• Venezuelan crowned Miss Earth

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    MISS Venezuela Alyz Henrich was crowned Miss Earth 2013 in ceremonies Saturday night capping the month-long environment-themed pageant.

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    Austria’s Katia Wagner was named Miss Earth Air; Thailand’s Punika Kulsoontornrut is Miss Earth Water and Korea’s Catharina Choi is Miss Earth Fire.

    The Philippines’ Angelee de los Reyes finished 8th together.

    The eight finalists qualified for the decisive question-and-answer portion of the pageant.

    Asked how eco-tourism contributes to the protection of the environment, the 22-year-old Henrich replied: “Because we people are responsible also for destroying nature, we need to be aware and take care of mother Earth.”

    De los Reyes picked the question, “It’s been a month since Haiyan (Typhoon Yolanda) hit the Philippines, how do you think mother Earth feels now?”

    Her reply: “It feels like Mother Earth is really sad. I think typhoon Yolanda is a wakeup call for us to realize that we must take care of one another for this and future generations.”

    The show at the Versailles Palace in Muntinlupa City was hosted by Singapore-based TV personalities and real life couple Oli Pettigrew and Linda Black.

    American singer David Pomeranz sang his hit “Got to Believe in Magic” during the evening gown competition.

    Miss Earth 2012 Tereza Fajksova of the Czech Republic took her final walk and danced with Pomeranz before passing on the Miss Earth crown and the role as “Ambassador to environmental protection campaigns worldwide,” as part of the pageant’s environmental commitments.

    Henrich also won the evening gown competition, while Miss Kazakhstan Kumis Bazarbayeva won the talent competition.

    Miss Ukraine Anastasia Sukh was best in swimsuit and Miss India Sobhita Dhulipala won Miss Photogenic with 8,465 online votes.

    De los Reyes had the third biggest online votes in the Miss Photogenic competition with 4,796. She was third best in Asian National Costume and evening gown competitions.

    It was the second time this year a Venezuelan won a major title, after Gabriela Isler won the Miss Universe crown, beating 3rd runner-up Miss Philippines’ Ariella Arida in Moscow, Russia, on November 10.

    Eighty-eight countries were represented in the Miss Earth pageant.

    SHEILA MANALAC

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