Welcome to the golden age of the Philippines in Miss Earth! Prior to 2015, the Philippines won 2 crowns, tied along with Brazil and Venezuela.
Miss Earth 2015
In 2015, after Katia Wagner won the runner-up, the pageant was staged in Vienna, Austria, a more neutral ground. No one was expecting that history will unfold that night. Angelia Ong, the candidate from the Philippines won the crown, back-to-back!
Ong, while not entirely stunning, aced all parts of the competition and wowed everyone with her final question. Ong’s win was easily out-famed by Pia Wurtzbach’s win the same year, but she’s undeniably one of the best Miss Earth title-holders in the bunch.
While this edition had a lot of Latinas in the Top 8, there were strong candidates from countries who do not have a sash factor in Miss Earth – one of the top contenders was Mongolia’s Bayartsetseg Altangerel and Australia’s Dayanna Grageda (who ended up in the elemental court).
Miss Earth 2016
In 2016, Miss Earth’s favorite country (other than the Philippines) won! It was very apparent that Katherine Espin was well-loved by the organizers and even the press loved her.
Even the most popular candidate, Stephanie de Zorzi, didn’t stand a chance to Espin as the latter brought smiles to everyone during the competition.
2016 was a lackluster year for Philippines – Imelda Schweighart, though unplaced, made headlines for her rash attitude. She was eventually dethroned as a local queen after the competition.
Nevertheless, 2016 brought the excitement back for Miss Earth as there were a lot of competitive girls in the bunch – including Michelle Gomez from Colombia, Bruna Zanardo from Brazil, USA’s Corrin Stellakis, Sweden’s Cloie Syquia Skarne.
It was a really strong batch of Latinas this edition.
Miss Earth 2017
In 2017, the competition shifted focus on intellect and intangibles – beauty took a back seat in the criteria of the pageant. The organization brough three stages of the competition, which definitely gave a new dimension to the pageant.
The Top 16 were chosen after they went through three preliminary rounds of competition: Figure and Form, Beauty of Face and Poise, and Intelligence and Environmental Awareness.
Despite the popularity of candidates from Thailand (Paweensuda Drouin) and Colombia (Juliana Franco), it was Karen Ibasco from the Philippines and Nina Robertson from Australia who were at the top of their game in the pageant night.
Sealing her win, 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. ”
— on the question: Who or what do you think is the biggest enemy of Mother Earth and why?
Some of the favorites in the competition were Tonga’s Diamond Langi, Venezuela’s Ninoska Vasquez and Angola’s Emerlinda de Matos. Russia’s Lada Akimova came as the surprise of the night (well, the second biggest surprise – aside from Ibasco winning the crown).
In just four years, the Philippines got its fourth Miss Earth crown. Ecuador, Brazil and Venezuela remain in second with two.
Now, who will win Miss Earth 2018? What can we expect from this year’s edition? Tune in to our next post as we unveil the top contenders for the crown and the details of this year’s pageant!
For now, check out the first parts of this series, here: