By Joseph Vitug
Miss Earth - New Zealand is a lively, engaging lady
with a lot of things to say about various things – actually brimming
with ideas. Rather statuesque, too – and I’m already about
5’9 1/2” and considered a tall guy in these shores…
1. Q: Before arriving here, what are the first
words / things that come to mind when you hear the word
“Philippines”? And now that you’re here, what’s your
impression of this country so far?
A: Far away from
New Zealand. When I arrived here, I pinched myself and realized
that I am still here. I find it pretty hot with a burning sun
– though it feels more like a soft tickle here. I also notice
the people smiling and very interested in what’s going on around
2. Q: Have you done any special
preparation for this contest? If yes, what is it?
A: Balancing out
my mind, body, and soul, which is not very easy to do. For me
it’s a self-growth period. I wouldn’t have gained anything
if I hadn’t been here, and I have gained a lot by being here.
3. Q: What is the current environmental issue
affecting your country right now and what is being done about it?
A: There is
deforestation, especially affecting our native Kerri trees. What
our government has done was that they bought some of the land in the
forest so they are not going to be logged anymore.
4. Q: What is most important for you in joining
any contest: to win, to place or to participate?
participate. We’ll always be faced with challenges, but what
matters more is if I’m happy with what I’ve done today. In
life we always take the first step and you climb up that ladder till
you get to the top by going step-by-step. It is nice to skip a
few steps sometimes, though.
5. Q: If you were chosen Miss Earth, what
activities and/or causes would you intend to focus on during your
A: I would focus on
deforestation, not only in my country but also the rainforests [like
in the Amazon]. I will seek sponsors for advocacy programs for
this cause. I’d also like to deal with waste management
especially with regards to landfills. There is no more room for
us to get rid of our rubbish, so we need to segregate the rubbish that
can be recycled. Did you also know that it takes 17 trees to
make 1 ton of paper? So simply tossing paper among the rest of
the rubbish and putting them in landfills is not the best way anymore.