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Miss Earth 2022 "Mina Sue Choi" loves Zamboanga City

The newly crowned Miss Earth 2022 "Mina Sue Choi" from Korea expresses her love for Zamboanga City in a video uploaded to the official Facebook page of Mayor John Dalipe.

In the video credited to Miss Philippines Earth, Jenny Ramp asked some of the Miss Earth Air Group Candidates about their favorite places visited during the Eco-Tourism Tour which includes Manila, Zamboanga, Pampanga, Tarlac, and Negros. 

“Hello guys, it’s your Miss Earth Korea ‘Mina Sue Choi’. My favorite place I had visited in the Philippines, I have to say Zamboanga. To all Zamboanga people, Hello!" Miss Choi said enthusiastically.

Mina Sue Choi, a 24-year-old Communications student from South Korea was crowned Miss Earth 2022 on November 29, 2022, at the Okada Manila in Parañaque, Metro Manila, Philippines. Choi is the first Korean to win Miss Earth since the start of the beauty pageant in 2001.

At the final question-and-answer, Choi emphasized the importance of being empathetic to others as a first step to addressing problems in the world such as climate issues. 

“If there’s something I would correct in this world it would be being empathetic. We often mistake kindness as being empathetic but what being empathetic is putting yourself into someone else’s shoes and when it comes to climate issues and other issues in this world one has to be empathetic. You really need to see how the other person perceives this world, you need to understand their pain by being in their shoes and that, like I feel like the first with being empathetic, kindness and empathetic can be different.”

Other eco-warriors who were crowned are Miss Australia Sheridan Mortlock as Miss Earth Air 2022; Miss Palestine Nadeen Ayoub as Miss Earth Water 2022; and Miss Colombia, Andrea Aguilera as Miss Earth Fire 2022.

Miss Philippines Jenny Ramp placed in the top 20 of the competition.

Miss Earth beauties explore Zamboanga City 

For the first time in history, the prestigious Miss Earth International Pageant goes to Zamboanga City, Asia’s Latin City, bringing 86 beautiful candidates from all around the world.

“We are making history, Zamboanga City is fortunate to have been given the trust to host this competition,” said Mayor John Dalipe.

Before the competition night, the adored candidates, together with reigning Miss Earth Destiny Wagner and Miss Earth 2019 Nellys Pimentel explored the city’s historic, eco-tourism, and cultural sites.

They enjoyed swimming and sunbathing in the pink sand Santa Cruz island and had their fill of seafood and lechon prepared, by the beach.

“Sta. Cruz Island is one of the most beautiful beaches I have ever been to. I’m a scuba diver so I can instantly tell that is a great diving location and the seafood that we have there is so amazing, so good,” said Miss Earth 2021 Destiny Wagner.

Bringing with Miss Earth their beauty and responsibility, the dynamic girls’ activities include an environmental campaign of the city as it values the importance of the ecosystem and holds a mangrove-planting activity on the island.

They also visited one of the premier attractions of the city, Pasonanca Park. The park was developed in 1912 and has three swimming pools, a famous tree house built in 1960, and a butterfly sanctuary.

Beauty in art; the ladies were impressed with the art, culture, and heritage of the Yakan tribe during their visit to the Yakan village, as they were donned with traditional markings and were permitted to watch the weavers weave their works of art. As memorabilia, the ladies purchased some artwork and handicrafts on display.

Basketball but make it fashion; the stunning Miss Earth queens were presented during the Maharlika Philippines Basketball League (MPBL) in Zamboanga City Coliseum. Some of the girls brought to social media their new-found love for live sports as they express their excitement to experience watching the basketball game live.

They also went to experience playing at the Zamboanga Golf Club and beach resort, 2nd largest in the Philippines and the most affordable in Asia. The girls enjoy the beach view while playing at the golf course with some of the prominent names in Zamboanga such as former Zamboanga City congressman, Erbie Fabian.

Beauty in history; the Miss Earth beauties were taught, inspired, and connected with the community through a tour of the Fort Pilar National Museum. The museum displays a permanent exhibit of thousands of species of marine life in Zamboanga, Basilan, and Sulu. The collection also includes 18th-century shipwreck artifacts, ethnographic materials of the Yakan, Subanun, and Sama tribes, musical instruments, fishing tools, and household implements.  

They also toured the historic 115-year-old city hall of Zamboanga with City Mayor John Dalipe. The Mayor takes pride in having Miss Earth in the city as he prepared for the security and safety of all the visitors as well as the accommodation services for all the tourists and guests of the said competition.

Zamboangueños has welcomed the group enthusiastically, online and offline. This is evident in the shared smiles, waves, and screams of kilig from the locals. During their tours, the queens smiled and waved back to their fans, and granted selfies when opportunities allowed.

Need for environmental action amplified in Swimsuit Competition

After the exploration, it’s time to get down to business. The Miss Earth 2022 Swimsuit Competition is an outdoor event, held at Azzura Beach Resort.

Complete with Light-emitting diode (LED) walls, lights, and a runway, the event started with a bang, when temporarily halted by the strong rain and winds for about 20 minutes. After a talk from the local leaders and organizers, the swimsuit competition pushed through in a different venue inside the beach resort with the candidates hitting the stage barefoot to avoid accidents. Bringing with them their confidence, beauty, and advocacies to protect and preserve Mother Earth, 12 candidates were hailed winners of the Miss Earth 2022 Swimsuit Competition.

Miss Earth Pageant is an international environmental event, channeling the beauty pageant entertainment industry as an effective tool to promote environmental awareness and aims to showcase and promote various tourist destinations. Miss Earth continues to set a legacy of beauty and responsibility as it searches for the most beautiful women on the earth to serve as role models dedicated to upholding the advocacy to preserve and restore Mother Earth.

This is the first time the competition's official organizers, Carousel Productions, have permitted all of the candidates to fly out in the same city, as they normally split the competition into four different cities.

“It's been amazing! Can't wait to come back one day soon,” Crowned Miss Earth Air and Taylor Swift look-a-like Sheridan Mortlock wrote online.

With the completion of the Miss Earth competition, the candidates are now back in their home countries, bringing with them the fun, colorful, and unforgettable Zamboanga City experience. (RVC/EDT/CCP/PIA9 with photos from the Department of Tourism-IX)

About the Author

Clennkei Peñalosa

Information Officer

Region 9

Clennkei C. Peñalosa is a member of the Subanen Indigenous Cultural Communities/Indigenous Peoples (ICCs/IPs) who earn a Bachelor’s degree in Broadcasting at the Western Mindanao State University (WMSU) and is currently pursuing her Juris Doctor degree. A content creator and writer, she writes news and feature stories in Zamboanga Peninsula and manages PIA9's social media platforms.

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