She stood up against the odds without flinching.
Miss Earth 2017 Karen Ibasco is a braveheart – someone who was called (make that crowned) to action, who stepped out in courage, and who followed through to completion the task she has been called to do or become.
As Miss Earth 2017, she faced one of the most mud-slinged reigns in modern international pageant history. Blame it on the common perception of physical beauty by many fans, supporters and followers from other countries who could not accept her inclusion in their idea of a deserving winner. Heck, even some of her fellow Filipinos joined in the fray and threw their own bushels of tomatoes in dismay. It also didn’t help that the competition was held here in the Philippines where a hometown decision is sure to be met with more than quizzical looks.
And so, she was faced with ferocious resistance the night the crown was placed on top of her head. The most unpleasant shots spread like wildfire on social media, just like the hurtful memes that bruised her feelings like nonstop jabs from an unseen class of opponents.
But Karen is not one to be cowered by such below-the-belt attacks. She remained undaunted, and took the queenly path instead – keeping her cool/composure every step of the way.
And more than midway through her year of reign, the hits gradually grew silent and acceptance crept in a painfully slow manner. It didn’t matter. She continued to hold her head up high.
And now that she is about to crown her successor tonight, Karen can look back to all the painful moments she had surpassed. And give out a generous smile. Because true to her title, she is one of the most down-to-Earth Queens I have ever met. She fulfilled (and continues to fulfill) her responsibilities with clockwork precision, while preserving the pageant brand she was tasked to sustain and strengthen.
Karen “Braveheart” Ibasco. Move on with an even braver heart. Continue to be an inspiration to many. And keep up with the efforts in making our Earth a most environmentally safe place to live in.
I will do my Miss Earth 2018 Predictions in a top-to-bottom order for a change. Starting off with my big winner and elemental court, I can see two Latinas – Melissa Flores of Mexico and Diana Silva of Venezuela – fighting close to become the successor of Karen Ibasco. I am giving the edge to the Mexican beauty because she is the more consistent all-around. It also helps that the Miss Earth Mexico Organization that sent her has been making great efforts in sustaining and making the brand more popular in the Americas. Now if the final decision would come down to a Q&A answer, then it wouldn’t surprise me as well if the judges would lean on Melissa. But if she falters – even marginally along the way – then Diana is likely to benefit from the lapse and could give Venezuela its 3rd Miss Earth crown. I would be happier with the former finishing on top, though.
As for Water and Fire, it could be interchangeable between Priya Sigdel of Nepal and Telma Madeira of Portugal. Anyone among the two would be good choices for the elemental court. The Nepalese, however, has the upper hand should she ace the interview round. She could even spoil the two Latinas. But for now, I am sticking to the final lineup I made.
The Portuguese Telma would have made a refreshing Miss Earth winner. Her relative youth might be a concern when the going gets tough, though.
Hence, above is a photo grid of my Top 8, with the 5th to 8th places occupied by Danijela Burjan of Slovenia, Margaretha de Jong of Netherlands, Celeste Cortesi of the Philippines and Melanie Mader of Austria (the one who might benefit from an upper push if the organizers find it beneficial to have an elemental Queen whose attitude and work ethics they are already accustomed to after reigning as Miss Philippines Earth-Water back in 2016).
Just to complete a Top 16, my 9th to 16th Goddesses in ranking are: Phuong Khanh Nguyen of Vietnam, Yashvi Aware of the USA, Maristella Okpala of Nigeria, Antonia Figueroa of Chile, Nerada Chitsadapriyakun of Thailand, Lisa Hayet of Guatemala, Jessica Russo of Peru and Margo Faith Fargo of South Africa.
Let’s see how the actual results will compare tomorrow night at the Mall of Asia Arena.
In anticipation of the Miss Earth 2018 Finals this coming Saturday, here are images from the photoshoot of the Philippines’ four (4) Miss Earth titleholders:
From 2008, Karla Henry
From 2014, Jamie Herrell
From 2015, Angelia Gabrena Ong
and from 2017, Karen Ibasco
HMUA Team headed by Angelo Tacadena
Photographer: Torrontegui Robert
Stylist: Rick Sotelo
High time to have a new Miss Earth winner from another country!
Miss Earth celebrates 18 years of Beauties for a Cause
Another season of beauty and responsibility is underway as Miss Earth marks 18 years of promoting environmental awareness. 90 delegates from across the world have made their way to Manila, each one poised to WORK TOWARDS A SUSTAINABLE LIVING.
The 18th edition of the premier beauty and environmental event promises to be another year of learning, sharing, PROMOTING THE BEAUTY OF THEIR RESPECTIVE COUNTRIES AND THEIR ADVOCACY’S.
Prior to the grand coronation night, the delegates are scheduled to visit various destinations in the Philippines promoting environmental awareness. They will also visit various schools in line with Miss Earth’s mission to educate the youth on the importance of taking care of the environment.
Also included in their hectic itinerary are the much talked-about preliminary judging in beauty and poise, figure, and intelligence and environmental awareness which will be streamed live on Miss Earth’s official Facebook page and YouTube channel.
“It is going to be another busy year for us,” says Carousel Executive Vice President Lorraine Schuck. “It is really quite tiring with all that traveling and pre-pageant activities, but we cannot sidestep the organization’s main focus, which is to educate and get the public involved in the global movement to save the planet.”
