Miss Earth 2016 opens its 16th edition with a total of 83 delegates with the  same greenly tones at the expansive Mall of Asia Arena in the Philippines, a far-out cry from the dainty favorites UP Theater and Versailles Palace of Alabang.

What is not to love about Miss Earth this year? The beauty pageant ‘with a cause’ is still environmentally relevant by showcasing more than ten ecotourism spots around the country, conducting lectures, workshops and forums about climate change, and a lot of improvements in the overall presentation of the pageant finals.

The meat-and-potatoes of the show still lies with the traditional sequences – cutting down to Top 16, swimsuit and evening gown presentation, interview portion and crowning moment. The pacing this year is quite an improvement. From the announcement of the semifinalists down to the positioning of the girls on stage as well as camera focus, everything is on point. By downplaying the faux pas on Indonesia, the show earns another thumbs up.

The major problem with Miss Earth, just like its previous editions, is the lack of competent interpreters such as those for Vietnam, Macau, and Venezuela during the interview round. It continues to be the show’s most obvious flaw from the get-go because it indicates not only inadequate preparation but also an unclear direction in closing the language gaps. Non-English speaking girls are always at a disadvantage in getting their points across clearly before the judging panel and the audience.
Miss Earth, however, is still one of the top beauty pageants worthy of alpha status by keeping in touch with the latest trends in technology and social media. The elaborate stage designs with a panoramic backdrop, trendy opening production number and the use of hashtags during the question and answer portion are among the visual treats of the show.

Who cares that this year’s set of elemental queens is Latina-centric and that the Philippines fails to land the first cut? This edition strongly proves that the girls who performed very well during the pre-pageant activities will be assured of high placements in the final show. Miss Ecuador has defied the previous notions that those who harvested a lot of medals will jinx their chances for the crown, just like what happened to the girls from South Africa, Philippines, Turkey and Panama in the previous editions. Miss Ecuador has indeed broken that curse and thus, earning her country’s second Miss Earth crown this year.


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