Marinduque was set on fire when the delegates of the Miss Philippines Earth 2015 visited the island province for a 2-day environmental awareness campaign and a pre-pageant night.
The excitement of the locals cannot be concealed as the entire province welcomed the 20 beautiful delegates coming from the different corners of the country.
But accommodating the ambassadors of beauty and environmental stewardships was not an as easy task. The readiness and hospitality of Marinduque was stretched beyond limit to receive the delegation of the prestigious pageant of beauty and responsibility. Credits are given to Dayanara, Ron and Karen as they exhausted their might and means to put the well-anticipated event into a reality.
It was a Make or Break for Marinduque
The presence alone of the beauty queens and with their charms and sweet smiles, has awakened the sleepy towns of Marinduque. The visit alone of the Miss Philippines-Earth 2015 had already made a buzz online to what the island can offer to the tourism community and have totally pulled away the attention of the public from the disastrous image that Marcopper have had implicated to the poor province.
In 1996, the whole province of Marinduque, it’s economy and tourism activities was put into peril after the mine tailings of Marcopper leaked into the greater part of Boac River and contaminated the surrounding water bodies with carcinogenic heavy metals and other toxic pollutants.
The damage was beyond comparable, affecting the lives, health and sources of livelihood of the Marinduqueno. The Marcopper incident was considered as one of the largest mining disasters in the Philippines. Ever since then, the island known as the heart of the Philippines stopped beating, leaving the island isolated and left unseen.
Reviving the all year round tourism busy-ness in the island would be a miracle but with the consideration of Miss Philippines Earth to visit the island province would open again the doors of Marinduque to the world of hospitality business and I think Marinduque should grab this opportunity and take the momentum steady by investing more into sustainable eco-tourism projects, backed up by quality promotions.
If the leaders of this province are truly concern with the welfare of each and everyone, they will set aside political interests and would focus on the sustainable investments. Marinduque is already far left behind in terms of development and infrastructure advancement. I think this is the right time that the Public-Private Partnership Projects put into action. Wake up! Wake up!
The people of Marinduque celebrated the arrival of the delegates of the Miss Philippines-Earth. It was an innocent, curious and proud moment to each and every Marinduqueno watching the gorgeous candidates walked by into their humble streets.
I was even touched seeing children who were patiently waiting on the sides of the streets, bowing their heads as the convoy of cars bearing the name of Miss Philippines-Earth passes by.
Their eyes speak of the words “FINALLY, WE WERE SEEN, WE MATTERS, and NOT FORGOTTEN!” Marinduque without a doubt is a poor province but I was in awe witnessing the organic response, a reception without any pretension as the people came raw and true.
Meeting and Touring the Candidates
It was a quick tour, maximizing every minute presenting the beauty of the heart-shaped island to the special visitors. Traveling and joining these beautiful ladies was a privilege as they meet and greet the locals of the Marinduque.
|Miss Philippines Earth 2015 enjoying their trip to Maniwaya Island|
The girls were almost in tears when they were received on a traditional “PUTONG” ceremony at the Capitol Grounds in Boac. Flowers and “organic” crowns made the moment emotional among the girls, not expecting the heart-felt welcome ceremony showered by the people of Marinduque.
Another memorable experience the girls had was when they visited the famous Palad Sand Bar, a small atoll just across the posh beach resort of Marikit-Na in Maniwaya Island. The sunset in Maniwaya Island made the swimsuit photo shoot dramatic with a touch of tropical paradise as their backdrop.
Maniwaya ceased the moment, giving the girls the treatment they deserved. Marikit-NaBeach Resort and Villa Atilana showcased the kind of hospitality the island has.
|Miss Philippines Earth 2015 visited the posh Marikit-Na Beach Resort|
On the next day, the whole Municipality of Sta. Cruz was almost on a holiday, leaving their posts to have a glimpse of the candidates who opted to have a simple breakfast at Rico’s Inn. But Sta. Cruz did not settle for a simple reception when the town unleashed its army of the famous Morions , giving each candidate a one-of-a-kind classy parade.
|Miss Philippines Earth 2015 received by the locals of Sta. Cruz, Marinduque (Breakfast at Rico's Inn)|
A Legacy of Beauty and Responsibility
Miss Philippines Earth is not just a about gowns and swimsuit and make-up. The pageant is also the arm of the Miss Philippines to promote environmental awareness and stewardship of mother nature. And this generation looked up to these young and beautiful ladies who opted to be the spokespersons of environmental protection and conservation. The girls have shown their commitment through various reforestation activities and coastal clean-up.
Battling the Night, the Pre-Pageant Competition
Everybody was excited to witness the very first National Pre-Pageant held in Marinduque. Tickets were sold out and fans coming from the six municipalities swarmed to Boac Convention Center just to have a glimpse of the beautiful candidates with hopes to get a chance to have a picture as souvenir.
It was an intense night as the ladies hit the stage with their best foot forward for the Best in Resort Wear and Best in Gown competition. Miss Ormoc, Darlene Pepito, owned the night after she bagged the two major awards, Best in Resort Wear and Best in Evening Gown and a special award for Miss JC Premier.
Miss Marilao-Bulacan, Stepahny Gerona, was the sponsors favorite as she took home most of the special awards, Miss Markit-Na, Miss Villa Atilana, Miss Rico’s Inn and Miss Dream and Favor Travel Tours.
|Miss Ormoc bagged the major awards while Miss Marilao-Bulacan was hailed for most of the special awards.|
It was not a waste of effort for Miss Baguio Sofia Loren Deliu after getting a recognition from the PNP-Marinduque, taking pride as one of theirs. Miss Muntinlupa Danica Ebrada worked her charm after being chosen as the top bet of the Liga ng mga Barangay in Marinduque.
Marinduque was relieved after the night ended. It wasn’t that perfect but worth celebrating for a spirited job well done.
|The organizers that made Miss Philippines Earth's visit possible in Marinduque : Karen Guiquing, Marilyn (Carousel Production), Ron Montes (Marikit-Na Beach Resort) and Dayanara Dhi Perez (Famous Spot Magazine)|
On the side note, I extremely suggest for a smart choice of host next time. In my personal/professional opinion, ex-PBB Princess Manzon wasn't an effective host. The boring meter just tipped the scale!
Congratulations to all the winners and most of all, congratulations Marinduque!
We would like to give our deepest appreciation to the Local Government of Marinduque, to the Liga ng mga Barangay ng Marinduque, to the Carousel Production Inc. and to its local partners, Dream Favor and Travel and Tours, Marikit-Na Beach Resort, Villa Atilana Beach Resort, Sikatuna Hotel Resort, AmanaTura Resort, JC Premier, Rico’s Inn, Kusina sa Plaza, IDesign, GoodChow, Monserrat Pizza and Radio Natin.
Watch the grand coronation night on May 31, 2015, 6pm Sunday at Mall of Asia Arena.