Did you know that the Philippines was 1st to congratulate Venezuelan Miss Earth 2013 winner?
I am not sure if members of the audience or TV viewers caught that precious moment when Miss Philippines Earth Angelee Claudett delos Reyes approached newly crowned Miss Earth winner Alyz Henrich to congratulate her. There was so much hullaballoo going on after Alyz was crowned that no one really seemed to notice.
But I was witness to it and it broke my heart so badly because I knew just how much Angelee wanted that crown. But even in the middle of her broken dream she had the grace to concede defeat and embrace that rival that caused it.
Two days after the pageant I asked Angelee Claudett delos Reyes what she said to Miss Venezuela and this is what she texted me:
I approached her and said “Felicidasciones!” (hope I spelled it right). I learned that’s how they say congratulations in Spanish (from Ms.Colombia). I respect Miss Earth Foundation and all the people behind Miss Earth Pageant so I believe that the result they announced really had a justifiable basis and that Ms.Venezuela is deserving enough together with the three other queens. We are all women of the earth and as I told them when I welcomed all the candidates, WE MAYBE IN A COMPETITION BUT WE HAVE ONE COMMON RESPONSIBILITY WHICH IS TO USE OUR BEAUTY TO EFFECT CHANGE AND MOVE PEOPLE TO PROTECT AND PRESERVE OUR ENVIRONMENT. That hasn’t change whether we get a crown or not.
In spite of that kind message from Angelee, I still can’t get over my disappointment that she did not even make it as an elemental winner (runner-up). Specially since she had the STRONGEST and BEST answer in the Q&A portion among the Top 8 contestants!
The question was about what she thought mother earth felt in light of the recent devastation caused by Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan). In a nutshell, Angelee said that mother earth was most likely sad. She mentioned that she even wrote a song about it. Angelee ended by stressing how important it is to care for people AND the environment.
For me, she had the best answer overall because it was to the point and delivered with confidence and conviction. Based on the strength of her answer, I thought she had an elemental crown in the bag. Absolutely sure she had it! But when all the winners were announced I was left stunned that the Philippines was left behind.
Could it have been a political decision not to let her into the Top 4 since the Philippines has been getting a lot of flak for consistently placing high in Miss Earth because it is a pageant owned and founded by Filipinos? Or maybe the ME leadership did not want people saying she won because of the sympathy vote due to Yolanda?
Or could it be because she got low scores for her gown?
I do not know how the last round was scored or if politics was involved but the only problem I saw with Miss Philippines on coronation night was her long-sleeved gown with swags. It just did not flatter her to be so covered up. The gown was nice but not for this pageant. She should have been in a sexier number where we could see her arms, shoulders, curves and maybe some leg. Besides, she was wearing a very similar gown when she won Miss Philippines Earth earlier this year, look below.
But EVEN if the gown was not the most flattering I still believe Angelee Claudett delos Reyes deserved an elemental crown. Venezuela was actually my choice to win and I was happy that she won but Angelee going home without a crown dampened my joy that night so I left Versailles Palace with mixed feelings, happy for Venezuela but heart-broken for Angelee.
But at least I have that moment captured on camera and in my heart when the Philippines went forward to congratulate Venezuela. Angelee truly showed that she deserved a crown that night for her sportsmanship, statesmanship and humility.
God bless you Angelee, I will always admire you for your beauty and strength in the midst of brokenness. Thank you for fighting the good fight!