ABQ’s Top 36 in Swimsuit at the Press Con of Miss Earth 2013

Miss Earth 2013 presented it’s lovely international candidates last Thursday (Nov. 21, 2013) at the F1 Hotel’s poolside and here are a few of my observations:

This year’s batch is prettier than last year and I’d like to make special mention that I’m quite happy with the black beauties – almost all of them appeal to me. Besides, it would be refreshing to see an ebony beauty wear the crown on Dec. 7, 2013.

Europe also sent several striking ladies but I can’t help but feel that a Latina will snatch the crown away from power candidate Angelee Claudett delos Reyes of the Philippines. The nationalistic side of me hopes it doesn’t happen but the other half is quite open to possibilities. I can be schizo when it comes to my pageant choices, aahaha!

Anyhoo, here are my favorite girls in swimsuit at the Press Presentation of Miss Earth 2013. I picked them not just for their physique but also for their facial appeal, catwalk and posing techniques. But it is in no way my final list of favorites for the Miss Earth 2013 crown…

Note that Bonaire and Cameroon were still en route to the Philippines at the time of the Press Con so they were not part of the program.


ABQ Swimsuit Favorites - Australia's Renera Thomspon, Austria's Katia Wagner, Bolivia's Maria Rene Carmona and Bosnia & Herzegovina's Vera Kmeta

ABQ Swimsuit Favorites – Australia’s Renera Thompson, Austria’s Katia Wagner, Bolivia’s Maria Rene Carmona and Bosnia & Herzegovina’s Vera Kmeta

AUSTRALIA – Renera Thompson of AUSTRALIA sort of reminded me of Angelina Jolie minus the bee-stung lips. Apart from her sculpted physique I so love her glowing tan which is natural, btw,  thanks to her Samoan roots. As an investment advisor, she hopes to encourage other Samoan women to develop entrepreneurial leadership. Another dream of hers is to work on TV as a presenter. Renera is 26 years old and stands 5′ 5¾” (167cms) .

AUSTRIA – Katia Wagner who is from AUSTRIA wore a simple bright coral bikini that accentuated her curves nicely. Loved her fresh face and natural smile but you can’t expect anything less from a dentist and CEO of a nail salon. The 2012 model of Eva Air’s Royal Laurel Class is 25 years old and  5’8″ tall (173cms).

BOLIVIA – Dusky with dimples and a towering frame is how I describe BOLIVIA’s sizzling Maria Rene Carmona. Reneca, as her friends call her, ruled the stage with her NBA height of nearly 6’1″ (185cms). Oh, did I mention that she’s part of the national basketball team in Bolivia? This 18-year-old civil engineering student is in my list of top favorites!

BOSNIA & HERZEGOVINA – The stunning redhead from BOSNIA & HERZEGOVINA, Vera Krneta took our breath away in her white swimsuit. The 19-year old student has been working hard on her English skills to improve her chances of winning Miss Earth 2013 and if she doesn win, she’ll have to put her plans to study Social Sciences on ice. Vera Krnata stands 5’9″ tall (175cms).

ABQ Swimsuit Favorites - Canada's Sofiya Chorniy, Costa Rica's Mariela Aparicio, Crimea's Maria Makater, Cote D'Ivoire's Bintou Traore

ABQ Swimsuit Favorites – Canada’s Sofiya Chorniy, Costa Rica’s Mariela Aparicio, Crimea’s Maria Makater, Cote D’Ivoire’s Bintou Traore

CANADA – Fresh as a daisy with her simple styling, Sofiya Chorniy of CANADA didn’t have to do much to impress this author. In case you’re wondering about her name, Sofiya has Ukrainian roots and speaks the language fluently aside from English and French. The 20-year-old is studying Kinesiology and Physical Education with dreams of teaching PE and French to children. She also keeps fit by playing competitive water polo. Sofiya is 5’9″ (175.2 cms) and works part-time as a model.

COSTA RICA – Mariela Aparicio of COSTA RICA was an apparition of beauty as she made her way down the ramp. The choice to wear a a bright green swimsuit trimmed with long fringes made her stand out in this batch. The 5’9″ (175 cms) tanned tigress was Miss Costa Rica International 2011 where she placed in the Top 15. Mariela is 26 years old and is a professional model.

