15 September 2008

Miss Earth 2007 is Insulted in Puerto Rico

I came to know last month that the current Miss Earth, Filipino-Canadian who represented Canada was in Puerto Rico for pageant-related activities. Jessica Trisko was photographed very happy in that small US territory in the Caribbean.

I happened to sneaked to Critical Beauty and read an article about the trip which turned out to be unhappy and very insulting.

I wonder what is the reaction of the Miss Earth Organization to this incident and what are the measures they have taken to prevent such thing to happen again in the future.

I am republishing here the article I have taken at Critical Beauty written by Rafael Delfin or better known as Rafa. (Link is provided)

CRITICAL SAVIOR: Jessica Trisko, Miss Earth 2007, visited Puerto Rico two weeks ago, but her stay in the Enchanted Isle was not completely enchanting. Jessica had been invited by Reinas de Puerto Rico Organization (RPRO) whose president, Edwin Rosario, is the Puerto Rico franchise owner of Miss Earth. Jessica - who was supposed to be a guest - was told by "Janet" - RPRO's public relations director - that she had to pay for her own airfare and accomodations with the promise that she would have a memorable time in Puerto Rico. However, when Jessica arrived at the airport in San Juan on August 23 (Saturday), no one from RPRO met her. Even worse, she had not been provided by RPRO with proper accomodations, food or security for the first three days.

Noemi Melendez, the president of the Miss Cuba Organization who sends Cuban delegates to Miss Earth - and a good friend of Rosario's - had already known that Rosario was not coming to meet Jessica, so she called CB's Héctor Joaquín Colón González, photo, for immediate assistance. Hector arrived first at the airport, followed by Noemi. Jessica had to spend her first three nights in the house of Noemi's friend. The following day (Sunday) in the town of Loiza, Jessica attended an event supposedly in her honor, but when she, Hector and Noemi arrived at the venue, there were only seven people in attendance and that the activity was limited to a performance by a folkloric dance group and a local writer.

Since RPRO did not send any make-up artist or hairstylist to attend to Jessica, Héctor attempted to solicit assistance from stylist Davidonne and fashion designer Carlos Alberto. However, when Rosario found out about Héctor's good Samaritan deeds, he called Héctor on Tuesday (Aug. 26th) and began threatening him with a lawsuit. Rosario also told Héctor that Jessica could not use the services of either Davidonne or Carlos Alberto. Rosario was supposed to make a new dress for Jessica that she would wear when she gives up her Miss Earth crown, but Rosario never took Jessica's measurements. When Rosario offered Jessica a dress, it was made of polyester, badly designed, and had stains in front. Rosario also failed to accompany Jessica to the Bacardi Company offices. Eventually, Rosario was able to provide lodging to Jessica, in a two-star hotel called Diamond Palace in Condado, but Jessica only stayed for a day and a half because she couldn't stand the substandard conditions. Héctor was kind enough to receive Jessica in his apartment during the rest of her stay.

In its message board, RPRO posted some vicious comments about Héctor, calling him a no-good, unethical pageant coach with a big ego, and that no one in Puerto Rico ever hires him to train local queens. On Monday (Sept. 1), Rosario appeared on the local TV program "No Te Duermas" and badmouthed Héctor, claiming that Jessica was staying in an apartment filled with "bugs, cockroaches and rats." Nothing could be farther from the truth. Jessica's claims of mistreatment by Rosario are supported by Noemi herself. Noemi wrote to the project manager of Carousel Productions (which produces Miss Earth), Gemina Mayo (with copies to Jessica and Héctor), informing Gemina that she "was so disappointed on how Reinas de PR handled Jessica" and that "Edwin [Rosario] did not take care of Jessica during her stay." Noemi also regrets to have recommended Rosario for the Puerto Rican franchise of Miss Earth. According to Héctor, a friend of Natalie Cuevas, Miss Puerto Rico Earth, advised him that Natalie had been told by Rosario that she has to pay for her own airfare to Manila and that he was charging her US$600 for the franchise fee, even though it is free.

I have known Héctor for nearly five years and he has never disappointed me as a friend and a colleague. Rosario's claim that Héctor is not respected in Puerto Rican pageantry is pure hogwash. May I remind Rosario that Héctor has worked with numerous big-name local designers and stylists (Carlos Alberto, José Karlo, Verona, René Cruz, just to name a few), has collaborated with the Miss Puerto Rico Universe and Miss World Puerto Rico organizations, has either prepared or promoted numerous young women who have competed in Miss Puerto Rico Universe, Miss World Puerto Rico, Miss Puerto Rico International and Miss Puerto Rico Earth, has very good relationship with the Miss Universe Organization, has been hired again this year by the Miss Bahamas World Organization, and will soon travel to Bolivia for Reina Hispanoamericana, to Manila for Miss Earth and to South Africa for Miss World. And lastly, CB would not have a Spanish-language edition if it were not for Héctor's drive, hard work and utter professionalism - something that Rosario should imitate.

-by Rafa of Critical Beauty