plethora of colors and culture greeted a select crowd last night at
the Grand Ballroom of the Hotel Intercontinental as the Miss Earth
2001 delegates proudly displayed their heritages during the National
Costume presentation. Some grandiose, some people, but all
representative of their native country’s cultures, the
kaleidoscopic presentation show was worth the two-hour wait where
guests mingled about while feasting on various hors d’oeuvres and
an open bar where they serve red and white wine.
As in the swimsuit presentation show, Charlie Ysmael acted as emcee
for the proceedings. Allow me to describe what the delegates wore
and presented that evening:
1. ARGENTINA. Daniela wore a flouncy and shiny blue and white dress
with a sun design sewn in. As she explains it, it represents the
colors of her flag, with the blue motif representing the color of
the sky, and the sun an integral part of the Argentinian flag.
2. BRAZIL. Definitely evoking the grandiose carnival in Rio, Simone
caused a sensation with her sexy flesh-colored stocking getup framed
with fringed feathers and accompanied by a humongous red and
yellow-feathered golden sun backdrop. 2nd place behind the winner of
Best National Costume.
3. COLOMBIA. Let’s just say it’s pretty resourceful – wear a
simple fuchsia evening gown and add native-looking gold accessories,
and you become a native princess.
4. CROATIA. A very traditional and solemn costume featuring a
mint-green coat with a beige gown underneath. The entire getup looks
perfect for going to church (as explained by Ivana – FYI: Croatia
is predominantly Roman Catholic), but take off the coat and it looks
like a stylishly lovely beige evening gown with geometric patterns
perfect for a night on the town.
5. DENMARK. She wore a magenta and green milkmaid costume. As
Catherine explains it, the design of the costume came from the 1830s
and was worn by farmers and now by Danish folk dancers.
6. DOMINICAN REPUBLIC. The costume was a simple white Caribbean
dress adorned with red and blue flowers. In Spanish, she called it
“Lavandera Dominicana” – I presume the word “lavandera”
doesn’t quite mean the same thing it does here (which is
7. EL SALVADOR. A simple Mayan costume with a wearable (meaning: not
grandiose) but intricately-designed headdress.
8. ESTONIA. Astute Miss Universe watchers would have seen Evelyn
jumping in this getup during the finals telecast. It turns out, the
dress was worn by her grandma, and she hopes she can pass this dress
on to her children and grandchildren. She also brought along with
her the Estonian flag and bluish flowers that are the national
flowers of her country. Evelyn explained the significance of the
three colors of her flag: blue for the sky, black for the ground,
and white for freedom.
9. ETHIOPIA. Miss Ethiopia truly works the stage as a picture of
regal African elegance in pale gold costume made of cotton and gold
thread with added drama using a matching shawl.
10. FINLAND. It’s a sexy dark blue ice queen getup, with a crown
depicting ice. In my opinion though, the exposed flesh makes it more
of a Mediterranean sea goddess than a Nordic ice queen. A human will
freeze in the snow in her get-up.
11. GIBRALTAR. Because she doesn’t like the usual Gibraltar
costume (generally a military get-up), she herself designed a more
culturally reflective costume, with a top depicting the famous
“Rock of Gibraltar”, and a flouncy blue-green skirt depicting
the Mediterranean shore and the blue sea with the creatures and
objects found there. The costume perfectly complements the themes
espoused by Miss Earth.
12. GUATEMALA. It’s a blue-violet Mayan costume with peacock
feathers rising above her head.
INDIA. It’s a very graceful gold and red sari with a lot of subtle
intricate patterns. Shamita explained that it represents the purity
and innocence of an Indian bride. Her very graceful and elegant
presentation was key to her victory in the National Costume
14. ITALY. It’s a sequined one-shoulder gown (think Aishwarya
Rai’s winning Miss World gown for the basic design) that depicts
the colors of the Italian flag. Monica sported the famous Sushmita/Aishwarya/Mpule
flowery beehive hairdo (Monica is such a chameleon, it turns out,
with various looks in her public appearances).
15. JAPAN. An intricately designed red, green and gold kimono
accessorized with a silver and gold fan. Typically Japanese, but
Misuzu was wondrously elegant nevertheless.
16. KAZAKHSTAN. At first glance, one would have visions of Merlin
the Magician with Margarita’s pointed-hat beige costume with
flouncy green and red frills at the end of her sleeves. It turns out
it’s a traditional Kazakh bridal dress. She charmed the audience
with her very graceful and flowery bow at the end of her
17. KENYA. Aqua sports a traditional tribal dress made of cow
leather and accessorized with beads and feathers.
