Alluring ambassadress of the oceans

(The Freeman) - October 4, 2014 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines - Before you roll your eyes and grumble how there’s a pageant at every turn in every name imaginable, know that Miss Scuba International – new to your ears as it may be – is actually a beauty tilt with the legit cause of protecting the world’s oceans and marine life.

It has been proven countless times how people sit up and do a double take when there are beautiful faces involved, so what better way to promote the advocacy of marine conservation than through beauty queens equally passionate about this very cause.

Founded in 2011 by Robert Lo of Malaysia, Miss Scuba International will still hold its finals in Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia come November 28. And the task of waving the Philippine banner rests on the shoulders of Amanda Arbritario, a 21-year-old Information Technology student from Panglao, Bohol.

Before she gets down to business of preparing for the international stage, this fair-skinned charmer shared her thoughts on recently winning the Miss Scuba Philippines crown, and her inherent love of the oceans.

What made you join Miss Scuba Philippines?

Because of the challenge the Miss Scuba Philippines 2014 pageant will be to me and because I am also very passionate about marine conservation. In this way, I hope to do my bit to help the marine ecosystem. I also felt this was a good opportunity for me to make a difference and to show the world the beauty of the ocean, thus contributing to the awareness of the need to protect the seas.

The Miss Scuba International coronation night in Malaysia is less than two months away. How do you plan to prepare?

Researching and working hard so I can be on top of the game. Eating well and hitting the gym. I will also make sure I am well informed about the current issues concerning our seas, beaches and ways where I can better fulfill my role as the spokesperson of Miss Scuba Philippines 2014.

What do you think are your strengths or your edge to have won the crown? Also, what aspects do you feel you need to improve on?

I believe it was because of my confidence and that I was really doing my best. I feel like the judges had seen that I am genuinely honest about my advocacy in conserving the ocean. And also, I didn’t think of it as a competition but something I really enjoyed doing. I feel I need to work on getting more lean and fit. I also want to learn more on how to make people understand how fragile our ocean is and get their interest in protecting, saving and restoring our ocean.

What were the previous pageants you’ve joined?

I had joined Miss Caloocan 2014 and I am the reigning queen. I participated in Miss Philippines Earth 2014. I am also Miss Panglao 2011 first runner-up, and Miss Lions Club International 2012 second runner up.

The tagline of Miss Scuba is ‘Saving the Ocean through Beauty.’ How exactly would you use your beauty to contribute in the conservation of the worlds’ ocean and marine life?

By using my beauty to advertise and promote marine conservation. In this way, I hope to make everybody pay attention and listen to the sound of the ocean. Let us protect and cherish the gift God has given us. We are the generation where we have the chance to restore and save the worlds’ oceans and marine life for the future generations to come.

Surely you’ve researched about issues related to ocean conservation in preparing for Miss Scuba Philippines. What surprised you the most in your research or readings?

The amount of people who are still using cyanide and dynamite in fishing which is really sad because we are destroying God’s gift. And there are still a lot of people who lack the knowledge and awareness about the protection of marine life and the coral reefs. Also, a lot of people don’t realize that overfishing is causing some species to be endangered and eventually extinct. Let us share this knowledge to the community and educate them to save the ocean.

What are your interests?

I love to sing and dance, watch movies, read books, listen to music and swim. I also like to cook for my family and spend time with my baby niece Tayah. I like to relax by practicing yoga and exercise through Muay Thai.

What career do you hope to pursue after graduating from college?

I want to be a Web Developer. I also hope to continue being a spokesperson in saving the oceans through social media and other campaigns.

You hail from a hometown that’s famous for its beautiful beaches. How is it growing up and living in Panglao, Bohol?

Growing up in Panglao is fantastic! I spent a lot of my time swimming in the beach and enjoying the great outdoors. The scenery is amazing and the people are very nice. Panglao Island also has one of the best dive site in the Philippines. The marine life and coral reefs are abundant in colors and excitement. This is one of the reasons why Miss Scuba Philippines is appealing to me.

Are you a licensed diver?

I am a licensed open water diver, and I plan to get my certificate for advance open water diving before going to Kota, Kinabalu Malaysia to represent Philippines for Miss Scuba International 2014.  — VAB (FREEMAN)


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