is a natural beauty who
hardly wore any make-up and almost always had her long, blonde hair
just flowing naturally. Her eyes had a downward droop that makes her
look sad so I advised her to always smile. I also told her that she
looked good with her make up in the publicity photos that her agent
sent to Carousel Productions. I added
that she would look good with eye shadow that is drawn upward to the
end of her eyebrow to offset the droop in her eyes.
Earth 2001 Catharina Svensson from Denmark personifies the
refreshing, sweet and all-natural beauty gifted with
intelligence and sensitivity. Indeed a very fitting Miss
Going into the
finals, I saw how she slowly blossomed, especially in the Evening Gown
Competition that prompted Boyet Blas, our official photographer who is
simply beyond compare, to feature her solo picture resplendant in her
evening gown a few days before the finals. But her unassuming ways,
with which she always chose to stay in the sidelines did not make her
a serious contender for the most part of the pageant. While she was in
most of the Top 10 Lists she was hardly billed as the Girl Most
Likely. Few suspected that she’d unleash her intelligence and the
powerful magic she had with words during the finals.
Earth 2001 winners pose for a souvenir shot with Michael
Herrmann, General Manager of Hotel Intercon, the residence
hotel of the Miss Earth candidates. From left :Miss Kazakhstan
Margarita Kravtsova, 2nd runner-up; Miss Brazil Simone Regis
1st runner-up; Michael Herrmann, Miss Denmark,Catherina
Svensson, Miss Earth 2001 and Miss Argentina Daniel Estucan,
I was fortunate to
catch her during a break in the photo shoot with Michael Herrmann, the
General Manager of Hotel Intercon. Get a closer glimpse of Catherine
Svensson, Miss Earth 2001 in the first interview to be published after
GD – You were not
one of the top favorites to win the crown. How did you feel when you
were declared the winner?
– I did
not expect to win but I was very happy.
GD – You said you
didn’t expect to win. What then were your expectations during the
– Top 10.
GD – When you did
well in the semifinals with your views on the preservation of nature
and the air that we breathe, did you think then that you could make
the Top 4?
– Honestly, no. I
had no time to think about that. Everyone was just so busy and running
around, there just wasn’t time to do that.
GD – I was among
those shouting “Denmark” during the finals before the announcement
of the winners. I was with the entire
Mabuhay Staff and we joined the audience in rooting for you. Did you hear
the cheers of the audience?
– Oh, yes. Thank you very much.
GD – I noticed
that, unlike most beauty winners, you did not cry when you were
announced the winner. You were just so cool.
– Gerry, maybe it’s because I am not the type of person who
GD – Who was the
first person you advised about your victory?
– My boyfriend. He was very happy, he was shouting for joy and was
jumping up and down all over the room. (I got the impression that
their bond is so strong, her email ID is a combination of her nickname
and that of her boyfriend.)
GD – How about
– I called them next. Of course, they were all very happy.
GD – I heard that
a Danish newspaper called you very early to get more news about your
– Yes, at 5:00 a.m. Just as I was starting to get some sleep.
GD – I also
learned that this Danish newspaper got a telegram about your win as
– I don’t know where that came from.
GD – This is the
first time that Denmark won an international beauty title since 1981
when they won Miss Europe. (Denmark also won Miss Maja International
in 1966 and Miss Young International 1973 which Pia Fris Jenssen won
– (She looked a little surprised upon learning this. Because of her
age, she was not familiar with these beauty queens). But if I may
point out, this is the first time that Denmark has won a major
GD – So when re
you going back to Denmark? I’m sure you’ll get a rousing welcome.
– A newspaper publication interviewed my brother and he told me that
there will be a lot of press people who will meet me at the airport.
GD – Did you know
that you were Miss USA’s choice for Miss Earth?
– (She lets out a big, sweet smile, her face lights up and her eyes
glow.) Really. That’s very nice to hear. Thank you.
GD – Why do you
think she chose you? By the way, Miss USA has been a spokesmodel in
the US on matters affecting the environment.
– We talked a lot and I think she knew that we were both
knowledgeable and deeply involved with various environmental concerns.
I don’t know if you know much about Denmark but…
GD – Oh yes, I
know that European countries, especially Scandinavian nations
including Denmark have a very high level of environmental
– That’s true. In our country, everyone is conscious about all
these things – garbage disposal, recycling, protecting the forests
and preserving ecological balance. In school, we are taught all these
things so everyone practices all these principles in our daily lives.
Every year we even have five “carless days” where motor
vehicles are not allowed to be driven.
GD – What do you
think is Denmark’s most pressing environmental problem?
– We are a farming country and a lot of the insecticides which are
being used seep through the soil and into our water sources. Our
government has come up with a long-range plan up to the year 2030 to
address the various problems affecting our environment. There is also
another program that aims to reduce the amount of insecticides that go
into our agricultural lands by 2005.
GD – Earlier, I
mentioned that Miss USA you as the candidate most likely to be chosen
Miss Earth. I don’t recall who you voted for during the survey we
conducted in Venezia.
– Miss India.
GD – She was my
top bet too, unfortunately, she didn’t do well in her assessment of
the environmental photos during the semi-finals. I think that
made her miss the Top 4.
– Yeah, too bad. When I heard her answer, I felt that way, too.
GD – (What
Catharina said was very revealing.)
– I commiserate with Miss India. She had to contend with a lot of
pressure back home. Of course, you know that last year’s Femina Miss
India winners all won their international contests – Miss Universe,
Miss World and Miss Asia Pacific. (Shamita was picked from that
year’s batch of semi-finalists to represent India in
Miss Earth.) Everyday, she was in the papers in India and there
was just too much pressure on her to win.
Estonia had to deal with the same problem. With her experience in Miss
Universe and Mesoamerica International, pageant fans had high
expectations of her and that put some strong pressure on her as well.
GD – Have you
joined other beauty contests before?
– No. This is actually my first “contest”, if you can call it
that. There was no formal contest for Miss Earth Denmark.
GD – So you were
chosen by your agent.
– I was chosen by another agent, not my agent. He went around the
different modeling agents to scout for Denmark’s candidate to
Miss Earth. I was lucky, he chose me. (Now, I say, he was lucky
too that he chose her.)
GD – How do you
think your countrymen will take your victory as the first Miss Earth.
– I’m not too sure about that. Beauty contests are not a big
thing in my country. But maybe, after my victory, that might change.
It was a wonderful
experience getting to know Catharina Svensson, an all-natural,
refreshing beauty with unassuming ways
who is gifted with intelligence and sensitivity.The Miss Earth
organization is fortunate to have a winner whom they can count on to
become a most effective spokesmodel for the environmental platforms
that Miss Earth has aimed to pursue.
CONGRATULATIONS, CATHARINA ! WE ARE
VERY PROUD OF YOU !!!
GERRY D. DIAZ
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