ROXANNE Allison Baeyens, 23, a Filipino-Belgian artist from Baguio, was selected as Miss Philippines-Earth 2020 from among 33 contestants in the 20th edition of the advocacy-driven pageant that pushed through using an all-virtual platform amid the restrictions brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Asked what quality a leader should have in the midst of a pandemic, she replied, “A leader should display having a green thumb. Because at this point in time, we have a shortage in food supply. So it is important to open the eyes of people, to embrace having a sustainable life and start urban agriculture in their own homes. After all, a green life is a better life…”
Aside from bagging the coveted crown, Baeyens also topped the “Covid Craze” fashion competition and placed third in the beachwear competition. She was voted by members of media as “Darling of the Press” and also won the Best Eco Video award that featured an old footage of her and her mom planting a tree sapling when she was 6 years old and reprising the activity now as a candidate of Miss Philippines Earth.
Baeyens will represent the country at the 20th Miss Earth later this year.
Roxanne, a 5’5” artist and Tourism graduate of St. Louis University, is the daughter of a Belgian father and a Cordilleran mother. She succeeded Janelle Tee, last year’s titleholder who was a top 20 finalist at the 19th Miss Earth.
Roxanne’s “elemental” court included: Patrixia Sherly Santos of Daraga, Albay, Miss Philippines-Air; Gianna Margarita Llanes of Mandaluyong City, Miss Philippines-Water; Shane Quintana Tormes of Atimonan, Quezon, Miss Philippines-Fire and Miss Hana; and Ilyssa Marie Mendoza of Fil-Melbourne, Australia, Miss Philippines-Eco Tourism.
Virtual pageant host Paolo Bediones noted that the four queens, who will work hand-in-hand with Baeyens to promote environmental awareness, have co-equal ranking so that any of them could replace the winner in the event that she fails to fulfill her obligations.
Rounding up the top 10 finalists are: Justiene Ortega of the City of Manila; Alyssa Yssabel Tolimao of South Cotabato; Arielle Jazmine Balfermoso Roque of General Santos City; Tsina Jade Chu of Iloilo City and Angeline Mae Santos of Quezon City.
The judges for the finals included former Miss Earth titleholders Alexandra Braun (2005) of Venezuela and Nicole Faria (2010) of India, GMA Network VP for program management Joey Abacan, the “Greenman” Matthias Gelber, Hana Shampoo marketing manager Carlos Bacani and former Miss RP Suzanne Gonzalez Gommer.
The pageant was broadcast Sunday on GMA Network and streamed on the pageant’s Facebook page. Malaya Business Insight is a media partner of Miss Philippines Earth as it has been for the last 19 years.