Brainy Beauty Karen Ibasco wins PH’s 4th Miss Earth Crown
Report: Raymund Thom Golez | Managing Editor
Photos: JR Noses | Chief Photojournalist & Photo Editor
TAMPA, Florida – Karen Ibasco wins the first crown for the Philippines this pageant season as she was hailed Miss Earth 2017 on Saturday. The 26-year-old licensed medical physicist and university instructor from Manila bested 84 other ‘environmental heroines’ during the pageant’s coronation night held at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City, Philippines.
Portrayed as ‘Liwanag ng Kalikasan‘ (Light of Nature), Ibasco truly shined throughout the whole course of the competition including the pre-pageant activities where she won gold and silver medals in different categories, which includes Best in Swimsuit, Best in Evening Gown, Best in National Costume, and Darling of the Press.
She was crowned by outgoing queen Katherine Espin from Ecuador. Ibasco is the newest addition to the elite circle of winners from the Philippines who have snagged the Miss Earth crown which includes, Karla Henry (2008), Jamie Herrell (2014) and Angelia Ong (2015).
Ibaso is a Cum Laude graduate of Bachelor of Science in Applied Physics at the University of Santo Tomas and earned her Master’s degree in Medical Physics at the same university. She also served as a former faculty member of the College of Science and worked as a medical physicist at St. Luke’s Medical Center – Global City, Taguig, Philippines.
Hailed as Elemental Queens were Miss Australia Nina Robertson as Miss Earth Air 2017; Miss Russia Lada Akimova as Miss Earth Fire 2017; and Miss Colombia Juliana Franco was named Miss Earth Water 2017.
The remainder of the Top 8 includes Miss Thailand Paweensuda Drouin, Miss Venezuela Ninoska Vasquez, Miss Czech Republic Iva Uchytilová, and Miss Netherlands Faith Landman.
For the first segment, the Top 8 finalists were given 30 seconds to express their thoughts on a selected hashtag. Ibasco picked the hashtag#biodiversity.
In the Earth Talk segment, the Top 8 finalists were given 30 seconds to express their thoughts on a hashtag that they had picked out of a bowl. Karen chose the hashtag #biodiversity.
She said: “Biodiversity is very important. We are very known in the Philippines to have a lot of biodiversity, and they’re very important because they also balances the ecosystem. It’s very important for us to protect them, because as we protect them, we protect the environment to help save our home, our planet, our Earth, to be a better place to live in. Thank you.”
Final Question and Answer segment, the final 4 delegates were all asked the same question: “Who or what do you think is the biggest enemy of Mother Earth and why?”
Karen 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 re-calibrating 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.”
Now on its 17th year, the Miss Earth was themed, “Heroines Fighting Climate Change”, and it is one of the three largest beauty pageants in the world in terms of the number of national-level competitions to participate in the world finals.
Ibasco, together with her elemental queens will dedicate their year to promote specific projects and often address issues concerning the environment and other global issues through school tours, tree planting activities, street campaigns, coastal clean ups, speaking engagements, shopping mall tours, media guesting, environmental fairs, storytelling programs to children, eco-fashion shows, and other environmental activities. Ibasco will also serve as the spokesperson for the Miss Earth Foundation, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and other environmental organizations.The Miss Earth Foundation also works with the environmental departments and ministries of participating countries, various private sectors and corporations, as well as Greenpeace and the World Wildlife Foundation (WWF).