Miss Earth 2016 Katherine Espin of Ecuador has a lot of reasons for being confident.
Aside having a pretty face, this Ecuadorian model is also a lawyer – and she’s planning to pursue a master’s degree in international laws after her stint as Miss Earth.
In an interview with INQUIRER.net, Espin had these words to describe herself: hardworking, committed, strong, and independent.
Asked what she thought was her edge over 82 other candidates in the pageant last year, she said: “I’m a very committed woman and I’m very responsible, and whenever I really want to do something, I really pour my heart and soul into it. My main difference from all the other girls I think is my love for what I was doing, for the environment, for working. I’m a really hardworking person. I can’t just not do anything during the day.”
“I’m the type of person who dreams, and I dream so big and I give all the effort,” she added. “For the other girls, they may have given their effort, but not 100 percent like I did. I really commit myself every single day. I just gave my 100 percent, and I think that made the difference. The judges wanted to see a woman that’s committed to work, not only for the sash and for the crown, but also willing to work not just for the environment but also social work, and that was me,” she added.
When asked to answer the final question in the recent Miss Universe pageant, which she was able to watch live at the Mall of Asia Arena, the South American beauty gave out a candid and confident but not arrogant response.
The question was: “Name something over the course of your life that you failed at and tell us what you learned from that experience.”
Espin answered: “Throughout my life I have been through many beautiful things, and I am so blessed. But other than that… I have to be honest. I haven’t had a failure in my life. I am a strong woman. I tried to always be a very positive person, and even if bad things happen to me, I will never stay down. I will always keep up and be positive no matter what happens, I will see it in a good way.”
Winning is not something new to Espin, as she has always been at the top of her game even in school. She advised young girls, even those who are aspiring to become a beauty queen like her, to “never put education in second place.”
“Education is very important,” she said. “I’ve always been the type of woman at the top of my class. That has always been my priority. But other than that, if you have a dream to be a beauty queen or anything, you can always manage your time like I did. Make time for yourself and time to make your dreams come true.”
“And if it’s a dream for you, go for it. Nothing in life comes easy, but it’s not impossible, trust me, and I was able to live that and not forget my education,” Espin added.
After her win last year, Espin got entangled in a controversy after former Miss Philippines-Earth Imelda Scweighart was caught on tape telling her supporters that the Ecuadorian had fake chin, nose, and breasts. But Espin she has already moved on from the issue.
“It doesn’t really matter,” she said. “ don’t have anything against her after she said all those things, I don’t why. But I don’t feel hurt because they were not even true. I have my own personality, I know what I am, I know what I have done… I deserve it (the crown), and I don’t really mind what she says.”
“When it comes to the controversies that happened, I tried to always be different, because people always tend to make controversies by putting more and more on it,” Espin added. “But I learned through all the bad things that happened that it could have been worse if I acted differently. It’s always better to keep things in a better way and calm it down. After the controversy I just said good things about her and I did not want to go through more.”
Asked about her greatest takeaway from the pageant, Espin said it’s always important to be kind to people even if they are not kind to you.
“The lesson I learned is even if people stab you on your back or if people are mean to you, you can’t act the same way as them. As a person you always have to try to be nice and never let your heart have anger or hate toward any person. I believe that if you do good things to people, good things will happen in your life, that’s what my mother has always taught me,” she said.
While saying that she developed a connection with the Philippines and the Filipinos in her short stay here, Espin admitted that she missed her family back home.
“I miss my mom’s food and my family’s company, my 4 p.m. coffee time with my mother and all the cookies that she make,” she said. “My sister, she does everything with me, I miss that.”
Espin is set to leave the country a few months from now, and she wants to accomplish as much as she can in raising environmental awareness given a limited time. Her advocacies, she said, will circle on addressing climate change, which she called the “most important environmental issue we have right now in the planet.”
“My plans this year is to be the best Miss Earth I could possibly be. I have the best job in the world,” she said. /atm