18. LATVIA. Jelena wore a nice traditional costume with a slight
Scottish air to hit, with a hat, orange kilt and beige shawl.
19. MALAYSIA. Josie wore a simple yet elegantly traditional green
and gold Basi Kabaya outfit adorned with a gold crown headdress.
20. NETHERLANDS. Jamie Lee was the comic highlight of the evening as
she poked great fun at her klunky wooden shoes (in contrast to the
graceful stilettoes sported by the other contestants) and how she
humorously explained that the costume is no longer regularly worn by
the typical Dutch (only farmers).
21. NEW ZEALAND. She sports a violet sea costume made of flax
fringed with black feathers. I think I saw this motif at Miss
22. NICARAGUA. It’s a shiny blue and flouncy dress that Karla
explained depicts peace.
23. PANAMA. She sports a grand light-orange-and-off-white Incan
outfit adorned with golden trimmings. Grandiose feathered headdress.
24. PHILIPPINES. Carlene said it simply that the costume depicts the
country as “pearl of the orient”. But the costume is much more
expressive and dramatic than that simple description. The pearl
headdress, the Muslim-inspired design (though the low cleavage
neckline is definitely NOT Muslim) and the silver fringes created a
sight to behold.
25. PUERTO RICO. A glittery body-stocking costume featuring a
blue-and-silver headdress and cape. The design on the body stocking
depicts the natural and cultural landmarks of the capital city of
San Juan, Puerto Rico (though the depiction of the “cultural”
portion was obscured by the sash).
26. RUSSIA. Natalya sported a simple red Muscovite outfit with a
silver shawl. What was more memorable about her presentation was her
very flirtatious vibe throughout, bouncing around and teasing with
27. SINGAPORE. The most dramatic presentation of the night. She wore
an elegant gold Chinese noblewoman dress with a red hat. After
describing her costume, she then surprised everyone by flashing a
sword. If she got a wire harness and levitates, hello Crouching
Tiger, Hidden Dragon!
28. SPAIN. She sports a simple black and red flamenco dress.
29. TAIWAN. A nice and simple black sleeveless chi pao.
TANZANIA. Definitely proudly tribal and African with her
beige-fringed mini-muumuu (didn’t quite get what material is it
31. THAILAND. Victoria looks regal and elegant with her graceful
maroon dress with a flowery motif adorned with gold jewelry.
32. TURKEY. It’s a traditional gracefully-designed Ottoman costume
featuring a hat, tunic and harem pants.
33. U. S. A. So oddly relevant with the recent events, as Abby’s
portraying the Statue of Liberty (albeit with a shorter hemline).
Extra points for the silver body paint.
34. VENEZUELA. Lirigmel sports a tight red jumpsuit with black
feathers, but the highlight was the dramatic black and silver demon
mask with red and black feathers.
35. ZANZIBAR. She wore a simple red African dress accessorized with
bead necklaces and a beaded purse.
Charlie introduced the two new arrivals for the night, including:
36. AUSTRALIA. A very simple blue athletic outfit with the stars
found on the Australian flag. Petite at 5’5”.
37. BOLIVIA. She wore a lovely, traditional flouncy red dress
adorned with a sampaguita lei on her neck. She looks like a strong
contender with her sweet, pretty face.
After the presentation, the first of a series of auctions took
place. The representatives who participated in the auction include
Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Estonia, and Gibraltar. All bids begin
at US$100. Here is the run down of items up for bids, as follows:
1. ARGENTINA. A carved fruit peel container with silver straw.
US$100 was the final bid.
2. BRAZIL. A stuffed piranha. US$100.
3. COLOMBIA. A bronze ashtray with a sun design. US$200.
4. ESTONIA. A painting depicting children’s hands holding mother
earth, made by Evelyn herself with a message at the back of the
5. GIBRALTAR. A set of hand-made crystal wine glasses made in the
At the end of the affair there was dancing and a mini concert,
though I think the majority of the guests preferred to go out and
interact with the delegates. Some of the most popular ones, like Mz.
Estonia, India, Brazil had to stay behind with crowds swarming
around them while the other delegates changed into cocktail dresses
to mingle with the crowd for cocktails. It provided a perfect
opportunity for most of us to meet the delegates up close. One thing
that is wonderful to see is that the ladies seem to get along pretty
well and the language and cultural differences did not seem to be a
hindrance. A wonderful experience to be had for all…