Miss Philippines-Earth is a medical physicist

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EARTHLY DELIGHTS Karen Ibasco (center) flashes a smile after outclassing 39 other contenders for the 2017 Miss Philippines-Earth title at Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City on Saturday night. She is flanked by Miss Philippines-Fire Nellza Bautista (left), Miss Philippines-Air Kim de Guzman, Miss Philippines-Water Jessica Marasigan and Miss Philippines-Ecotourism Vanessa Mae Castillo. RICHARD REYES

A medical physicist hopes to use her new title as Miss Philippines-Earth to highlight the “science behind climate change.”

Karen Ibasco, 26, bested 39 other aspirants in ceremonies at Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City on Saturday night for the right to represent the Philippines in the global Miss Earth pageant, and to serve as an ambassador for environmental protection.

“Joining Miss Philippines-Earth is representing the scientific community and making the people understand the science behind climate change,” Ibasco told the Inquirer after her coronation.

“I really want to share a message, to tell the people what they can do to save the Earth,” she added.

Environmental protection

The Miss Philippines-Earth pageant runs on the platform of environmental protection and its winners, since its inception in 2001, have launched projects that help save the planet.

“I will use my title to continue my advocacy, use it as my platform to reach out to a wider range of audience, different people, as I continue to share my voice when it comes to conservation of energy and embracing renewable energy,” Ibasco said.

During the final round of questions, the five finalists were asked what environmental policies they wanted to change.

Ibasco replied: “Everyone [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.”

Also proclaimed winners were Miss Philippines-Air Kim de Guzman from Olongapo City, Miss Philippines-Water Jessica Marasigan from Caloocan, Miss Philippines-Fire Nellza Bautista from Villanueva, Misamis Oriental, and Miss Philippines-Ecotourism Vanessa Mae Castillo from Lobo, Batangas.

The Philippine Daily Inquirer is a media partner of the Miss Philippines-Earth pageant.

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