by Carmie Carpio/Asianjournal.com
MANILA — The night of Nov. 11 belonged to Jessica Nicole Trisko of Canada when she bested 87 other candidates for the Miss Earth 2007 crown during the coronation night held at the crowded University of the Philippines Theatre.
Runner-ups Miss India Pooja Chitgopeker (Miss Earth-Air), Miss Venezuela Silvana Santaella Arellano (Miss Earth-Water), and Miss Spain Angela Gomez (Miss Earth-Fire) completed her court.
Special awardees were Miss South Africa Bokang Montjane (Beauty for a Cause), Miss Lebanon Amale Al Khoder (Miss Friendship), Miss Lithuania Monika Baliunaite (Best in Talent), Miss Philippines Jeanne Harn (Miss Photogenic) Miss Thailand Jiraporn Sing-ieam (Best in National Costume), and Miss Venezuela Silvana Santaella Arellano (Best in Long Gown and Best in Swimsuit).
Trisko, 22, who’s mother originally hailed from Manila, grew up in Vancouver. During the pageant, she wowed the audience with her grace, charm and her quick wit in the question and answer portions.
“I’d say the beauty of mother nature smells as sweet as the sweetest rose, that the beauty of mother nature feels as soft as the softest leaf, and the beauty of mother nature sings like the birds on the trees,” she answered on the final question, “How would you describe mother nature to a blind child?”
Later she said that she was surprised that she became the new Miss Earth. The audience chose between her and Miss India during the final moments of the beauty tilt. In the end, Trisko won the votes of the judges. She took over the reign of Miss Earth 2006 Hil Hernandez of Chile.
Trisko is not new in beauty competitions. She joined the Miss Universe-Canada tilt this year and landed in the final 10. She was the only female of Asian descent to be in the roster. She then took the opportunity to join Miss Earth-Canada with the advocacy of promoting environmental education in her home country and abroad.
Unlike former Miss Earth-Canada Riza Santos, who is currently a celebrity housemate in the reality show Pinoy Big Brother, Trisko said she has no plans to join show business in the Philippines.
“I’m so proud of being half-Filipino but my heart is where my home is, Canada,” she said. Right now, she is a political science student taking up her PhD.
Pageant for a cause
Now on its seventh year, the Miss Earth pageant is held every year to select women all over the world who can carry out the mission of promoting a more sustainable environment and to advance its cause of saving and protecting the planet. The winner took home a cash prize of $20,000 among others.
The Miss Earth pageant was done under the production and marketing of Carousel Productions in partnership with ABS-CBN 2. The event was aired live nationwide and globally over The Filipino Channel (TFC) on a delayed telecast basis. MTV VJ Utt, Miss Earth 2004 Priscilla Meirelles of Brazil, and Miss Philippines-Air 2006 Ginger Conejero were the night’s hosts. (www.asianjournal.com)