Written by C. Mendez Legaspi
A proficiency in English can work wonders, of course. Ruffa Gutierrez and her Little Prince quote came close. Cara Subijano, despite her atrocious gown, cracked the top 10, and Mafae Yunon slipped into the top five thanks also to text votes. But at Miss World, intelligence is hardly a factor in winning. Even at Miss Universe. Have you ever witnessed a UP or Ateneo alumna getting crowned?
Meanwhile...Karla Paula Henry joined the Binibini contest this year. She cruised into the semis. That’s how far she got. So what’s a beautiful girl going to do? Sign up for the next prestigious pageant, of course! When she competed for the Miss Earth Philippines title, the perky Cebuana won. At a recent press call at Traders Hotel by Shangri-La, Henry was on hand to welcome her new “sister,” the reigning Miss Earth 2007, Jessica Trisko of Canada, who is half-Pinay. The Miss Earth pageant is in full swing as contestants from the four corners of the earth ensconce themselves in the hotel by the bay, which serves as their second home while in the country.
“Karla represents what’s really progressive about the Philippines,” Trisko says of her possible successor, who went with her as the Canadian visited some countries to attend to several ecological activities and environmental projects as part of her duties as Miss Earth. “She has a lot of surprises in store. If she wins, then it’s meant to be. All I can do is give her advice and see what she does with it.”
Miss Earth 2008, the eighth year of the fastest-growing pageant in the world, will be held on November 9 at the Clark Expo Amphitheater, Pampanga, and will be aired over ABS-CBN.
MUTYA IN MY MIND
After the Miss Earth girls complete their swimsuit competition in Puerto Princesa, another bevy of beauties will be in Palawan to lend their overwhelming presence. Contestants from the Ruby Year of Mutya ng Pilipinas will be on the island. It is the first time that the Mutya eliminations and finals night will be held on the same location, a development that delights Mayor Edward Hagedorn. “This is a special moment for Puerto Princesa. Everyone appreciates beauty and ours is a beautiful city. We are happy to host this pageant. This is a strong signal to grab our place in the world of destinations.”
Renee Salud, who has discovered and nurtured the finest beauty queens of our time, heads the screening committee of Mutya, which culminates on December 7, also the fiesta of the city. “I have been with Mutya for six years now. If not for the other pageants, I would not be here today,” the engaging “Mama Renee” said at the press conference to announce a call for contestants.
A wannabe must be a natural-born Pinay (no trannies, please), a high-school graduate, 18 to 25 years old, at least 5'5"—and for aspirants coming from overseas, at least with Pinoy blood (not blood transfusion from a Pinoy, please). “Speaking in Tagalog is not a big issue. Here, we encourage the girls to speak even in their own dialects, but it should not be colloquial or slang, as long as they can express themselves with sense and substance,” Salud emphasized.
A prospective candidate would be wise to visit www.mutyapilipinas.com for more information.