FOR THE PHILIPPINES. Miss Earth 2017 Karen Ibasco says that she will convert the criticism against her into a positive one. Photo by Alecs Ongcal/Rappler
MANILA, Philippines – Newly crowned Miss Earth 2017 Karen Ibasco took to social media on Monday, November 6 addressing the criticism of her win on Saturday, November 4 at the Mall of Asia Arena. (WATCH: PH's Karen Ibasco wins Miss Earth 2017)
Pageant fans criticized the Miss Earth Organization, accusing them of favoritism for the Philippines to win the pageant, since the organization is based in the country.
In her message, Karen said that she still could not believe that she won the country's 4th Miss Earth title, following the victories of Karla Henry (2008), Jamie Herrell (2014), and Angelia Ong (2015).
"It takes quite some time until it fully sinks in. Never in my wildest dreams have I ever thought I would represent the Philippines and win an international title in a prestigious pageant that upholds a relevant cause. I am honored and privileged to be the very first scientist to join and win in the whole history of Miss Earth as I shared my voice and represented the whole scientific community for the world to see and hear," she said.
"I am confident enough to say that it was not by my own abilities that made me standout in performing during the coronation night in all segments especially in the question and answer portion, it was by the Spirit of God that led me through. Apart from Him I could not have done it. He was the One who gave me confidence and wisdom in presenting myself as a whole package in front of the whole world."
Karen also said she's aware that winning any title as a host delegate is not easy, saying she has to prove herself even more, but that the support of the people who believe in her made her journey memorable.
She also said that there is no amount of words that will change the decision and that the fight to win the crown was not just for herself.
"No amount of words will change the fact that the battle has already been won. I don’t take this crown for myself, It is for the whole Philippines. This battle was not mine alone but ours. I am proud in raising our flag for the whole world to witness," she said.
"I would like to thank EVERYONE for the love, prayers and support you have given me in my unforgettable journey here in Miss Earth. This once in a lifetime experience will truly be remembered and treasured forever. "
Karen also said that she's ready to take on the responsibility of being the spokesperson of the organization along with her fellow queens.
"I am more than ready to continue the legacy of beauty and responsibility. May this be a beacon of hope for everyone to see that our micro efforts will have macro effect as we take this challenge together as a global community with a collective action. This is Karen Ibasco, your Miss Earth 2017."
In an interview with reporters after her win on Saurday, Karen was asked if she was ready to deal with the criticism thrown at her.
"I just allow them to continue whatever they do. What I do is that convert their destructive criticism into a constructive one. Whatever they're saying, I can get something positive out of it. I just don't let them affect me because I know the journey I have to go through..." she said.
Fulfilling a dream
Karen said that the victory was very special because it was something that she dreamed of and now she's wearing it.
"The victory means that this is really for all the Filipinos. This not just my effort, but it's really true that God uses your weakness for your strength. Because I never dreamed of this, I never thought that I would stand on this stage to represent the Philippines and now, having the Miss Earth crown on your head. So it really means everything for me and I did it for the Philippines."
Karen in her superhero costume during the Miss Earth 2017 opening. Photo by Alecs Ongcal/Rappler
As for what's next for the newly-minted titleholder, Karen said that she will continue to use her position for the advocacy she's been campaigning for, such as educating people on smart energy consumption practices and promoting eco-tourism. She also said that while she has no plans of entering showbiz, she would love to try hosting.
And just like what she said when she won the title of Miss Earth Philippines 2017, Karen said that she will continue to use social media wisely. (WATCH: Miss Philippines Earth 2017 Karen Ibasco's winning answers)
"To maximize and utilize social media, to really show the people in simple way, every single day, you can make a difference. I would want to post more about the environment and also be informed about environment lectures and going around the world about what's really happening, and to share to people my journey," she said. – Rappler.com
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