Miss Philippines Earth

Miss MARAMAG, Bukidnon


Age: 22
Height: 5 feet 6 inches
Measurements: 35 inches - 26 inches - 36 inches
Occupation/Education: Home Economics Education and Family Life Student

Describe your childhood/growing up years (8-13 years old):
Growing up, I have always been aloof. I knew from when I was a child, I am kind and polite but I find it hard to make friends. I usually do not have the energy to socialize and play with other children. I always stayed at home, helped with household chores, study my lessons, dance in front of a mirror, and have a little party inside my room. Part of my childhood was exploring things like a sport that will suit me, my interests, my fashion style, and understanding my family’s situation. I often felt alone both at home and in school. At home, my grandmother was always busy taking care of our home, our farm and making a living, and then she sleeps early because she was so tired from all her accomplished tasks. At school, as I have mentioned, I was aloof. I find it difficult to make friends, socialize, and belong to a group. I am often misunderstood and bullied by other children for being “weird” and alone. Because of these reasons, I really have grown up to be so independent. I saw the need to not rely on anyone and would have always thought “No one can help me but me”. Moving forward, I discovered my own skills, strengths, and interests on my own. I am boyish, I discovered this even as a child. However, having been able to understand that I am boyish and act like a boy, I also have a side of me who is interested to Rihanna. I remember playing her hit song “Umbrella” back then, dancing, and imagining that I was as feminine and confident as she is. As was raised by a grandmother, my parents broke up when I was three months old, but I never felt that something was missing in my life. My grandmother raised me well, provided me food and vitamins, provided me financially and loved me like her own child.

What lessons did you learn from your childhood/growing years?
I have had five realizations from my childhood/growing years. First was to stop comparing my life from other children’s lives. I always envied other children for having both of their parents to play with them, take them to school, and celebrate their every achievement. I wanted attention from my family, I wanted recognition, and be celebrated for achieving something. Turns out, that experience taught me to be independent which is a difficult skill to acquire. Second realization was that I can be both feminine and masculine at the same time without feeling any guilt. I used to live in a village where people condemn children who act opposite to their sexual orientation. I did not care about it at all. I have always been confident for being masculine but I also love rocking and slaying my outfit or the runway at times. I can be both. Third was to honor your parents and grandparents because I will never be who I am right now without them. Fourth was to always be true to myself and to always stand firmly to what I believe is right. Last major realization was to stay grounded and maintain humility because it will always come back to you. With these realizations in mind and heart, I know I will remain steadfast with my identity no matter how time and life experiences shake me.

Most memorable moment:
My most memorable moment was joining my first ever national competition representing my university, Central Mindanao University, and Region X. The title was Miss SUC 2023 (State Universities and Colleges) which was held in SM City Iloilo, Iloilo City. I would always speak highly of that experience because it was that moment that I first rode an airplane, left Mindanao, went to Iloilo City, and competed for a pageant. I already had my title Binibining Bukidnon-Earth 2023 at that time and I really felt that I was carrying the province of Bukidnon during that celebration of the Filipino culture. I was able to expound my province and its cultures very well, I embodied being a Bukidnon woman, and I was able to share how amazing my home is. I actually won my first national pageant. I will never forget that experience. I literally left my heart in the City of Love.

Why do you want to be Miss Philippines Earth?
My heart and soul recognized destiny’s call for me to join Miss Philippines Earth 2024. I joined for 3 reasons; to fulfill my dream, to promote sustainable agriculture, and bring into light the culture and Eco-tourism of Bukidnon.

First was to fulfill my dream. It is my calling to be in pageantry. This is where my heart took me and I am fulfilling my dream now. My second reason was to promote sustainable agriculture. Bukidnon, with its 2 cities and 20 municipalities, is an agricultural province. We rely on our crops, fruits, vegetables, and livestock to live. It has a progressive agriculture-based economy. However, our use of fuels, technology, and pesticides causes land-related issues like the loss of our viable land and land-erosion which I believe has a solution. This is also to speak for the farmers. The third reason was to bring into light the culture and Eco-tourism of Bukidnon. The province is a very romantic place because of its beauty and culture. It was often referred to as “the Switzerland of the Philippines”. Bukidnon also has 7 tribes which I aim to share to everyone.

It has always been our tribespeople that dominated this province, maintaining peace and order, weaving history, and promoting our knowledge in agriculture. I want to be Miss Philippines Earth 2024 because it is my dream, I am ethically prepared by our tribespeople, I am willing to learn and cooperate, I have been practicing sustainability all my life, and I really am serious about the Miss Earth platform.

What is your environmental advocacy and why did you choose this?
My environmental advocacy is Eco-agritourism and I chose this because it is inline with my purpose of joining MPE which is to promote sustainable agriculture and bring into light my province’s culture and eco-tourism. Bukidnon, located in the heart of Mindanao, is an agricultural province, and my Municipality of Maramag, located in the heart of the province, is the eco-tourism capital of Bukidnon.

Agriculture and tourism are both major sources of income for the province. The only problem was that both of them leaves so much carbon footprint and other issues that are detrimental to ourselves, our livelihood, and Mother Earth. These include increased pollution and environmental degradation, exploitation of low-wage workers, health and safety concerns, expensive maintenance, and cultural tensions among communities and tourists.Eco-agritourism calls to combine sustainable agriculture practices with tourism activities. Eco-agri-tourism offers a unique opportunity for rural communities to diversify their income streams and promote their cultural heritage. By showcasing their traditional farming practices, farmers can attract tourists and generate additional income.

Moreover, eco-agritourism can contribute to environmental conservation by promoting sustainable land use practices, composting, and using renewable energy. By showcasing sustainable farming techniques, such as conservation agriculture, farmers can educate tourists about the importance of environmental conservation and promote sustainable land use practices. This, in turn, can help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, conserve natural resources, and promote sustainable agriculture.

What tip can you share to promote eco-tourism in your City or Municipality?
I have always believed that you can never give what you do not have. Therefore, a tip that I can share to promote eco-tourism in my province is to recognize what you have and what is your own. We are living in the twenty-first century where it is easier to share what we have to the world. But despite this day’s advancements, we can never share something that we do not know.

Us Bukidnons recognize the significant role of our culture and tribespeople in preserving our natural resources, our knowledge on cultural preservation, and giving so much respect to our Magbabaya, who we believe is the one responsible for the beauty of Mother Earth. When we value local cultures, everything that is related to Mother Earth and environmental conservation comes along because it was them who took care of Mother Earth before we did in the first place.

When we connect with our tribespeople and our culture, we will continue to have a deep knowledge of our eco-tourism destinations, and a deep understanding of their histories, how they are preserved, and how they were shared to the world through technological advancements and traditional practices. Because of our tribespeoples, Bukidnon’s own eco-tourism destinations are preserved, it is shared, and it is world-class.