The beauty pageant season tends to start sometime in the middle of the year, the better to send the winners to the international competitions which usually happen at year’s end. That is why contests for Philippine beauty queens to represent in the likes of Miss Universe and Miss Earth would fall around midyear for convenience. Then again, with the COVID-19 global pandemic such plans for a grand coronation evening are foiled. Alternative means of deciding winners would have to be taken, such as the 2020 Miss Philippines Earth pageant just this past Sunday which held the main competition proper online.
Airing on GMA7 in the morning of July 5, the Miss Philippines Earth beauty pageant this year was markedly different from how things were done in the past. That is because, as The Philippine Star reports, the competition was completely virtual, with pageant organizers, presenter Paolo Bediones, judges, and the contestants themselves utilizing virtual meeting platform Zoom to assemble online from their respective hometowns and provinces so that the crown and the duty to compete for Miss Earth could be decided. Ultimately it was Baguio City artist Roxanne Allison Baeyens, 23 years old, who stood out the best from the pool of 33 pageant hopefuls.
Ahead of the virtual coronation program, online pre-pageant activities were made available to social media audiences with the posting of clothing competition segments via Zoom on Facebook Live. Aside from the expected beachwear and long gown contests, there were also tilts for cultural, casual, sports, and “COVID Craze” outfits. The talent portion consisted of competitions for song, dance and creative arts. There were also awards from the pageant sponsors, particularly shampoo brand HANA. Aside from receiving the Miss Philippines Earth crown from 2019 winner Janelle Lazo Tee (Miss Earth 2019 Top 20), Baeyens also won Best Eco-Video, COVID Craze, Beachwear (bronze), along with special awards “Darling of the Press” and joining the 10 HANA Beauties.
For the Question and Answer portion, video clips of questions from the pageant judges, including two titleholders from Miss Earth and one from Miss World, the top contestants were queried on topics regarding the COVID-19 pandemic ravaging the world. Roxanne Baeyens answered the first question, about her opinion on social distancing, by pointing out its necessity so that people can resume livelihoods without being forced to confinement by tougher quarantine measures. The final question, about the best quality for a leader in a pandemic, had Baeyens answering that they must “display a green thumb” to maintain a steady food supply.
The Miss Earth 2020 pageant will be held in December 2020. No details were given regarding the venue, or whether it will be a live pageant or another virtual competition.
On an additional note, General Santos City contestant Arielle Jazmine Roque along with fellow SOCSKSARGEN bet Alayzza Izzabelle Tolimao of South Cotabato both made it to the Top 10. Patricia Shirley Santos of Albay was crowned Miss Philippines Air, Maria Gianna Llanes was Miss Philippines Water, Marie Sherry Ann Tormes of Atimonan, Quezon became Miss Philippines Fire, and overseas competitor Ilyssa Marie Mendoza of Melbourne was named Miss Philippines Eco-Tourism.
Image courtesy of GMA News