The beauty and elegance of Filipino beauty queens continued to shine as the Philippines captured two international pageant crowns — Miss Earth 2017 and Reina Hispanoamericana 2017 — and another 1st
runner-up finish during competitions held in Manila, Malaysia and Bolivia last Saturday night.
In Manila, Karen Ibasco was crowned Miss Earth 2017 during a televised pageant held at the Mall of Asia in Pasay City. She edged out 85 other girls for the crown..
In Bolivia, actress Teresita Ssen (Winwyn) Marquez was crowned Reina Hispanoamericana in a beauty contest that celebrates the Hispanic heritage, culture and language.
In Malaysia, Sammie Anne Legaspi won first runner-up in the Miss Lhumiere International World 2017 beauty pageant.
On Nov. 3 (Nov. 4 Manila time), Nelda Ibe also finished second in the Miss Globe 2017 contest held in Albania.
Ibasco, 26, currently works as a medical physicist at St. Luke’s Hospital. She also taught at the University of Sto. Tomas in Manila where she graduated both from her bachelor and master’s degrees in Applied Physics major in Medical Physics.
During the final question and answer, the Top 4 candidates were asked the same question: “Who or what do you think is the biggest enemy of Mother Earth and why?”
Ibasco responded: “I believe that the real problem in this world is not climate change; the real problem is us because of our ignorance and apathy. What we have to do is to start changing our ways, to start recalibrating our minds, and redirecting our steps, because together, as a global community, our micro efforts will have a macro effect to help save our home, our planet. Thank you.”
Ibasco is the fourth Miss Earth winner from the Philippines in the 16-year-history of the pageant. She also continued the winning streak of the Kagandahang Flores beauty camp under Rodgil Flores who has produced titleholders for the Miss Philippines Earth contest since 2008 up to the present.
Previous Miss Earth winners from the Philippines were Karla Henry (2008), Jamie Herrell (2014) and Angelia Ong (2015) since the pageant started in 2001.
Days before the finals, Ibasco led the Miss Earth 2017 medal tally with 2 gold and three silver medals. Candidates of the Miss Earth pageant are awarded gold, silver and bronze medals during pre-pageant activities.
Other winners in the Miss Earth 2017 pageant were: Miss Earth-Water Miss Colombia Juliana Franco; Miss Earth-Fire Miss Russia Lada Akimova; and Miss Earth-Air Miss Australia Nina Robertson.
Marquez defeated 26 candidates for the crown usually won by Latinas. This is also the first time that the Philippines competed in the pageant which started in 1991.
During the question and answer portion, Marquez was asked how she would promote hispanic culture if she won the crown.
With the help of a translator, Marquez responded: “Language can be learned, but the will and determination to contribute something to the organization cannot.
“It has to come from the heart and it has to be natural. I believe that kindness is a universal language. If you treat people with tolerance, patience, and love, you will understand each other. Hispanic culture is not about language only.
“It’s about love for God, love for country, love for history and culture, and love for family. As a Filipina with a unique heritage, I have instilled that.
“I am ready to promote the Hispanic culture, not just in Asia, but in the whole world. It is time to celebrate the Hispanic culture. It is meant to be celebrated,” she said.
First runner-up was Miss Brazil; Miss Venezuela, 2nd runner-up; Miss Mexico, 3rd runner-up; and Miss Bolivia, 4th runner-up.
Aside from Marquez, who was the only Asian in the Top 10, other semifinalists were Curacao, Chile, Cuba, Peru, and Paraguay.
A daughter of actors-turned-politicians Alma Moreno and Joey Marquez, the beauty queen has appeared on several television series on GMA 7. She is the half sister of Mark Anthony Fernandez and Van Dolph Quizon.
Marquez, 25, is in a relationship with actor Mark Herras. She was trained under Aces and Queens beauty camp of Jonas Gaffud, the same team which groomed Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach and reigning Miss International Kylie Verzosa.
During pre-pageant activities, Marquez received several special awards, making her one of the early favorites for the crown.
These special awards were Miss Ipanema, Miss Personalidad Udabol 1st runner-up; Miss Sulueta Philips (swimsuit), 3rd place; Best in National Costume, Top 3; Miss Deporta (Sport), Top 5; and Best Smile, 5th place.
Miss Lhumiere International
Legaspi won 1st runner-up in the Miss Lhumiere International World beauty pageant in Malaysia.
The beauty queen from Ilocos Norte finished second to Miss Siberia who won the crown.
Other winners were Miss Borneo, 2nd runner-up; Miss Fiji, 3rd runner-up; and Miss Vietnam, 4th runner-up.
Born and raised in San Pedro, Laguna, Legaspi said that her parents and elder brother are volunteer preachers.
“I am the daughter of volunteer preachers. And since my parents do not have regular income, I use all my God-given talents to support my family. I stopped my studies so I can focus on supporting them because
I always believe that education will always be there if I wanted to go back. On the other hand, I can’t have my family forever by my side so I am giving everything that I can offer,” Legaspi said.
Before she was crowned Miss Philippine Islands, Legaspi won 2nd runner-up during the Miss Global Philippines 2016, was crowned Miss Sophie Paris Philippines 2016 and was named Saniata ti Ilocos Earth 2016.
Many may not know it but Ibasco, Marquez and Legaspi were former candidates of the Binibining Pilipinas beauty pageant.
Legaspi joined the 2017 Bb. Pilipinas beauty contest won by Rachel Peters.
On the other hand, Ibasco competed in the 2016 Bb. Pilipinas pageant won by Maxine Medina.
Marquez became a semi-finalist in the 2015 Bb. Pilipinas contest won by Pia Wurtzbach.
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