Karla Henry of Cebu wins Miss Earth 2008

Karla Henry wins Miss Earth 2008. The first from the Philippines. The first from Asia. The first from Cebu.

Viva Cebuanas! We are indeed beautiful even if we have curved tongues! 😉 

She is absolutely gorgeous. 

A SWEET WIN

BEAUTY WITH A PURPOSE

The Philippines’ Karla Paula Henry was crowned as this year’s Miss Earth, during the Coronation Night held at the Clark Expo Ampitheater in Pampanga Sunday evening.

Henry bested 84 other contestants from all over the world, succeeding Canada’s Jessica Trisko, Miss Earth 2007.

In the final question and answer round, the final four were asked on what they would tell US president-elect Barack Obama about the state of the global environment if ever they were to meet.

Henry responded by saying she would encourage Obama to implement environmental knowledge in the curriculum of schools not just in the US, but also in the Philippines.

“Environmental knowledge is something that all of us must share, but most importantly we must teach the youth that this is something that we should instill in them so that in the near future they will be the ones to take care of our mother Earth,” she said.

Henry earlier won the Miss Earth Designers Award and Miss Photogenic special award.

Miss Tanzania, Miriam Odemba was Miss Earth Air (1st runner-up); Miss Mexico, Abigail Elizalde was Miss Earth Water (2nd runner-up), and Miss Brazil Tatiane Alves won Miss Earth Fire (3rd runner-up).

Rounding up the pageant’s top eight finalists are Mariana Rodriguez (Miss Colombia), Adriana Reveron (Miss Spain), Nasanin Nuri (MIss Switzerland), and Daniela Torrealba (Miss Venezuela).

The coronation night was hosted by singer Billy Crawford, Miss Earth 2008 Priscilla Meirelles, and Miss Earth Canada 2006 Riza Santos.

Miss Earth is described as one of the three largest beauty pageants in the world in terms of the number of national-level competitions to participate in the world finals.

The participants themselves are involved with environmental causes. The titleholder dedicate their year to promote environmental projects and to address issues concerning the environment.

Photo courtesy of www.globalbeauties.com

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5 Comments

  1. jelashly said,

    November 10, 2008 at 3:18 pm

    she’s good….and pretty…

  2. ariel allera said,

    December 19, 2008 at 7:20 am

    I think the only credible international pageants are Miss Universe and Miss Earth. I find Miss International too boring to watch or its delayed telecast sadly unreasonable to look forward to. Watching it feels like being in a JS Prom where every delegate simply sashays in her evening gown (after parading in her national costume). The stage is dull and the production predictable: there’s no element of thrill. Almost always, though, their judging is tasteful. On the other hand, I think Miss World is too conservative, not to mention old school, although their stage is usually splendid. However, watching it live feels like watching a Grammy Awards Night (and I bet you know what I mean). It’s too dragging, much like the Miss International presentation. What’s worse with Miss World is that most of the time their results seem rigged for political purposes. Sometimes I don’t understand why Julia Morley has to sit amongst the judges every year, whilst in Miss Universe Donald Trump couldn’t care less about how his hired judges size up every delegate and come up with the winner at the end of the night. Of course, there are times when a winner seems to have been pre-conceived by both the organizers and the judges, but then again, Miss Universe is still obviously much more credible than the other two. Miss Universe production cum presentation has always been consistent with its sophisticated and glamorous, exciting and thrilling approach to both its audiences and televiewers. In a nutshell, the Miss Universe choreography is indisputably spectacular—from the opening number down to the winner’s crowning moment. Anyhow, as a Filipino, I can’t help taking pride in the fact that despite our economic condition here, we are still able to produce the second best international beauty pageant, the Miss Earth. Wouldn’t you be proud too this also… that despite how poor and pathetic we seem to other so-called first-world countries, we’re able to bring about such a high-end event, a gathering of the world’s most beautiful ladies vying for a title that comes with a responsibility to help make our world a better place to live in? If Miss Universe or Miss World are able to put up with a grand presentation of their official candidates, it’s because they’re being organized by two of the world’s most opulent or powerful countries (the U.S. and the U.K.). Of course, they have all the resources—ways and means— and they have connections with gigantic companies to back them up in the name of presentors, sponsors, benefactors, rah-rah-rah. What a shame on Japan for their lousy Miss International preparation. It didn’t hurt a bit when this year’s Miss World wasn’t seen telecast live in the Philippines. But it will definitely break our hearts if we Filipinos will stop supporting our very own Miss Earth or be deprived of watching Miss Universe pageant live on the boobtube.
    — ARIEL ALLERA, laraduttallerariel@yahoo.com

