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Miss Earth is now 3rd biggest int’l contest

FUNFARE - Ricky Lo () - November 5, 2003 - 12:00am
Don’t look now but the two-year-old Miss Earth pageant, organized in the Philippines by Carousel Productions (of which Ramon Monzon is president and CEO), is now the third biggest and most prestigious international beauty contest, eclipsing the 43-year-old Miss International contest.

In this year’s search, grand finals of which is slated this Sunday (Nov. 9), starting at 7 p.m. at the UP Theater (covered by ABS-CBN, which is the search’s co-sponsor, starting at 9:30), 53 candidates from the same number of countries (including Afghanistan which is rejoining a beauty contest after decades of absence) are vying for the title, six candidates more than those who competed in the recent Miss International contest in Japan (won by Miss Venezuela).

So, the "ranking" now follows: 1) Miss Universe (with more than 80 candidates every year), 2) Miss World (almost the same number every year) and 3) Miss Earth.

"There will be more contestants next year and the years after that," said Ramon. "The increasing number of participating countries shows the global appreciation of the noble cause of the Miss Earth search – making people around the world aware of the preservation and protection of environment."

The contest’s slogan, "Beauties with a Cause," has become the rallying point of the two Misses Earth, Denmark’s Catharina Svensson (2001) and Kenya’s Winnie Omwakwe (2002, who replaced the dethroned winner from Bosnia-Herzegovina), in their respective countries’ environmental/ecological projects.

"So far," said Lorraine Schuck, Carousel Productions’ EVP (who used to be connected with the Miss Asia-Pacific Quest in which she competed years ago as Mutya ng Pilipinas), "we are meeting our goals. With this contest, we’re hoping and praying that we’re contributing our share in taking care of the earth which we all should take care of because it’s our home. We have to keep it safe and clean for future generations, for our children’s children’s children."

The 53 Miss Earth candidates were presented to the press two weeks ago at the poolside of the Hotel InterContinental. Funfare’s "beauty experts" Joey Cezeare, Gery Yumping, Francis Calubaquib and Felix Manuel were there. Here are their top 15 choices as the "most likely" to win the crown (at random):

• Miss Afghanistan Vida Samadzai (23, 5’7" and 34-26-38) who wants to prove that Afghan women are talented, beautiful and intelligent

• Miss Bolivia Claudia Azaeda Melgar (18, 5’7" and 36-26-36), an Engineering student at La Universidad de Hombres muy Suertes in La Paz, her hometown

• Miss Canada Brooke Elizabeth Johnston (24, 5’8" and 34-25-35), who’s interested in classical arts

• Miss China Mei Xi Dong (22, 5’7" and 35-24-35), a Technical Management graduate from Tanjing University

• Miss Costa Rica Marianela Zeledon (20, 5’8" and 37-26-37), a Pharmacy student in San Jose

• Miss Dominican Republic Frontaan Swany (22, 5’11" and 35-24-35), a model from Sto. Domingo

• Miss Peru Danitza Autero (20, 5’8" and 119 lbs.), a model from Lima

• Miss Honduras Dania Prince (25, 5’10" and 36-25-36)

• Miss India Swetha Vijay Nair (23, 5’9" and 34.5-26-36.5)

• Miss Korea Yu-Mi Oh (20, 5’7" and 35-24-35)

• Miss Norway Fay Larsen (22, 5’8" and 35-25-35)

• Miss Poland Marta Matyjasik (21, 5’7" and 34-25-36), a painter and an accomplished pianist

• Miss Slovenia Sabina Begovic (19, 5’7" and 32-24-36)

• Miss Venezuela Driva Isabela Cedeno (23, 5’10" and 34-26-36)

• Miss Philippines Laura Marie Dunlap (19, 5’7" and 34-25-36, a strong advocate of population control, from Angeles City.
Concerts Galore
Fans of Brian McKnight will be glad to know that aside from his concert at the Araneta Coliseum on Dec. 6 (8 p.m.), he will perform at the Expo Filipino in Clarkfield (Pampanga) on Dec. 5 (same time), also with Sarah Geronimo and Bituin Escalante as guest performers. Ticket prices (for the Araneta show) are P3,000 for patron, P2,500 for patron B, P2,500 for lower box, Pl,000 for upper box, P500 for upper box B and P200 for general patronage. For inquiries, call Araneta at 911-5555; SM Ticketnets; or Viva Concerts (producer of the shows) at 687-5853 or 687-6181, locals 715 and 620, or 687-1125.

Also, the highly-successful Greatest Hits... Just Once Concert starring Rico J. Puno, Hajji Alejandro, Marco Sison, Rey Valera and Nonoy Zuñiga will be restaged on Nov. l5, 9 p.m., at Expo Filipino in Clarkfield (Pampanga), with surprise guests. You can call the same Viva Concerts phone lines for tickets (P1,000, P700, P500, P200 and P100).

Meanwhile, the Limp Bizkit will definitely rock Manila on Dec. 9 at the ULTRA Open Field as part of the Summer Sanitarium World Tour (which also includes Japan, Seoul, Bali, Bangkok and Singapore).

Limp Bizkit has done four albums, selling more than 30 million copies worldwide. The group’s latest album is called Results May Vary (with the single Eat You Alive, now No. 3 on world top-hit charts).

Ticket prices are P1,650 (premiere), P950 (deluxe) and P550 (bleachers). For inquiries, call Ticketnet at 911-5555.

(E-mail reactions at rickylo@philstar.net.ph)

ANGELES CITY ARANETA ARANETA COLISEUM CAROUSEL PRODUCTIONS EXPO FILIPINO LIMP BIZKIT MISS MISS EARTH MISS INTERNATIONAL VIVA CONCERTS
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