Miss Philippines-DUBAI, U.A.E.

CHRISDALYN YVONNE ABRENICA

Age: 22
Height: 5 feet 6 inches
Measurements: 34 inches - 25 inches - 36 inches
Occupation/Education: Quality Engineer

Describe your childhood/growing up years (8-13 years old):
My childhood centered around my fear of being different. As a girl who have a birthmark on my knee, I felt estranged. I felt that I was not beautiful. I felt that I was different. I cannot wear short dresses like what my classmate does. Because once they saw it, they’ll look into it as if they’ve seen a spider on my knee. I’ve always aspired to be a beauty queen until someone told me that I won’t fit in because of my flawed leg. I lost my hope. My determination slowly degraded. Since then, I hid my birthmark from anyone except my family, whom I believed accepted my indifference. I wore nothing but long jeans and pants. Every time there would be a beauty contest, I would always be at the backside, watching each candidate slaying the stage perfectly. “It was perfection, and I would never fit in”. That line repetitively ran on my mind. My own thoughts and emotions isolated me from the world. It affected my well-being and made me doubt my own capabilities also. Since then, I’ve never been the best in my own eyes but always the good one. Not until I saw myself on stage. It was when my pessimistic view of life changed.

What lessons did you learn from your childhood/growing years?
The greatest takeaway I got from my childhood experience is before the whole society accepts you, you must accept yourself first. Not all the time, everyone will welcome you as who you are. Sometimes, people will demand something from you, and it is totally fine if you do not comply. Living in a society is not about compliance, it is about freedom to express oneself since belongingness happens when we genuinely present ourselves. And it is undoubtedly alright if we do have visible differences. Physical appearance never dictates one’s capabilities and worth or even the beauty of one individual. It is okay to be different because that’s how you make a difference.

Most memorable moment:
It is indeed memorable when you do things for the first time. Recently, I had my first breath underwater which I consider to be the most unforgettable moment in my entire existence here on Earth so far. I just couldn’t believe that I was able to see a variety of sea creatures beyond the thick glasses and wide screens. It was astonishing! The world they live below is a paradise filled with colorful corals and ocean life. The most exhilarating part was when I saw a bunch of snappers with a small black spot near to their tail which is somehow identical to my birthmark. It was like they gave me a welcoming party for visiting them. At some point, I felt like I was not different. I can blend in with them. I found another connection to nature.

Why do you want to be Miss Philippines Earth?
I wanted to be the Miss Philippines Earth 2022 because my initiatives are strong and could generate a big impact for the entire humanity. I also believe in the power that this platform holds in terms of honing the voices of the aspiring earth warriors to serve our Mother Nature. For decades, Ms. Philippines Earth has never failed to appoint the most deserving Queen, and I long to be one of them. This pageant does not just focus on what a woman has but more on what a woman can do. It gives space for women empowerment and gives hope to the future generation at the same time.

What is your environmental advocacy and why did you choose this?
My environmental advocacy centers at Biodiversity Conservation. As an individual who were raised in a hometown where agriculture, farming, and livelihood are the means of living, I have witnessed how tight is the connection of our lives with nature. I have chosen to preserve Biodiversity as the core of my advocacy because, for me, it indicates our future. Our lives solely depend on it. From the air we breathe, the water we drink, to the food we eat. It yields all the essentials for humanity, and I believe that these are sufficient reasons why we should be taking extra care of our actions towards our planet, our home. Unfortunately, we are entitled as the threat to the environment bearing massive environmental impacts. Pollution, Resource scarcity, Climate Change, Habitat destruction are just some of the drivers of species extinction which we continue to perpetuate. More than that, the recent pandemic has taken a toll on all of us. During this time, we have experienced how difficult it was if the essentials are taken away from us. So, I am taking this chance to remind and instill in everyone’s mind that we have a role to play here. We are not just consumers. We are also stewards of Mother Nature.

What tip can you share to promote eco-tourism in your City or Municipality?
Dubai has an undeniably rich environmental resource. Despite the aridity, it thrives to establish and offer eco-friendly tourism to its residents and visitors. The best way to promote sustainable eco-tourism is to raise awareness of all the environmental practices in exploring the local fauna and flora of the country. We should be fully aware of how our actions impact the environment. For someone who understands sustainable tourism, it is our sole duty to educate other people for raising awareness on the same. We must work together to conserve our natural heritage for the benefit of all.