  3. ariel allera said,

    December 19, 2008 at 7:23 am

    KARLA HENRY: The Down-To-Earth Beauty From The Queen City

    By Ariel Allosada Allera

    If Venezuela is allegedly known to be home to world-class beauty queens, the Philippines is haven to down-to-earth daughters of Mother Nature.

    This has been proven hands down by Karla Paula Ginteroy Henry, our country’s bet to this year’s Miss Earth beauty pageant, the very first Asian to have inherited the title after 7 summers, not to mention the first Cebuana to have made it beyond the national sphere.

    To say that she captured the crown by edging out the planet’s most environmentally responsible women and winning the judges’ nod with her bewitching charm and regal bearing would be an understatement for the country’s first title-holder who awakened the children of the earth that significant night.

    “I would suggest that environmental awareness be included in the current curriculum not only in U.S. schools but also here in the Philippines…. for I firmly believe that the children are definitely our hope in resolving global environmental issues,” replied Karla to the final question: “If you are to meet the newly elected U.S. President Barrack Obama, what will you tell him?”

    But what if she were to talk to our very own President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo? The quick-witted Cebuana charmer admits to having said, “I would tell President Arroyo the same thing as I would President Obama. The lack of awareness and ignorance towards the environment is an issue that is relevant not only in our country but also in the entire world. The youth, specifically young Filipinos, are eager to learn, and inasmuch as we want them to advance in their academic endeavors, we should also consider that the children are our best weapons for the fight against many of our environmental issues.”

    Tough competition

    In an exclusive interview for The Freeman Entertainment, Karla, a certified responsible woman of the earth, wouldn’t have changed a bit of her answer to the question, given another time and circumstances. “I wouldn’t have changed the content of my answer. I stand proudly by my advocacy which is environmental education. The delivery may have been more fluent but the content would still have been the same.” She adds that one of her dreams as Miss Earth is for her to really be given the once-in-a-blue-moon opportunity to meet Obama in flesh, so that together, they can discuss relevant issues of today, especially as far as global warming is concerned, and talk into best resolutions via their respective positions.

    She might have had a lot of pageant and modelling experiences, but Karla couldn’t underestimate the fact that she was competing neck and neck with fellow veterans from all over the world. While she was bent on becoming the first Filipina to win the Miss Earth title, Karla had her share of qualms and whatnot. However, she was more excited than nervous throughout the pageant. She shares, “I think that any of us 84 delegates could have easily been crowned that night given the right time at the right place. All of us were chosen by our countries because our countrymen believed that we are intelligent and beautiful women, that we would make perfect ambassadors for the preservation and conservation of the environment not only in our respective homelands but also in the entire planet.”

    From the onset of the competition down to the last round, Karla was apparently a stand-out amongst the bevy of beauties vying for one of the top 3 most prestigious positions in the international pageant field (vis-a-vis Miss Universe and Miss World). But inasmuch as Miss Earth is organized and held annually in our own backyard in the Philippines, controversies couldn’t help surrounding our very own environmental advocate—which would bring back to this writer’s conversation with Karla as her official chaperone during her homecoming from winning as Miss Philippines last May.

    Asked where Miss Earth would be held in a few months, Karla answered, “I heard it’s going to be in Korea, but negotiations have not been finalized yet. It would be exciting if it were to be held in one’s own country, but then I heard that it would lessen a local delegate’s chance of winning for delicadeza reasons. But if it should be happening here sometime in November, let me just do my best, and let’s cross the bridge when we get there.

