Miss Philippines Earth

Miss CARRASCAL, Surigao del Sur


Age: 25
Height: 5 feet 7 inches
Measurements: 34 inches - 26 inches - 37 inches
Occupation/Education: Local Youth Development Officer

Describe your childhood/growing up years (8-13 years old):
My childhood was awesome! Despite growing up without a father from age 8 onward, following his tragic loss, my mother ensured that we had a happy and normal upbringing as possible. My peers and I engaged in old-fashioned forms of childhood play, where we would climb trees, run free through fields, fish along the river, and fly kites on windy afternoons.

Childhood was a fun and stimulating period of my life, where I had the freedom to explore so many wondrous things and uncover answers for my ever curious mind. Playing outside was not just about entertaining myself, it was also a means to venture into a wider world filled with nearly limitless opportunities for learning and discovery. Having a responsible and hands-on mother, I was taught from a young age how to effectively balance study and play. As a result, I was able to consistently maintain being an honor student throughout school while also making the most of those joyful, carefree days of childhood.

To this day, I fondly reminisce about those times, which still bring about euphoric feelings of pure happiness and bliss within me whenever I revisit them.

What lessons did you learn from your childhood/growing years?
A lot of things happened in my childhood that have shaped me into the person that I am today. Losing my father at a young age forced me to become adaptive and to remain strong and determined in the face of adversity. I also learned to appreciate the little things in life that one could otherwise take for granted, from the blessing of waking up each day to my family and loved ones, to the daily provisions of food and necessities that were made possible through my mother’s diligent and selfless efforts as a solo parent.

Life is so much easier when we are young, when we have far less to worry about and be responsible for. However, growing up, one realizes that things cannot remain so carefree. The responsibilities that we inevitably take on will force us to consider every little decision that we make, knowing that we must always look out for ourselves and the people that we love. Life will continually demand more from us. However, I’ve learned that despite the constant pressure that comes along with being an adult, I should always take time to consider my own happiness as well. I must find my own purpose, personal fulfillment, and joy amidst these responsibilities and burdens. They will help sustain me and inspire me to keep moving forward - to not just live, but thrive.

Most memorable moment:
The night before my father’s untimely death, all of us–including him, my mother, my three siblings, and I–enjoyed one last time together as a complete family. That evening, we had a karaoke session at home. I can remember my mother signing the song “Dancing Queen” by ABBA while my father carried me in his arms and danced with both my twin sister and I. It’s been more than 18 years since that time, but I still vividly recall this moment and the joy that I felt seeing my father’s smile and being with him for the very last time.

Why do you want to be Miss Philippines Earth?
I have always had a great love in my heart for the environment. As a person who appreciates and draws inspiration from beauty in life, I aspire to preserve the natural beauty that surrounds me and do what I can to help it to thrive. I grew up in a place where nature itself was my playground and sanctuary, and so it pains me whenever I see harm come to it.

Nature has played a huge role in shaping me as a person, and it has given so much to each of us in ways that we often (and sometimes conveniently) overlook. I believe that its importance to our lives should receive greater acknowledgement and that it deserves far more than the disregard for it that we as people commonly show. We ought to remind ourselves that we have just one planet and can never reverse time to undo the potentially harmful consequences of careless actions. While we can’t overwrite the past, we can learn from mistakes and strive to do better today and into the future. These efforts start with increasing awareness about the issues that threaten the health of our environment and then inspiring people into action to address them.

I hope to become the next Miss Philippines Earth, because I see it as an incredible opportunity to share my love of nature with a wider audience and draw greater attention to key environmental issues. I want to do my part to help bring about positive and meaningful change, speaking with a voice that could be heard by many - from policy-makers and CEOs to everyday citizens - and move them to take the best interests of our planet to heart. If honored with the Miss Philippines Earth title, I’d be empowered to make these dreams of mine into a reality.

What is your environmental advocacy and why did you choose this?
The challenge of solid waste management is considered to be one of the most serious environmental issues here in the Philippines. With a population of over 100 million, our country produces more than 21 million metric tons of garbage annually - a figure which will only keep increasing at an alarming rate if not properly addressed.

A major contributing factor to this waste output is our collective dependency on single-use disposable plastic bags. These bags are distributed with nearly every purchase we make at grocery and retail stores, after which they are predominantly used just once and then promptly thrown away. Rather than allow for this cycle of unnecessary waste to continue, I believe that change needs to happen and alternative solutions pursued.

Here in my hometown of Carrascal, as part of my role with the local municipal government, I have been involved with the ongoing implementation of a new policy that will prohibit the dispensing of these bags by community businesses. If we were to spread awareness about this issue, inspire more local government units to enact similar policies, and encourage the public to voluntarily adopt more eco-friendly solutions for their shopping needs (such as reusable bags and those made from biodegradable materials), we could make significant strides in limiting our total waste and ease some of the burden on our environment.

What tip can you share to promote eco-tourism in your City or Municipality?
In today’s world, social media is one of the best ways to share ideas with a wider audience, and this applies to promoting a concept like eco-tourism as well. Generally speaking, people spend a considerable amount of time each day looking at their phones, and this often includes consuming social media content. Not only can we potentially reach great numbers of people through social media, but we may also do so instantly - as content distributed via social media platforms can reach followers in mere moments - and with potentially minimal expenses (as compared with traditional forms of mass communications and marketing). When it comes to promoting eco-tourism, we should definitely leverage these advantages that social media offers, by attracting followers and keeping their attention with consistent and interesting content.

Here within the municipal government of my hometown of Carrascal, when conducting activities such as tree plantings and coastal/riverside cleanups, we make sure to thoroughly document them in photos and on video. We then share this content with the public via social media and spread awareness of the importance of our efforts. Doing so has enabled us to successively cultivate greater participation and cooperation with our environmental-friendly initiatives among Carrascalanons. A similar approach to this could also be used when it comes to eco-tourism.