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Miss Earth : Interviews : Miss NEW ZEALAND

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 here.

 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?

 A:  To 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 reign?

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.