She loved this country so much she decided to not leave just yet.
After being based in Manila for one year as part of her reign as Miss Earth 2016, Ecuadorian stunner Katherine Espin decided to stay in the Philippines—maybe not for good—but definitely a little longer than expected.
The 24-year-old lawyer is planning to put up a business here and would also love to try her hand in show business if there’s an opportunity.
The very accommodating beauty queen sat down with INQUIRER.net for an exclusive interview only a day after she crowned her successor, Karen Ibasco of the Philippines.
Now that you’ve crowned your successor, what’s next for Katherine Espin?
Well I am very excited for what’s coming up next. I plan to stay in the Philippines… if possible be able to continue with my studies as well because I’m already a lawyer so if maybe I can take up masters here, I would love to if there is enough time. But also when it comes to projects I have a few in mind that I wanna start with so I really hope that everything comes through like I want it.
Can you share some of those projects?
One of the projects, it’s the Ecuadorian roses. I’m bringing them from my country to the Philippines because we have the best quality around the world so my intentions are to bring them here to the country so that Filipinos will also enjoy more [of these] roses.
How about modeling and show business?
If I have a chance to continue with the world of entertainment and fashion, I would definitely join in my spare time because honestly my intentions here is to really have my own business and start up with new projects… but of course I’m very open to any other activities with entertainment.
What did you miss most about Ecuador?
I have to say my family, for sure…. my parents, my little sister, and my friends but I know that even though if they are far they will always be in my heart. I don’t feel as lonely but they have been really the people that I have missed the most from my country. Other than that, the food. But yeah I’m adapting little by little here.
You traveled a lot the past year. Could you tell us about the countries you’ve visited? And what sort of things did you do there?
I went to Reunion Islands to crown their queen, as well as Angola, in Africa. I was also in the United States and Puerto Rico, Chile and back in Ecuador to turn over the crown to the next representative. I went around the States. I had a photoshoot there for magazines as well. I was able to do a little bit of everything.
I usually stayed there for four or five days, involved in the environmental activities… We will do a lot of planting trees in different places… Every country I went to I will give a speech and of course with the people there encouraging them, and giving them a message of hope.
Philippines was home for a year. Did you have a favorite Filipino food?
I eat a lot of fish and chicken so I will say chicken inasal… I love the fish and chicken here. And of course the desserts as well, halo-halo and bibingka, rice cakes.
How’s your Tagalog?
It’s improving little by little. I mean honestly I haven’t been able to learn as I would have loved to because here I speak English with everyone and everyone speaks English. But of course I know the main words like when you salute someone and “Malapit na tayo?” especially because of the traffic.
You did a lot of traveling around the Philippines as well. What is your favorite place in this country?
Isabela has opened up doors for me so much and I was able to go around many of the cities there. It’s really one of my favorite provinces as well as Davao. Davao, I love it coz my fans there are amazing. And lastly, El Nido, Palawan. I was able to really enjoy the beauty of the islands of the Philippines. You guys are really blessed with such enchanted islands. I can’t wait to go to to Coron, because I’m a diver so I really want to go to the dive spots.
How do you want people to remember you by?
I want people to remember me as a woman that has been very hardworking and no matter all the issues that I had during my reign I always kept my head held up high. No matter what people will say about me I will always be very positive every day. I want them to remember me as a very brave and courageous woman that had a smile to give to anyone. I want them to remember me as a humble lady that worked hard from the heart for the environment throughout the year. And I’m sure a lot of people have seen that. It’s not a matter of saying, it’s a matter of actually seeing the results of all the work I have done.
What is your message to your Filipino fans?
I really want to thank you for being part of my life and for making this year wonderful, actually the best year of my life. Thanks to all to your beautiful messages of hope, kindness for me that even if I’m a foreigner, you guys made me feel like I’m at home… and have made the PH make me think as a second home to myself. God bless you all and I will alway always keep you in a very beautiful place in my heart.