July 26, 2017, 2:37 am
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Manila physicist is Miss PH Earth 2017

KAREN Santos Ibasco, a 26-year-old medical physicist from Manila, won the 17th Miss Philippines Earth Pageant, besting 39 other delegates from all over the Philippines at the taped-as-live two-hour finale held at the Mall of Asia Arena Saturday, July 15.

A medical physicist and a professor at the University of Santo Tomas, Ibasco was emphatic on the topic of fake news. During the penultimate question round, she urged people to be more discerning on what information to spread on social media. “Nowadays, a lot of people distribute fake news but one of the most important medium is social media. We have to learn to use it for social good. We have to learn to disseminate, to filter the right information not just for yourself but also for the people in your circle of influence,” she said.

To the final question,“What do you want to change about the environmental policies of the country?,” Ibasco’s winning answer was: “Everyone is experiencing climate change. I’m just grateful that the Philippines signed the Paris Treaty (on climate change). What I want to see is to pass a carbon tax because in that way, we would invest in renewable energy to help our world to be a better place, greener, inhabitable for the whole country and the rest of humanity.”

 Karen, who was also a Binibining Pilipinas candidate last year, was crowned by Loren Mar Artajos, who assumed the title last year after erstwhile winner Imelda Schweighart resigned after her controversial remarks after failing to advance to the semi-finals of the Miss Earth international finals in Manila last October.

Ibasco’s court included Jessica Capuyan Marasigan of Caloocan, Miss Water; Kim de Guzman of Olongapo, Miss Air; Vanessa Mae Perez Castillo of Lobo, Batangas, Miss Eco-Tourism; and Nellza Mortola Bautista of Villanueva, Misamis Oriental, Miss Fire.

Rounding up the top ten were Jessica Rose Mangalindan McEwen of New Zealand; Anne Krishia Teves Antonio of Porac, Pampanga; Rianne Charlotte Kalaw of Lipa; Catherine Cadayona Tabaniag of Panglao, Bohol; and Korin Frances Grant Dizon of Angeles.

The fast-paced pageant was hosted by Robi Domingo while the panel of judges included Bang Manalad of SM’s Savemore Market, sustainable fashion advocate Ditta Sandico, Mega Group co-founder Sari Yap, TV host Tim Yap, Carbon Consulting Co. CEO Sanith Wijeyeratne, Diamond Hotel’s Jeffrey de la Paz, Ambassador Effie Ben Matityau of Israel, Ambassador Rolando A. Guevara Alvarado of Panama and Carousel Productions Inc. executive vice president Lorraine E. Schuck.
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