PH bet Karen Ibasco crowned Miss Earth 2017

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, November 4) — Filipina Karen Ibasco was crowned Miss Earth 2017 on Saturday.

Ibasco succeeds Miss Earth 2016 Katherin Espin from Ecuador.

Ibasco, a 26-year-old University of Santo Tomas Physics Instructor, bested 84 other contestants at the pageant's coronation night held at the Mall of Asia Arena.

Named as Miss Earth Air 2017 was Nina Robertson from Australia, Miss Earth Fire 2017 was Lada Akimova from Russia, and Miss Earth Water 2017 was Juliana Franco from Colombia.

The elemental queens are of equal ranking and may replace the reigning Miss Earth if she is unable to do her job.

During the EarthTalk segment, where candidates pick categories for them to discuss, Ibasco talked about biodiversity, saying it is very important to protect the ecosystem to maintain balance in the environment.

In the much-awaited question and answer portion, the finalists had to answer the question, "Who or what do you think is the biggest enemy of Mother Earth and why?"

Ibasco said  ignorance and apathy among people are the biggest threats.

"What we have to do is to start changing our ways," she said.

Filipino netizens were proud of Ibasco's answer.



Ibasco was the leading candidate after winning three gold and two silver medals in the pre-pageant competitions.

She won the gold medal for the Asia Pacific National Costume category, Darling of the Press, and Group 2 Swimsuit Competition.

Ibasco also bagged silver medals for Resorts Wear Competition and Long Gown Competition.

The Miss Earth pageant is "an International Environmental Event channeling the beauty pageant entertainment industry as an effective tool to promote environmental awareness," according to its website.

On its 17th year, the contest has was themed, "Heroines Fighting Climate Change."

The winner of Miss Earth serves as the ambassador to environmental protection campaigns worldwide.

The Philippines' Angelia Ong won the pageant in 2015.

CNN Philippines' anchor James Deakin hosted last night's pageant.