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Fil-Italian is Miss Earth-PH 2018

Cortesi (Instagram)

Cortesi (Instagram)

A Filipina model from Rome, Italy who calls for the protection of urban forests was crowned Miss Earth Philippines 2018 during a pageant held at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City last Saturday night.

Crowd favorite Silvia Celeste Cortesi edged out 41 other contestants for the crown in the only environment-driven beauty contest. She will represent the Philippines in the international edition of the Miss Earth beauty pageant later this year after she succeeded medical physicist Karen Ibasco.

Cortesi, 20, impressed the judges during the final question-and-answer portion. The Top 5 candidates were asked a common question: “The deterioration of Boracay left our President with no choice but to close the island for six months for rehabilitation. What should be done to make sure that what happens to Boracay doesn’t happen to our other tourist destinations?”

Her answer: “I agree with the decision (of) President Duterte. And I think that Boracay needs a drainage system because the ‘juice’ of trash goes directly on the ocean. We have to control the capacity of hotels.”

Other winners were: Zahra Bianca Saldua of Las Piñas City, Miss Philippines Air; Jean de Jesus of San Rafael, Bulacan, Miss Philippines Fire; Berjayneth Chee of Balingasag, Misamis Oriental, Miss Philippines Water; and Halimatu Yushawu, of Titay, Zamboanga Sibugay, Miss Eco-Tourism Philippines. (Robert R. Requintina)