Newly-crowned Miss Earth Nguyen Phurong Kahnh of Vietnam (second from right ) and her 'elemental queens' (from left) Miss Fire Melissa Flores of Mexivo, Miss Water Valeria Ayos of Colombia, and Miss Air Melanie Mader of Austria. /ARMIN P. ADINA
Nguyen Phuong Khanh from Vietnam crowned as Miss Earth 2018
With her new role as global environmental advocate, newly crowned Miss Earth Nguyen Phuong Khanh from Vietnam hopes to take advantage of modern technology to help spread awareness about caring for the planet.
“I study marketing, especially digital marketing. And that is one of the tools to bring awareness on everything. And I think this tool can bring betterment to our environment effectively,” Khanh told the Inquirer after her coronation at SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City on Saturday night.
The 23-year-old student bested 86 other aspirants to become Vietnam’s first winner since the global tilt’s inception in 2001.
Her victory is also the first major international beauty pageant triumph for her country.
Khanh also touched on technology during the crucial final round of the competition.
When asked about the most pressing issue affecting millennials, she replied, “ignorance.”
Made history for Vietnam
“We have so many technology, and we just use social media, and we just care about ourselves. We should spend our time to think and feel what’s happening with the Earth right now. And one action multiplied by a million people can help transform the world,” she said.
Khanh said she hoped her victory as Vietnam’s first big pageant winner had made her country happy.
“I hope I made history for Vietnam beauty pageants. I hope that many other young girls with an advocacy will join beauty pageants to share their voice with the world,” she said.
Khanh also promised to “exert all my effort” to work on the global pageant’s advocacy
of promoting environmental awareness.
She is particularly interested in engaging in projects related to water pollution and protecting the Mekong Delta in Vietnam.
Her predecessor Karen Ibasco, the fourth Filipino woman to win the Miss Earth crown, traveled to 10 countries to take part in environmental projects.
The Philippines’ representative this year, Italian-Filipino model Silvia Celeste Cortesi, finished in the top 8.
But another part-Filipino beauty still managed to crack the winners’ circle—Miss Earth-Air Melanie Mader from Austria.
Mader, who was crowned Miss Philippines-Water when she joined the local Philippine search in 2016, received her Miss Earth-Air crown from Filipino-Australian Nina Robertson.
“I thank God and my family for helping and supporting me. I’m really blessed. Hello mga Pinoy, maraming salamat po sa support,” said the beauty born and raised in Vienna.
Colombia’s Valeria Ayos gave her country a back-to-back Miss Earth-Water finish, succeeding her compatriot Juliana Franco for the crown, while Mexico’s Melissa Flores took home the Miss Earth-Fire title.
The Miss Earth pageant is organized by Carousel Productions.
Its winners, dubbed “beauties for a cause,” serve as spokespersons for various environmental initiatives.
The Philippine Daily Inquirer is a media partner. /atm /pdi