CRIMEA – Though her tresses make you think of the Little Mermaid, all that hair in her face can’t hide the beauty of Maria Makater of CRIMEA. The 18-year-old student of journalism was featured in an MTV of a hiphop group based in Chernigov, Ukraine. Maria’s pageant titles include Queen of Chernigov 2012 and Queen of Flowers 2011. She stand 5’8½” tall (174 cms).

COTE  D’IVOIRE – This ebony queen from the Ivory Coast is a law student who works as a part-time model. For me, this black beauty has a touch of Pinoy flavor which is why I love her. Bintou Traore of COTE D’IVOIRE stands 5’9″ tall (175 cms).

ABQ Swimsuit Favorites - Czech Republic's Monika Leova, Ecuador's Ama Maria Weir, France's Sophie Garenaux, Gabon's Fliane Mayombo Koundi

ABQ Swimsuit Favorites – Czech Republic’s Monika Leova, Ecuador’s Ana Maria Weir, France’s Sophie Garenaux, Gabon’s Filiane Mayombo Koundi

CZECH REPUBLIC – Surprise! Monica Leova of the CZECH REPUBLIC looks more Asian than Czech thanks to her Vietnamese roots. When I saw her I thought, “she’d make a gorgeous TV presenter.” Guess what? The 22-year old beauty queen happens to be a news anchor for TV Prima in her country. Monica, who stands a little over 5’10” (178 cms) also works as a professional model.

ECUADOR – There’s a bit of Cherie Gil going on for this South American beauty. Ana Maria Weir of ECUADOR has striking face and a set of abs that most of humanity can only dream of. This fashion-model-slash-student competed in the Super Model of the World 2006. She is 25 years old and 5’8½” tall (174 cms).

FRANCE – This is the first ever international pageant for FRANCE’S Sophie Garenaux and still can’t believe that she is representing her country in Miss Earth 2013! The 22-year-old nursing student has a lady-like appeal not unlike that of French Royalty. Sophie stands at 5’9″ (175 cms).

GABON – The heavy-lidded eyes of GABON’s Filiane Mayombo Koundi are what got me first. Then it was the contrast between her golden swimsuit and dark African skin. So sexy! This 19 year old student is a little over 5’6″ tall.

ABQ Swimsuit Favorites - Ghana's Amabel Klutse, India's Sobhita Dhulipala, Indonesia's  Nita Sofiani, Korea's Catharina Choi

ABQ Swimsuit Favorites – Ghana’s Amabel Klutse, India’s Sobhita Dhulipala, Indonesia’s Nita Sofiani, Korea’s Catharina Choi

GHANA – When Amabel Klutse of GHANA smiles, it’s as if she’s laughing over some secret joke. Although I don’t find her photogenic, she is quite lovely to behold in person which is exactly what happened when I chanced upon her at the NAIA. Click here to read about it. Amabel Klutse is a 21-year-old building technology student who measures 5’11” (180.2 cms).

INDIA – Hotter than a 42 degree fever, Sobhita Djulipala of INDIA brought more than just her hot curves to the stage – she also brought a pretty cool brain: she’s currently pursuing a post-graduate diploma in business and corporate law. The 5’9″ classically trained dancer is only 21 years of age.

INDONESIA – For me, the representative from INDONESIA, Nita Sofiani  is very “artistahin”; I can almost see her acting in a romantic telenovela on TV. But Nita is actually an event organizer and a make-up artist. She also has a degree in English. The Bandung beauty is 21 years old and measures 5’7½” (171 cms).

KOREA – IMHO, this is one of the beauties to beat in Miss Earth 2013. Catharina Choi (Nunes) of KOREA is one of my bets for the crown. She actually holds the Miss Korea Brazil 2013 title and is part-Brazilian. She could very well be the first dual national to represent the very traditional nation of South Korea in an international beauty contest. Before becoming a beauty queen, Catharina worked in her Mom’s office. She is 23 years old and is 5’8″ (173 cms). Catharina replaces Han Soo-Min in this pageant: a worthy exchange if you ask me!

ABQ Swimsuit Favorites - Martinique's Rani Charles, Mexico's Yuselmi Cristal Silva, Panama's Johana Batista, Philippines' Angelee delos Reyes

ABQ Swimsuit Favorites – Martinique’s Rani Charles, Mexico’s Yuselmi Cristal Silva, Panama’s Johana Batista, Philippines’ Angelee delos Reyes

MARTINIQUE – I thought Rihanna was back in Manila when MARTINIQUE’s Rani Charles stepped out on the platform! Even with her non-beauty-queen punk rock hair, Rani became an automatic ABQ favorite for her sassy syle and eye-catching smile. Oh, she also reminds me of Halle Berry. Rani Charles is 21 years old, a student and measures 5’7½” (172 cms).