In addition to the environmental activities of the delegates, Carousel’s President, Ramon Monzon says, “Preparation is likewise in full swing for the goddess-themed finals night. Hall of Famer journalist James Deakin makes a comeback to do hosting chores, while Grammy nominated Brian McKnight will be the guest performer, THE FINAL STAGE WILL BE MORE OR LESS 80% BE MADE OF RECYCLED MATERIALS.
The two-hour grand coronation night is slated on Saturday, November 3 at the Mall of Asia Arena, telecast live on FOXlife at 8:00 PM and on TV networks of participating countries. It will also be streamed live via Miss Earth’s Facebook page and YouTube channel, and on gmanetwork.com. The local Philippine airing will be on Sunday, November 4, 10:30 PM on GMA-7.
Miss Earth 2018 is made possible with PARTNERS: Official Hotel Residences, Century Park Hotel, Diamond Hotel Philippines, Pan Pacific Manila, Viking Car Rental – the official bus transport, Gandang Ricky Reyes official stylists, KITTCO Travel & Tours, and the Miss Earth Foundation.
Bb. Pilipinas International 2017 Maria Angelica De Leon is looking forward to the month of July where something exciting awaits!
Watch out for our Queen Mariel soon!
Hair: @iammjrone @tokyoposh
Sharing with you photos of Miss Universe Philippines 2018 Catriona Gray and Bb. Pilipinas Globe 2018 Michele Gumabao when they hosted the PLDT Home | Fibr event held at the SM Lanang Premier in Davao City yesterday.
Thanks for the photo coverage, Patet Magalona Fermin!
Whatever shade of hair color, the beauty of her face remains in full bloom!
Bb. Pilipinas Supranational 2018 Jehza Huelar for you, sporting a new shade for her shiny long tresses.
Sharing with you photos of the 1000 Trees Tree Planting Activity of Open Arms for Children Inc. together with Miss Earth 2017 Karen Ibasco in Brgy. Batuan, Municipality of Balasan, Iloilo Province.
Thanks for the coverage photos, Al Destacamento!
#openarmsforchildreninc. #missearth2017 #missearth #treeplanting #ngo #balasan #Iloilo
Finally, above and below are photos of newly-crowned Miss Landscapes International 2018 Karen Grace Atienza and her court of runners-up from Ecuador, Peru and Thailand
Hope you all had a restful weekend, dear readers!
Here are the winners of Miss Earth Philippines 2018:
Miss Earth Philippines 2018
Silvia Celeste Cortesi of Fil-Rome, Italy
Miss Earth Philippines Air 2018:
Zahra Bianca Saldua of Las Piñas City
Miss Earth Philippines Water 2018:
Berjayneth Chee of Balingasag, Misamis Oriental
Miss Earth Philippines Fire 2018:
Jean de Jesus of San Rafael, Bulacan
Miss Earth Philippines Ecotourism 2018:
Halimatu Yushawu of Titay, Zamboanga Sibugay
For the first time in its eighteen-year history, Miss Earth Philippines crowned a representative from one of the Filipino Communities abroad. And Silvia Celeste Cortesi of Rome, Italy is the successor of Karen Ibasco. She edged out heavy favorite Zahra Bianca Saldua of Las Piñas City who had the upper hand going into the announcement of winners. The latter settled for Miss Earth Philippines Air. The audience at the Arena were in for quite a surprise because if the basis was the final Q&A, then the ranking of winners would have it differently. But according to an inside source, a Goddess-like candidate is likely to be favored this year. Hence, the selection of the statuesque Fil-Italian model as our representative to Miss Earth 2018.
The other placements in the elemental court had Berjayneth Chee of Balingasag, Misamis Oriental for Water, Jean Nicole de Jesus of San Rafael, Bulacan for Fire and Halimatu Yushawu of Titay, Zamboanga Sibugay for Ecoutourism.
More about the new set of winners of Miss Earth Philippines 2018 soon!
Miss Earth Philippines 2017 and Miss Earth 2017 Karen Ibasco
Hers was a reign that had rough patches here and there. And boy, were the potshots so cruel that anyone of a lesser heart and determination would succumb to the bashings that progressed from the nationals all the way to the international pageant stage.
As the reigning Miss Earth Philippines, Karen Ibasco was not spared the iron rod by critics who had a heyday putting her down for not having the traditional look and beauty we always associate with a winner, let alone a titleholder who would represent the country in the bigger Miss Earth. But when her innate smarts, academic credentials and articulate self start reeling in, then everyone would just sit up and take notice of how she would gloriously defeat all opponents coming her way. After all, being a Physicist gave her way more than textbook knowledge about science and stuff. What’s more, being able to translate her thoughts into words that would make the complicated seem reasonably understandable is a gift that not everyone can lay bragging rights on. Do watch two video clips (courtesy of Rappler) of how she was able to pull a well-deserved victory during Miss Earth Philippines 2017.
Since tonight is when Karen will relinquish her Miss Earth Philippines crown, I will stop at this point because her reign as Miss Earth won’t end until the 4th quarter of this Year.
Let me just say how proud I am of this woman who continuously held her head high amidst the varying degrees of stormy weather she had to live through. She remained cool, calm and collected. Gracious in all her moves and every inch a Queen so down-to-Mother Earth (pun intended).
Credits for her topmost photo:
Photographer – Jan Marquez | HMUA – Drew Galleguez | Gown – Edwin Uy