Two Filipinas shone on the beauty pageant stage last weekend, winning the crown in their respective competitions. Teresita Ssen “Winwyn” Marquez and Karen Ibasco were crowned Reina Hispanoamericana and Miss Earth 2017 respectively on Saturday night after impressive performances.
Marquez, 25, beat 27 other candidates in Sta Cruz, Bolivia on Saturday night (Sunday morning in Manila) to become the first and only Asian to have won the title.
Ibasco beat 86 others in the competition that was held at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
Marquez, daughter of actors Joey Marquez and Alma Moreno, bagged several special awards in the pre-pageant competition, including the product-sponsored “Miss Ipanema”.
Ibasco won the gold medal for the Asia Pacific National Costume category, Darling of the Press, and Group 2 Swimsuit Competition and the silver medals for Resorts Wear and Long Gown competitions.
Marquez wowed the crowd in the question and answer portion of the pageant.
Her question was: How would she promote the Hispanic-American culture with the prevailing language barrier, Marquez, through an interpreter, answered:
“Language can be learned but the will and determination to contribute to the organization cannot. It has to come from the heart. It has to be natural. I believe that kindness is a universal language that if you treat people with tolerance, patience and love, you will understand each other.
“The Hispanic culture is not about language only. It’s about love for God, love for country, love for history and culture and love for family.
“As Filipina with a unique heritage, I have instilled that. I am ready to promote the Hispanic culture not just in Asia but in the whole world. It is time to celebrate the Hispanic culture. It is meant to be celebrated.”
Marquez succeeded Maria Camila Soleibe of Colombia.
Reina Hispanoamericana is an annual beauty pageant celebrating Hispanic heritage, language and culture. The pageant began in 1991 and has been held ever since in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia. This year features 28 candidates.
For Karen Ibasco’s part, she bagged Miss Earth 2017 in a coronation night held at the Mall of Asia Arena on Saturday night. She succeeded Ecuador’s Katherine Espin, Miss Earth 2016.
A medical physicist, Ibasco’s advocacy is conserving energy and embracing renewable and sustainable sources.
During the competition’s final Q&A portion, Ibasco was asked who or what she thinks is the biggest enemy of Mother Earth and why.
Ibasco answered: “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 recalibrating 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.”
The last time the Philippines won Miss Earth was in 2015 when the country was represented by Angelia Ong. She succeeded another Filipina beauty queen, Jamie Herrel, who won the same title in 2014.