    Unfazed by controversy

    Karla, the half-Canadian/Filipina mestiza who once was chosen as Miss TriMedia representing The Freeman, is nonetheless poised in the face of all the scuttlebutts around her winning the most coveted crown of Miss Earth 2008. “I respect people’s opinion, but I would disagree if they said that the organization was biased and unfair. For eight years that Miss Earth has been held in the Philippines, not once had our country won the main title. Even our very own Miss Philippines last year did not make it to the top 16 cut, thus paving the rumors that this pageant was fixed. I would rather dwell on my responsibility to care for our Mother Nature because that’s what I’m here for in the first place. I believe that the judges were right about choosing me and the organizers didn’t do anything to influence the judges’ decision because that’s beyond their control. If there are still critics out there, I urge them to rewatch the pageant either on Youtube or otherwise and be the judge for themselves. Besides, if we paid more attention to caring for our environment than putting down this one pageant for a cause, for sure we can gradually become a cleaner and greener nation,” says the brainy beauty from the Queen City of the South.

    Those who have the trained eye for beauty and grace, not to mention the keen ear for wit, couldn’t have been more downright quick in contesting the hearsays that the results were rigged out of a homecourt decision. Karla’s magical aura, let alone unblemished tasteful opulence in her stage presence that particular Sunday night at Clark Expo Ampitheater in Pampanga, stunned even the millions of viewers squatting before their respective boobtubes.

    No less than The Freeman’s fashion scribe Dexter Alazas, managing director of the A.D. Models Philippines that handles Karla Henry’s career and entered her in Miss Philippines-Earth, says “I wish everyone were intelligent enough to see through a beauty queen’s class and elegance, the inner beauty in her, and of course her EQ (Environment Quotient) so that they would understand why our very own delegate was picked the fairest of them all.”

    The very morning after being unplaced in last March’s Binibining Pilipinas marked her foray into what she later realized as her life-changing stride in this planet. Dexter Alazas had arranged an appointment for her at Carousel Productions, the outfit that organizes both Miss Philippines and Miss Earth, wherein she was to become an official candidate to Miss Philippines-Earth 2008 representing Cebu City. The next thing Karla knew, she had emerged as winner from a multitude of more than 50 delegates representing different municipalities, cities, overseas Filipino communities, organizations.

    Commitment to the environment

    During Miss Earth, we couldn’t help wondering what could’ve been her thoughts from the start of the pageant up until she was announced as part of the magic 4. And when it was just her and Miss Tanzania left to be proclaimed as either Miss Air or Miss Earth, what was Karla saying to Miriam (Tanzania) as both of them were holding each other’s hands? “I was telling her that no matter what the result would be, we had made our respective countries proud and so we should be both proud of it, especially that it would’ve been the first time for either Philippines or Tanzania to be either Miss Earth or Miss Air. Miriam was always full of energy, and I couldn’t be happier to have spent the one month with her, as well as with Abby (Miss Mexico) and Tatianna (Miss Brazil). I’m sure Miriam would’ve also become a wonderful Miss Earth had she been the one chosen,” Karla admits, and reacts to doubts out of curiosity whether she sensed an air of jealousy, “Miss Tanzania was never like that. She was a sweet and kind woman who’s never afraid to speak her mind—that’s why she and I got along very well. She was very happy for me. We were very close from the very beginning. She was like a sister to me all throughout. I remember she’s so fond of discussing politics, career, family, love, etc…”

    That would’ve been an exhausting night for Karla and all the other girls who had been gearing up together, prepping up for one month en route to the final selection and grand coronation. Hence, who wouldn’t want to know what was it like sleeping with a Miss Earth crown on her head and also what was the first important thing she did upon getting up as soon as the sun had risen? “To be completely honest, after many weeks of nonstop activities, I was just thankful that I finally had the privilege of a good night’s sleep knowing that I had reached my ultimate goal. I was finally able to sleep at peace that night,” she sighs.

    In the midst of her controversial victory, what could’ve her first morning as the brand-new Miss Earth looked like? “The next morning was quite intense. The four of us were immediately rushed off to certain activities… throughout the hustle and bustle of the day. We didn’t have the opportunity to notice any other delegate who might’ve been sour-graping. Plus, I think the girls were too busy cherishing their last few moments with each other before departing for their respective countries,” Karla remembers.

