MAKATI CITY, Philippines—With the COVID-19 pandemic forcing people to do things online, even pageants have taken over cyberspace, with the inaugural edition of the Miss FIT Philippines contest taking the virtual route.
After weeks of online preliminary activities, Malka Shaver of Dumaguete City bested 23 other aspirants in the final ceremonies to become the embodiment of wholistic fitness through the competition that focused on the face, intelligence, and toned body (FIT). The program was made available on the pageant’s official Facebook page on Dec. 23.
A veteran of local and national competitions, Shaver was crowned 2014 Miss Dumaguete and 2017 Miss Mandaue and finished second in the 2018 Miss Manila pageant. She also finished in the Top 25 of the 2019 Binibining Pilipinas pageant.
Another pageant veteran, Iloilo City’s Karen Nicole Piccio, who was crowned Miss Philippines-Ecotourism in the 2019 Miss Philippines Earth pageant, bagged a runner-up spot.
General Santos City’s Arielle Jazmine Roque, a second runner-up in the 2017 Reyna ng ALiwan and a finalist in the 2020 Miss Philippines-Earth pageant, finished second, while Olongapo City’s Anita Rose Gomez placed third.
Dasmariñas City’s Clytemestra Juan finished fourth.
Shaver, who took home P100,000 for snagging the coveted title, also topped the preliminary swimsuit and evening gown competitions.
“My fitness advocacy is all about promoting an exodus from our blind passive toxic lifestyles and coming back home to our inner sanctuary (the self, the body, and soul) to wake up and listen to the yearnings of our souls and the aches of our bodies begging us to treat ourselves the way we should,” said Shaver, a Mass Communication graduate from Silliman University.
“I’m excited to share all that I learn and inspire people to be proactive in their health, so they have the energy to keep doing what keeps them going,” continued the 25-year-old executive secretary at Phil Pharma.
Staged by Ultra and ProMedia, the 2020 Miss FIT Philippines pageant is headed by reigning Miss Bikini Philippines Louise Theunis, who also sat on the judging panel.
“The Miss FIT Philippines queens must have what it takes to be a good role model to other women, to bring the essence of the Miss FIT Philippines advocacy with them during their reign as they inspire and empower others to be fit,” she told the Inquirer in an earlier interview.
Theunis also had fellow beauty titlists in the jury: 2017 Miss Tourism International Jannie Loudette Alipo-on, 2018 Man of the World first runner-up Clint Karklins, and 2019 Miss Philippines Earth Janelle Tee.
The virtual competition was hosted by 2013 Miss Philippines Earth Angelee Claudette delos Reyes, with Sean Kyle Ortega. [ac]