A LASS from Puerto Princesa City was crowned as Miss Philippines-Earth 2016 during the Independence Day-themed coronation night held at the University of the Philippines (UP) Theater in Quezon City last Saturday night.
Imelda Schweighart, a 21-year-old student, bested 45 other aspirants coming from all over the country and Filipino communities overseas, in earning the national crown, and will face tough pressure for a three-peat in representing the country to Miss Earth pageant later this year.
Kiara Giel Gregorio who hails from the Filipino community in London, whom some critics considered the biggest competitor of the German-Filipina beauty based in Puerto Princesa, placed second and was proclaimed Miss Philippines-Air. She also earned the title as Miss Hana Shampoo and Miss Oasis Dental.
In a report by Rappler, the newly crowned Miss Philippines Earth 2016 described her win as a “vindication of her hard work and the criticism she went through prior to the pageant night.
A veteran to beauty pageants, Imelda joined Binibining Pilipinas in 2013, the same year Pia Wurtzbach (now Miss Universe) joined the national tilt.
She claimed to have been bullied the entire pageant journey proving her Filipino nationality but could not be happier with the result of the competition.
Schweighart is confident in winning the third consecutive crown for Miss Earth, following the back-to-back win of Jamie Herrell and
During the final question and answer portion, Schweighart said that given a chance to speak with President-elect Rodrigo Duterte, she would push for her advocacy of banning genetically modified organisms and seeds in the country.
Other winners include Loren Artejos from Laoag, who was crowned as Miss Philippines-Water while Shannon Rebecca Brideman from Pangasinan was hailed as Miss Philippines-Fire. Melanie Mader from the Filipino community in Vienna was proclaimed Miss Philippines-Ecotourism.
Meanwhile, Miss Zamboanga Bellatrix Tan became a hot topic online after her “amusing” response during the question and answer portion of the pageant.
In a segment that sought to showcase the beauty queen’s knowledge in social issues, the candidates were tasked to elaborate on a trending topic and Tan had picked the #ElNiño and #LaNiña, the two weather-related phenomena that devastated the country in the recent years.
She started by encouraging people to plant more trees and added that, “if we start now, we will achieve La Niña.” A video of the Q&A uploaded by Eddie Fernandez has gone viral.