A medical physicist from Manila who is pushing for energy conservation was crowned Miss Philippines Earth 2017 during a pageant held at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City last Saturday night.
Karen Ibasco, 26, edged out 39 other contestants in the environment-driven beauty pageant. She will represent the Philippines at the Miss Earth international pageant in November this year.
An early favorite in the prejudging competitions, Ibasco continued to impress the judges during the final question and answer segment of the contest.
During the final round, the Top 5 semi-finalists were asked a common question: “The government slogan is change is coming. What change do you wanna see in terms of environmental policies in the country.”
Ibasco answered: “In terms of environmental policies, everyone [is] experiencing climate change. The whole world is experiencing climate change. I’m just grateful that the Philippines has 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 to be a better place, greener, inhabitable for the whole country.”
It wasn’t a surprise anymore when Ibasco aced the question-and-answer portion of the pageant, according to Jay Patao, the country’s only newspaper pageant columnist.
“During the pre-judging for the intelligence segment of the contest, the judges were simply amazed at her. In fact, there was a moment of silence after a few rounds of questions. One judge even said, ‘what can I say? I have no more questions to ask,’ “ said Patao.
This year’s elemental winners were Jessica Marasigan, Caloocan City, Miss Philippines Earth-Fire; Vanessa Mae Castillo, Lobo, Batangas, Miss Philippines Earth-Eco-Tourism; Kim de Guzman, Olongapo City, Miss Philippines Earth-Air; and Neliza Bautista, of Villanueva, Misamis Oriental, Miss Philippines Earth-Fire.
Other candidates in the Top 10 are: Angeles City – Korin Frances Dizon; Lipa City – Rianne Charlotte Kalaw; New Zealand – Jessica Rose McEwen; Panglao, Bohol – Catherine Tabaniag; and Porac, Pampanga – Anne Krishia Antonio.
Ibasco 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.
At present, Ibasco works as a medical physicist at St. Luke’s Hospital. She also taught at the University of Sto. Tomas in Manila where she graduated.
Medical physicists use a variety of analytical, computer-aided and bio-engineering techniques in their work such as radiotherapy, x-ray imaging, ultrasound, tomography, radiology, nuclear magnetic resonance imaging and lasers, according to the website targetjobs of the United Kingdom.
They aren’t trained in the same way as doctors, but they collaborate with doctors to assess and treat illness, it added.
When she was chosen among the Top 10 semi-finalists, Ibasco was asked to expound on the hashtag #fake news.
“Nowadays, a lot of people distribute fake news but one of the most important mediums is social media. We have to learn [how] to use it for social good. We have to learn to disseminate…and also to filter the right information not just for yourself…but also for the people in your circle of influence,” Ibasco said.
It wasn’t the first time that Ibasco competed in a national pageant. In 2016, she became one of the official candidates of Bb. Pilipinas contest but she did not place.
Ibasco has cited the importance of energy conservation.
“As a physicist, I understand the importance of daily consumption of energy that is why my environmental advocacy is the conservation of energy and to embrace renewable and sustainable sources of energy in exchange for fossil fuel, which contributes to a huge percentage in global warming,” she said.
Winners of special awards were: Ms SM Markets – Marie Sherry Ann Tormes, Mandaluyong City; Earth Warrior 2017 – Vanessa Mae Castillo, Lobo, Batangas; Best Eco-video – Adalynn Dumlao, Taguig City; Best in Cultural Costume – Elizabeth Amahan, El Salvador City.
Earlier, other special awards presented at Versailles Palace in Alabang were: Best in Resorts Wear – Jessica Marasigan, Caloocan City; Miss Psalmstre 2017 and Miss Red Fox – Samantha Viktoria Samantha Acosta of Pulilan, Bulacan; Miss Psalmstre New Placenta 2017 – Neliza Bautista, Villanueva, Misamis Oriental; and Miss Boardwalk – Kim de Guzman, Olongapo City.
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