The Green Agenda
The science behind Miss Earth
ON HER WIN: “I’m not just a person who wants it for the crown but I’m
a person who really knows my purpose, my vision, and what I’m called
for–and that’s what makes me different.”
ON APATHY AND IGNORANCE: “We need to be agents of change and
the catalyst of this generation to really help our earth transition from
what it is now to a greener future before it’s too late.”
ON ENVIRONMENTAL WOES: “It’s the greed of people alongside
undisciplined hearts that causes climate change.”
ON HER EXPERIENCE: “I give a voice to people but I’m also learning
because the environment and the people around me are teaching me
things so I can be a better advocate for the environment.”
BY MAIELLE MONTAYRE
PHOTOGRAPHY BY JAR CONCENGCO
Miss Earth is not your typical beauty pageant, and neither is Karen Ibasco your quintessential
beauty queen. In this global microcosm of politics, conflict, and diplomacy, Mother Earth takes a back seat to more pressing matters. But for one glorious night, the Miss Earth Beauty Pageant shines bright on environmental awareness. Organized in 2001, this beauty and environmental event inspires everyone to become “Beauties for a Cause” in the preservation and protection of Mother Earth.
THE APPLIED ROOTS OF THE PAGEANTRY
Miss Earth is an annual international beauty pageant organized by Carousel Productions in 2001, and is one of the four major international pageants aside from Miss Universe, Miss World and Miss International.
Since its inception, the pageant has been mostly held in the Philippines, although Vietnam and Austria have also hosted the event. Manila, Pampanga and Boracay are some of the local government units (LGUs) which have hosted Miss Earth, and the event continues to draw excitement as well as have helped boost tourism . This beauty and environmental event, with gathers over 80 delegates from all over the world, inspires everyone to become ‘Beauties for a Cause’ in the preservation and protection of Mother Earth.
THE FUNDAMENTAL FRUITS OF MISS EARTH
Karen Ibasco, the current titleholder for Miss Earth 2017, serves as the spokesperson for the Miss Earth Foundation and the United Nationals Environmental Programme, among others. Established in 2004, the Foundation’s priorities lay in raising awareness about conservation, preservation, and the rehabilitation of the environment. To ensure that it meets its objectives, they work with several partner NGOs including
Plastic Solutions, an environmental conservation organization. For 2018, they’ve chosen to prioritize
projects for the seas as it’s the third International Year of the Ree, after 1997 and 2008. “Since we’re
fighting against climate change and the ocean is one of its victims, it’s good for us to focus on this
area, considering the alarming effects,” shares Ibasco. Climate change, among other things, has
caused loss of livelihood, agriculture, and in worst cases, loss of life.
Over the years, Miss Earth has diligently done its work and spread its advocacies in many countries. In the Philippines, they’ve partnered with LGUs who are receptive of Miss Earth programs and have also initiated their own local projects. One of the major projects of Miss Earth, “I Love My Planet School Tours,” promotes environmental awareness to the youth, and was recently conducted in the City of Manila.
Miss Earth also participated in a nature conservation read-along in partnership with Inquirer in Mandaluyong City. Delegates also visited eco-tourism places in Valenzuela City, such as the fishing village of Tagalag and the Valenzuela City People’s Park. It’s been a whirlwind ride for Ibasco as she participates in Miss Earth’s biggest activities throughout the year such as medical missions, tree and mangrove planting ceremonies, coastal clean-up activities, media guesting, speaking engagements, and eco-fashion shows.