Miss Philippines-Earth: Returnees keep eyes on prize
For the past two years, the Miss Philippines-Earth title went to returning candidates, and two representatives this year are hoping to continue the apparent trend for a third straight year.
Monique Teruelle Manuel of Dinalupihan, Bataan, and Diane Querrer of Tanauan City are seeking redemption in this year’s national pageant, hoping to bag the crown that eluded them on their first tries.
Manuel cracked the Top 10 in 2009, while Querrer finished in the Top 20 in 2011.
This year, the two returnees are making sure they have all bases covered in order to duplicate the feat accomplished by titlists Stephany Stefanowitz in 2012 and Angelee Claudett de los Reyes in 2013.
Stefanowitz first joined in 2010 and finished in the Top 10, while De los Reyes failed to advance to the semifinals on her first attempt in 2009, the same year Manuel first joined the pageant.
Querrer told the Inquirer that the triumphant return of the last two winners “somehow” influenced her decision to give the pageant another shot. “But then again, it is really my dream to be a queen for the environment,” she said.
But for Manuel, the decision to stage a comeback was inspired by the Famas trophy awarded to the short film “Project Noel” produced by the 2009 batch of winners. She appeared in the film.
“What made me return is the pageant’s advocacy. The pageant reaches out to people to preserve and conserve the environment. My (first) batch won a Famas. That served as my motivation to join again,” she explained.
Manuel said she has become more confident five years after her first foray into the contest. “With age comes depth and experience. I’m different now; I’m more mature now,” she said.
She added: “I’ve learned to be more sociable. I also learned not to compete with others; I compete only with myself.”
Querrer noted how she has become “merrier” now. She elaborated, “I’m better, not only in the way I style myself, but also in the way I present myself.”
The two ladies got good notices and were chosen among the 10 winners of “Miss Hana” by the pageant’s shampoo sponsor.
Querrer has earned gold medals in the “From Trash to Class” challenge and the creative category of the talent competition. She was also proclaimed Miss Pontefino Hotel and Miss Hannah’s Beach Resort.
Manuel, meanwhile, was declared Miss Kia Philippines and Miss Psalmstre New Placenta.
The 2014 Miss Philippines-Earth coronation night will be held at the SM Mall of Asia Arena on May 11, 7 p.m. The Philippine Daily Inquirer and Inquirer Libre are official media partners of the pageant.
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