    With the pageant’s thrust in promoting environmental awareness via Miss Earth’s mission to dedicate her reign in addressing issues concerning the environment, it seems a rather tall order for this 22-year-old brown-eyed beauty queen whose highest goal before her reign ends is “to travel to many different countries promoting Ms. Earth’s message of a Green Lifestyle, and to actively participate in their respective environmental organizations…” As the 8th Miss Earth, she would like to be remembered for having accomplished many things for Mother Earth in the course of her reign and beyond. “I’m not going to consider my turnover next year as the end of it all, for the world’s environmental problems will not go away with the relinquishing of my crown to my successor. I would still gladly be ready to give a helping hand to the new batch of Miss Earth beauties.

    Currently based in Manila to fulfill her duties and responsibilities as both Miss Philippines and Miss Earth, Karla Henry may either choose to come back to Cebu or decide to stay in the Metropolis after her reign. It goes without saying that fellow Cebuanos would like to know if she is going to give it a shot, should showbiz beckon — just like it did to her fellow international title-holders Precious Lara Quigaman, Miriam Quaimbao, Michelle Aldana, et al.

    “I am taking things one day at a time and cherishing every minute of my reign. To think of the end would be quite depressing for me so, as I said before, let’s cross the bridge when we get there. But as for now, nothing fills my head but the duties and responsibilities entrusted to me by the organization and the Miss Earth Foundation,” Mother Nature’s most beauteous daughter beams, with a promise to be well worthy of both her title as Miss Earth 2008 and her cause to make this planet a cleaner and greener place to live in.

  4. christian bacolod said,

    August 20, 2009 at 11:04 am

    wow
    karla your the best!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. Ariel Allera said,

    November 10, 2009 at 11:20 am

    RAIN MARIE MADRIGAL: The Reigning Queen

    By ARIEL ALLOSADA ALLERA

    Cebu’s very first Queen has been crowned!

    Professional title-holder Rain Marie Madrigal eventually wound up wearing the most coveted Queen-Universe crown, after edging out her fellow veteran contestants during the first-ever Queen pageant held at the Waterfront Cebu City Hotel & Casino over a fortnight ago.

    No less than every true-blue woman present at the Pacific Grand Ballroom that evening admitted to feeling somewhat insecure about how many times more today’s gays could be worth applauding for their feminine physicality and absolute confidence, as 21 of Cebu’s exceptional transvestites/trans-sexuals glided in their National Costume, Swimsuit, FunWear and Evening Gown, and the top 10 bravely expressed themselves during the Interview segment hosted by Cebu’s Queen of Talk, Jude Bacalso.

    Rain Marie was a bright and shining standout from the moment she introduced herself as Miss Philippines. It was no neck-and-neck battle of beauty and brains before the panel of judges, who unanimously singled her out to walk away with the crown, after she articulately discussed STRAP, of which she’s been an active member for two summers now.

    The ever eloquent pageant champ recaps, “It stands for Society of Trans-sexual Women of the Philippines. It is the only transgender rights support and advocacy group in the Philippines. It aims to provide assistance to transgender people who are victims of discrimination and prejudice, be it in the workplace or in society in general. Most of the time transgender people are not taken seriously in the workplace. The organization provides legal support as well… in order to assert every transgender’s rights to equal employment opportunity. After all, Transgender rights are also Human Rights. On a personal note, I’m fortunate enough to be part of a company that respects equal employment opportunity and somehow takes into consideration Affirmative Action when hiring employees.”

    Her unaffected stage presence, no doubt her elegant stance and regal strides, easily won for her the Best in National Costume, Best in Swimsuit and Best in Evening Gown major awards, respectively.

    As soon as her name was called out, Rain Madrigal couldn’t help putting her hands on the face and getting down on her knees before she stepped forward to be crowned as the Queen-Universe, be wearing the best-kept sash of the night, and be handed the symbolic trophy, beauteous bouquet, and attractive prizes. “I just wanted to give God all the glory,” she describes the scene.

    Before hearsays about staging the Queen pageant were spread, Rain was yet an icon in the community here and there; thus, her rivals would’ve talked amongst themselves during rehearsals, photo shoots and outreach visits that they could only aspire for the smaller one: the Queen-World or the Queen-International crown. Last 2007, she knocked down Manila’s elite transgendered women by bagging the grand Super Sireyna title (along with the Miss Telegenic special award) on Eat Bulaga; in 2005, she knocked off the country’s most exemplary finalists by winning as Miss Gay Philippines-Universe.