MEXICO – It was hard to breath when it was the turn of Yuselmi Cristal Silva of MEXICO. For me she’s got a dash of Bollywood in her beauty. The 5’10” (178 cms) dreamboat is studying business administration and has been modeling since age 16. She hopes to become a Victoria’s Secret model one day. Yuselmi is 21 years old.

PANAMA –  I don’t often pick this country as a personal favorite so I’m excited to include Johanna Batista of PANAMA in my list of girls who ‘delivered the goods’ during the press con of Miss Earth 2013. Johanna, you might want to know, is a law student who works part-time as a fashion model. She is 21 years old and is 5’7″ (170 cms).

PHILIPPINES – Angelee Claudett delos Reyes of the PHILIPPINES has got to have the most unbelievable curves on a woman! Although I hate her for being so curvy, (she makes us all look like sausages) she is one of my choices for the crown! If you want to know more about this 5’7½” Olongapo lass, click on this article that I wrote about her a few years back when she was Miss Bikini Philippines.

ABQ Swimsuit Favorites - Poland's Aleksandra Szczesna, Reunion's Christelle Abrantes, Russia's Olesya Boslovyak, Serbia's Andjelka Tomasevic

ABQ Swimsuit Favorites – Poland’s Aleksandra Szczesna, Reunion’s Christelle Abrantes, Russia’s Olesya Boslovyak, Serbia’s Andjelka Tomasevic

POLAND – Out of the four in this batch, it’s easy to see that Aleksandra Szczesna of POLAND is the most reserved. But holding back seems to work for the 5’9″ fashion model; she’s a favorite of pageant viewers and a dead-ringer for Selena Gomez. Aleksandra who is 20 years old is a student at the University of Technology and Humanities in Radom, a city in central Poland.

REUNION ISLAND – If there was an award for the warmest smile it would certainly go to REUNION’s rep Christelle Abrantes. And for that alone she makes it to this list! Christelle, who is only 19 years old, has put on hold her dream of becoming a nurse to compete in Miss Earth. This animal lover stands 5’7″ tall (170 cms).

RUSSIA – Doesn’t she sort of remind you of Jennifer Garner? RUSSIA’s Olesya Boslovyak is a full-time model and the only one in my list who wore a one-piece at the press con of Miss Earth 2013. She’s gifted in height standing above the competition at 5’11” (180 cms). In the ME press release she lists her occupation as ‘singer’. She also competed in Super Model of the World 2005 where our very own Charo Ronquillo placed as a runner-up.

SERBIA – One of the flirty-est walkers in this year’s pageant, Andjelka Tomasevic of SERBIA looks like a winner and I’m thinking of putting her on my list of favorites for the crown. She was born in Kosovo and her sister Milica was Miss Kosovo 2011. Andjelka is a tourism student, stands 5’7″ tall and is 20 years old.

ABQ Swimsuit Favorites - Singapore's Vanessa Hee, South Africa's Ashanti Mbanga, Spain's, Cristina Martinez, Sweden's Denice Andree

ABQ Swimsuit Favorites – Singapore’s Vanessa Hee, South Africa’s Ashanti Mbanga, Spain’s Cristina Martinez, Sweden’s Denice Andree

SINGAPORE – I really thought that the slightly lop-sided smile of Vanessa Hee of SINGAPORE looked really cute… not so beauty-queen-like but it could work. Vanessa Hee was Miss Singapore Seventeen 2008, an FHM SOL-diac Top 12 finalist in 2011 and was voted into Female Magazine’s 2012 list of “50 Gorgeous People” in Singapore. She used to be a bird trainer at the Jurong Bird Park but now works as a cabin crew member. She is 25 years old and stands 5’5″ (166 cms).

SOUTH AFRICA – Loved the blue flower on her bikini top! Ashanti Mbanga of SOUTH AFRICA brought a special kind of sweetness with her on stage along with her towering height of 6′ (182 cms). Ash, as she is fondly called, is 24 years old and completing her education in transport economics. Her goal is to pursue a political career in the transport sector of South Africa and maybe even become minister one day.

SPAIN – This green-eyed brunette is a top fashion model in Valencia and has posed for prestigious names in the circuit. Cristina Martinez of SPAIN, juggles her modeling career with her studies in marketing and administrative management. She also works as a part-time host. Cristina Martinez is 22 years old and is 5’10” tall (177 cms).

