Miss DIPOLOG City

RACHE SANTOS

Age: 24
Height: 5 feet 6 inches
Measurements: 32 inches - 25 inches - 34 inches
Occupation/Education: Accounting Coordinator

Describe your childhood/growing up years (8-13 years old):
I grew up in the middle of the city in a home big enough to house of my grandparents' eleven grandkids. Being in a city, we did not have a yard to run around in but as kids we managed to create our own games indoors, had a fair fights and a lot of laughter.

I remember transferring in a different school mid school year of third grade and not being liked by almost all of my classmates but they came around as the months went by. I eventually made life long friends that I hangout and travel with up to this day.


What lessons did you learn from your childhood/growing years?
As I got older, my confidence slowly deteriorated after realizing how big the world is and how little I know. My younger self who was once so sure of herself, grew to someone who is now open-minded to new and unconventional possibilities. I have learned that it is okay not knowing it all and figuring it all out as time passes grabbing every opportunity that comes your way.

Most memorable moment:
I enjoy travels that can bring me close to nature. My closest friends and I travelled to Badian, Cebu experiencing the full canyoneering river tour and jumping off cliffs and waterfalls. The river trail had a spectacular view; the clear water, the right amount of green surrounding the river, and the rock formations. My friends and I started climbing over the boulders that were leading down to a miniature waterfall for a good photo, when there was a sudden rush of current pushing one of my friends off the boulder. I grabbed her hair aggressively to save her from completely being washed down the river, my friends grabbed me and each other like a reverse domino effect. It is a memory I can vividly remember because it could have been easily a disastrous adventure but we were all just hysterically laughing throughout the near death. And luckily, we have it on video that we watch if we want a good laugh.

Why do you want to be Miss Philippines Earth?
I have been diligently following environmental news, stories and documentaries growing up and I realized that encouraging my classmates to ditch single-use straws and opting to eco bags are helpful but is far from solving the global environmental crisis. That regardless of the scientific data and participation of a group of people is not enough to awaken the people to the reality of our planet's massive crisis. To be a part of Miss Philippines Earth, the most eco-centric organization, can give me a platform to create an uproar encouraging communities, and hopefully the nation, to participate in saving our planet.

What is your environmental advocacy and why did you choose this?
An eight-year-old girl living in the outskirts of Dipolog City, used to make sticky rice right after a walk from school, to sell to the miners and be able to afford food for her and her five siblings. Even after all her hard work, she could only afford talbos ng kamote to feed her siblings. That was her story for almost everyday, for years. This story was my mother's. Decades has passed but this is still a story that a lot of Filipino children are experiencing. Access to healthy food is a basic human right but it is a sad reality that one out of three Filipino children are stunted and children die from malnutrition. I work with Kids Who Farm whose mission is to impart basic farming skills to communities empowering them, especially the youth to be the next generation of food-producers aiming to build a food-secure future. Feeding our community, loving local produce and enriching our nation's agriculture.

What tip can you share to promote eco-tourism in your City or Municipality?
In order to promote local tourism, we must start with the people in our own community. In a generation where social media is a powerful tool, it is easier to get the word out and invite tourists but we should love our home first. The locals should feel genuine pride on what their city has and what it can offer that becomes innate to them to not only take care of it but also prosper it. Not only by taking care of the city's attractions but also local businesses by purchasing local products encouraging business to start-up. Creating programs and discussion amongst locals can create a ripple effect in the community boosting its own tourism.