Faced with the daunting task of interviewing more than
a dozen lovely ladies in my list of assignments, I had to make quick
choices on which among them I would pull aside first. During the
Miss Earth Fun Meet at Manila Polo Club, I had already scheduled Miss
Kazakhstan #1 on my list. But since Margarita was clustered with
a big group of ladies being briefed about the games, and Miss Denmark
was just seated near where I stood, I approached Catharina not having
the slightest idea that I will be chatting with the eventual winner.
You see, if not for her height, long golden hair, and strikingly
Nordic features, I would not notice her right away. Hers is so
unlike the drop-dead beauty of Miss Bolivia. On her own, she is not
the type who would vainly try to get your attention. In fact,
she was a little cautious when I asked for a few minutes of her time.
But as years of experience in conducting job interviews has taught me
to establish rapport right away, I made her feel at ease and the
one-on-one was on its way. The sound of loud dance music filled
the air, though, so I gently led her near the polo field where we can
hear each other clearly.
This lady is the picture of calm spontaneity.
She need not brag about being intelligent because her brilliant mind
comes to fore in every word that comes out of her mouth. For
every question asked, she can express so much. I don't even need to
have any interview guide anymore since I can easily pick a new query
from her explanations alone. It is at this point when I decided
that she indeed deserves to be on my Top 10 list. I thought to
myself that should Catharina win the crown, she would make a perfect
spokesperson for Miss Earth and all its designated causes.
A 3rd year Law student with intentions of specializing in European
Union matters and possibly touch on Environmental Regulations as well?
Why not? There is simply no denying that she is the best example
of a beauty queen redefined - simple yet beautiful, smart yet tactful,
profound yet understandable.
When Catharina mentioned that this was her first trip
to Asia and that she is participating in Miss Earth just for the
experience, she sounded so honest that I never doubted her sincerity
in implying that she is not weaving dreams of winning over the 41
other delegates. I presumed that with her present preoccupations
back home, carrying the responsibility of an international beauty
title with an environmental cause can be quite demanding to the point
that she might be forced to drop her Law studies for the meantime.
Nevertheless, I sense that she is a mature individual who will not
back out of a commitment she has pledged herself to upon signing as
one of this year's aspirants. As fate destined her to be the
first-ever Miss Earth, I am downright sure that she will face the
challenge with open arms and a devoted spirit.
Mabuhay ka, Catharina! Good luck in your reign
as Miss Earth! This early, I can already visualize your
triumphant return to Copenhagen and how much you have made your
countrymen so proud of you!