SWEDEN – Loving the girl from SWEDEN! Denice Andree is a fitness freak and works as a physical therapist and nutritionist. When not sweating in the gym, the 5’10” (178 cms) beauty works as a model. Denice also keeps a  blog that talks about her everyday live, the PT school where she trains students and her Miss Earth 2013 journey. Check it out by clicking HERE! (It’s in Swedish guys and gals so use Google Translate…)

ABQ Awimsuit Favorites - Tanzania's Clara Noor, Thailand's Punika Kunsuntornrat, Turkey's Ezgi Avci, Ukraine's Anatasia Sukh

ABQ Swimsuit Favorites – Tanzania’s Clara Noor, Thailand’s Punika Kunsuntornrat, Turkey’s Ezgi Avci, Ukraine’s Anastasia Sukh

TANZANIA – When Clara Noor of TANZANIA sailed out on stage, my co-blogger who runs “The Beauty of Almost Everything” kept saying that she looked like the Sphinx. I couldn’t have agreed less. With her hair folded over like an Egyptian headdress and her look as mysterious as the Saharan desert, Clara piqued our interest. Even more mysterious is that there’s very little information on the Mwanza native in her Miss Earth bio or online. If I get a chance, I’ll try to ask her a few questions…

THAILAND – After my recent 3-week mission trip to Thailand, I was eager to see that nation’s rep to Miss Earth 2013 and I’m happy to say that she didn’t disappoint! Punika Kunsuntornrat of THAILAND came out on stage like a fierce tigress with her tresses sleeked back in a wet look. The 5’9″ (175 cms) Miss Pattaya Motor Show 2013 is studying agriculture in a Bankok university. She’s 21 years old.

TURKEY – A newbie to the world stage of pageants Ezgi Avci of TURKEY finds herself more comfortable on a volleyball court. The 5’10” (179 cms) delight is a volleyball player at Florida Tech University. Her goal is to get into TV as an anchor once she’s done with her studies. I like this 21-year old babe for her natural and fresh beauty.

UKRAINE – Wow, it seems like this country is always making it into my list of favorites.  UKRAINE’s Anastasia Sukh is one of the youngest contestants in Miss Earth 2013 at 18 years old. She is replacing the equally beautiful Natalia Varchenko; no reason has been given for the change but if anyone knows why, leave a comment please! Anastasia Sukh is a student and stands 5’10” (177 cms) tall.


ABQ's Swimsuit Favorites - USA's Nicolle Velez, Venzuela's Alyz Henrich, Zambia's Atieno Kabwe, Zimbabwe's Samantha Dika

ABQ’s Swimsuit Favorites – USA’s Nicolle Velez, Venzuela’s Alyz Henrich, Zambia’s Atieno Kabwe, Zimbabwe’s Samantha Dika

USA -This year’s girl from the US is a Hispanic New Yorker who was born in Pennsylvania. USA’s Nicolle Velez, 22 years old, is an accounting grad and is working towards her CPA. The 5’7″ model happens to be a pageant junkie who started joining beauty contests as a child. For me, she’s got an Olivia Culpo thing going on. What do you think?

VENEZUELA – Okay, I hate to say this to all of you who hope that the Philippines will be the big star of pageants this 2013 but Venezuela might steal the show. I adore this vivacious vixen who sashayed all over the stage throwing winks and kisses at the audience. I strongly believe that VENEZUELA’S Alyz Henrich is a contender for the Miss Earth 2013 crown. The 22 year-old Falcón native works as a modeling teacher, holds a degree in Social Communications and can speak Spanish and Italian. She just gorgeous at 5’9″ (176 cms).

ZAMBIA -Better known to her friends as Winnie-freda, Atieno Kabwe of ZAMBIA is a Duke of Edinburgh International Youth Award Ambassador and works as a professional model. She holds the Miss Tourism Zabiz 2012 title. She’s not a favorite of the pageant community but I love her full lips and dark features and to my eye she is a perfect example of a beautiful African woman. Winnie Kabwe who is 23 years old measures 5’9″ (174 cms).
ZIMBABWE – Samantha Dika of ZIMBABWE is taking a short break from her fashion designing career to compete in this year’s Miss Earth 2013. Her label is Esdea Couture and she is considered an ’emerging designer’ in her country. She’s in this list for her stately charm. Samantha is 25 years old and 5’8″ (172 cms) tall.