano, Celeste Cortesi, Berjayneth Chee and Marla Alforque score extra plus points in terms of charm and physical beauty. It will all boil down as to who gets the luck in the Q&A and be asked a question that she has more than prepared for herself. Leandrea Batingan and Jean Nicole de Jesus are fighting with their special brand of beauty, people skills and back stories. So they should be able to ace their interviews during crunch time. And 8th on my tally is the possible spoiler from Mindanao, Marra Silvosa, who has steadily gained ground in the competition the past few weeks.
Above is my final ranking of the Top 5 – one each from NCR, Luzon, Visayas, Mindanao and the Filipino Communities abroad (a mere coincidence if you will). The 6th-ranked on my score sheet – Jean Nicole de Jesus – could still spoil things up if lady luck favors when it matters most. But if I were to put them in assigned titles right this minute, Zahra Bianca Saldua is my choice for Miss Earth Philippines 2018. Yes, the pressure to win another back-to-back Miss Earth crown for the country is there. But I am not counting on it happening again so soon because it is very likely to smear the pageant’s image even more after the marked backlash of the host delegate prevailing over everyone else last year. In that regard, I want to see the perfect representative who can actually be a solid big sister to all the candidates, as well as espousing the qualities of an excellent spokesperson for the brand itself. She will definitely be a useful asset for Carousel Productions if ever.
I have pulled in Leandrea Batingan, Berjayneth Chee, Gabrielle Camille Basiano and Celeste Cortesi to be capable of delivering reliable support as members of the Elemental Court. If one of them falters in the nick of time, the entry of San Rafael, Bulacan (Jean de Jesus) could easily replace.
Mabuhay ang mga Dyosa ng Inang Kalikasan!
Do watch the finals live at the SM Mall of Asia Arena on Saturday, May 19, with TV telecast on ABS-CBN at 10:00am of Sunday, May 20, right before ASAP.