This year and the one before have been challenging times for beauty pageants, for very obvious reasons. Concerns of spreading the pandemic have reduced many competitions to virtual hosting, if not being postponed altogether. For the Miss Earth Philippines pageant, not only did they have the struggle of putting together a virtual event last 2020, they also needed to do a network jump after their longtime broadcast partner ABS-CBN lost its franchise that year. This 2021 however, MEP came home, sort of, by being broadcast on cable via Kapamilya Channel this past Sunday. And while still virtual, the competition did crown a Miss Earth rep.

The Philippine Star reports that the Miss Earth Philippines 2021 pageant coronation night went off without much problem this August 8. A pool of 68 contestants from major cities, municipalities and provinces in this country, plus communities abroad, all vied to win the coveted representation of the Philippines for the 2021 edition of Miss Earth, the only franchise the pageant features. With Kapamilya star Robi Domingo on hosting duty, the ladies of the competition (virtually) strutted their stuff and answered questions, until Naelah Alshorbaji of Parañaque City was voted Miss Philippines Earth and crowned by her predecessor from 2020, Roxanne Allison Baeyens of Bagyo City.

After showing the Miss Philippines Earth hopefuls in casual, swimsuit and evening wear, the Top 20 was decided by hybrid format: 16 selected from the virtual challenges, three chosen from the Eco-Video challenge, and one via online voting at the MPE Ecosystem mobile app. From these were chosen the Top 10 to advance to the Question and Answer portion (30 seconds) before a panel of judges including Miss Earth 2018 Nguyen Phuong Khahn (Vietnam) and the incumbent titleholder, Lindsey Coffey (USA), along with ABS-CBN weather forecaster Kim Atienza, environmentalist Marc Nelson, and German model and TalentMan Means founder Michael Siefert.

In her speech following the announcement of her victory, 23-year-old Naelah Alshorbaji said, “I would like to thank everyone who supported me through my difficult journey. I really wanted to be Miss Philippines Earth.” Her response in the Question and Answer, about how she might move forward with her goals during a pandemic, saw Alshorbaji reply on the helpfulness of social media, calling it something beautiful from the current generation.

With Alshorbaji as Miss Philippines Earth 2021, Almeera Almamari (Atimonan, Quezon) was chosen to be Miss Philippines Air, Rocel Angelah Songano (Iloilo City) was named Miss Philippines Water, fan vote winner Roni Meneses (Mandaluyong) was Miss Philippines Fire, and Sofia Lopez Galve (Tanay, Rizal) was declared Miss Philippines Eco Tourism.

Image courtesy of Lifestyle