Text and photos by Drew Francisco
Karen Ibasco, representing the City of Manila, was crowned Miss Philippines Earth 2017 in gliterring ceremonies staged at the Mall of Asia Arena on Saturday, July 15.
The 26-year-old physicist and instructor at the University of Santo Tomas bested 39 other delegates for the right to represent the country at the 2017 Miss Earth pageant to be held in November.
Ibasco wasn’t among the heavy favorites going into the finals night, but she impressed the judges and audience during the QA round.
Asked during the final question portion about the change she wants to see in national environmental policies, Ibasco replied: “In terms of environmental policies, everyone is experiencing climate change. The whole world is experiencing climate change and I’m just grateful that the Philippines signed the Paris Treaty. What I want to see is to pass a carbon tax. In that way, we would invest in renewable energy to help our world be a better place, greener and habitable for the whole humanity.”
Her elemental court (all of equal ranking) were Miss Philippines Air Kim de Guzman from Olongapo City; Miss Philippines Water Jessica Marasigan from Caloocan City; Miss Philippines Fire Nellza Bautista from Villanueva, Misamis Oriental; and Miss Philippines Eco-Tourism Vanessa Mae Castillo from Lobo, Batangas.
The rest of the 10 semifinalists were the representatives of the Filipino Community of New Zealand (Jessica Rose McEwen); Porac, Pampanga (Anne Krishia Antonio); City of Lipa (Rianne Charlotte Kalaw); Panglao, Bohol (Catherine Tabaniag); and Angeles City (Korin Frances Dizon).
The coronation night was hosted by Robi Domingo with Miss Philippines Earth 2009 Sandra Seifert as co-anchor.
Miss Earth titlholders Jamie Herrell (2014), Angelia Ong (2015) and Katherine Espin (2016) attended the event. Former MPE titleholders Catherine Untalan (2006) and Jeanne Harn (2007) and Miss Earth Air 2016 Michelle Gomez also graced the show. Missosology.Org