    Having all of the above to reckon with, many cannot help wondering why the national beauty titlist took a trip back to basic. However, Rain Madrigal is poised to defend her title and the experience, “Beauty pageants have always been my passion since I was a child. As an individual, I also need to grow. I felt the need to take my passion to the next level, to a level wherein I can add more meaning and worth to it. I used to join pageants for the sake of fame, exposure and even more income, because it was my bread and butter. I joined this pageant because I felt there is a purpose behind it… and that is to help our society understand that we are here to lend a helping hand and to do our part in community-building. The Queen Pageant is our own way of telling everyone that we are here to do our part to unite our community and not to create another problem in society.”

    Not necessarily loud but sensibly proud, Rain responds to a query on her foray into the world in which she lives today, “Well, the transition was hard, and it’s because of a lot of factors. Just like any other transgender woman, transition involves physical and emotional aspects. But most of all, it was a journey to self-discovery. The details are not important anymore; what’s important is that I have successfully completed my journey of self-discovery.”

    Rain Madrigal’s family need not take pains to close with the fact that “their baby is now a lady…” Unlike most, there weren’t any nights when she would cry herself to sleep at her wit’s end, over whether she would refrain from or get up the next day donning her daintiest dress. Her outstanding academic records and astounding intelligence helped smoothen the rough road she would’ve trudged to feeling accepted as far as her wardrobe would’ve gone. Thankfully, her family was always her number one support system in every step of the way, and would be there whenever, wherever their beloved flesh and blood was in a parade of beauties.

    Because there is definitely no room where we can please everybody, Rain will not give a hoot to people out there who despise those who practice transgenderism. On behalf of all transgendered women around or the LGBT for that matter, the erudite spokesperson points out, “It would certainly be an arduous task to change other people’s perception towards us. We can start it through proper information. To all the people out there, all I can say is, when you judge a person right away you will lose the chance to love him/her. You’ve got to take time to get to know the person and not judge them based on their looks or sexuality.”

    And what is her take on the fact that some people will not be pleased with the inclusion of the traditional swimsuit competition in a pageant? “Personally, I believe that the swimsuit competition is an important part of any beauty pageant. A beauty queen has to be holistic, perfect in total package. She has to have a sound body in order to have a sound mind, and that’s exactly the purpose of having a swimsuit competition. Also, if you are physically fit, one thing is for sure, you have self-discipline. That’s how a swimsuit competition should be portrayed in any beauty contest here and abroad,” the recently enthroned Queen spells out.

    As “the” Queen, Rain’s biggest dream is “…for Cebu society to fully acknowledge and respect our sector which is the LGBT community, and for our country to fully respect our human rights as well. She adds, “I’d like to take this opportunity to inform our society on what LGBT is all about. It stands for Lesbians, Gays, Bisexual and Transgender. “Gay” is not exactly an umbrella term that should be used to generalize non-heterosexuals. Rather, there are different segments in LGBT that properly correspond to each member. That only goes to show that there is uniqueness or diversity too within our community. I know it’s still a long road, but at least we can start it through information. I suggest that you visit http://www.tsphilippines.com.”

    Like any other legitimate beauty queen, Rain has a good 12 months to live to her reign, whilst holding her recruitment-supervisor position at E-Performax as gracefully as she did her significant scepter which carries a lot of responsibilities. But more than anything, she is all agog about utilizing her title to the fullest. “I remember I was asked during the preliminaries about how I can change society’s perception towards non-heterosexual people. Then I said, I’d like to start within myself, as I believe in the Clothes for Life Foundation’s advocacy for the poor and the underprivileged. Of course, I will do my part in the different projects to help the orphanages we are supporting. Aside from that, I hope that during my reign I can be a good example to everyone: to inspire other transgender women, to be more comfortable in their own skin,” Rain Marie Madrigal crosses her heart as she sits on her throne for being a beauty queen, and then stands up for being an emissary of goodwill for everyone.


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