on Aug 10, 03:48 pm ist
A Syrian-Filipino professional model who wants plastic waste turn into usable products was crowned Miss Philippines Earth 2021 during a virtual presentation on Sunday, Aug. 8.
Naelah “Nana” Alshorbaji, 23, of Paranaque City, edged out 67 other girls for the prestigious title. She will represent the Philippines in the Miss Earth 2021 beauty pageant later this year.
From 68 girls, the candidates were narrowed down to 20 semifinalists. Then the top 10 were announced. The top 10 girls competed in the final round of the competition through the question-and-answer portion.
For the 10 top girls, the common question was: “You have goals in life and things you want to do. Given the ongoing pandemic with lots of restrictions, how do you plan to move forward?”
Nana answered: “Despite the restrictions, we have social media for us to progress and move forward. And I think that’s the beauty of what we are going through right now. So moving forward, I think that I could accomplish my goals and dreams because I have a bright future even during the pandemic and I hope that inspires people around us. Thank you.”
Other winners were: Miss Philippines Air Ameera Almamari (Atimonan, Quezon); Miss Philippines Water Rocel Angelah Songano (Iloilo City); Miss Philippines Fire Roni Meneses (Mandaluyong City); and Miss Philippines Ecotourism Sofia Lopez Galve (Tanay, Rizal).
The new queens will receive their crowns soon, organizers said.
Organized by Carousel Productions, this is the second time that the environment-driven national competition crowned its winner in a virtual show due to the pandemic.
Nana has pushed for reducing the current plastic waste by turning it into usable products. “Reducing the current plastic waste by turning it into usable products. I chose this because I believe that plastic is a serious issue that needs to be tackled with a better solution. We may need to stop single use plastic, but we also need to figure out how to deal with the current plastic waste overload.”
A newbie in pageants, Nana said that she wanted to be Miss Earth Philippines “to have a greater platform to promote the change I want to see in the world.”
The 5’7 stunner grew up in Syria where she would spend a lot of time with her family in their farm.
“I would hang with farm animals, go swimming and enjoy quality time with the Alshorbaji Almazik clan (which would be a reunion of more than 100 people). I was living in Syria till the Civil War started when I was 11 years old, then I had to move to the Philippines. Ever since then, the Philippines has been my home and I have learned to really enjoy my life and the culture here,” she said.
Asked about lessons learned about her growing up years, Nana said: “Not knowing something doesn’t degrade your intelligence, no one knows everything but not being afraid of making mistakes is important, the wanting and willingness to learn is true intelligence and bravery in my opinion. Never be afraid of mistakes because mistakes are the greatest teachers that life can give, It’s either you win or you learn.”
As a kid, her most memorable moment was she would ride a sheep in the farm.
“So the male sheep (the ram) didn’t like that, he would chase after me while I’m riding the sheep, and since the flock of sheep usually follows the male sheep, We would end running in circles for a while,” she said.
Members of the board of judges were TV host Marc Nelson, Miss Earth 2018 Nguyen Phuong Khanh, TV host-actor Kim Atienza, Miss Earth 2020 LIndsey Coffey, and international model Michael Seifert.