Miss Earth is one of the most awaited pageants in the world. More than eighty beauties from all over the globe gather in the Philippines to fight for one influential crown that will advocate for the protection of the environment.
On October 21-22, 2017 five candidates of this prestigious pageant visited the Municipality of Ipil in the Province of Zamboanga Sibugay.
They were accompanied by the Executive Vice President of Carousel Productions, Ms Lorraine Schuck who is also a native of Ipil and reigning Miss Earth-Air Michelle Gomez from Colombia.
The ladies from Chile, Belgium, Nigeria, Philippines, Russia and Miss Earth-Air 2016, were welcomed by the local govermnement officials at the iconic rotunda of Ipil. Dancers from Zamboanga Sibugay National High School clad in colorful street dancing costumes swayed in their routine that overwhelmed the Miss Earth delegates with joy. After the performance, the dancers invited the ladies to dance with them with local and pop dance music.
A welcome dinner at Jackies Cuisine were arranged by Rotary Club Ipil Sibugay where the ladies were able to taste tons of seafood, lechon, and other local fiesta staples. Local talents entertained the Miss Earth delegates throughout the night.
The weekend was also filled with surprises as the candidates were welcomed in Buluan Island Marine Sanctuary. A carbo-loaded brunch of local delicacies such as the biko, suman latik, bibingka, sapin-sapin, puto and local fruits were served. The candidates were amazed that almost all of the food served to them are made out of rice.
Photographers were very much pleased when the ladies posed in their swimsuits with the picturesque landscape of mainland Ipil and the sands of Buluan Island behind them. Trained divers guided the ladies as they went scuba diving in the protected marine sanctuary. Miss Chile was very active in picking up trash from the bottom of the reef. The girls also had a lot of fun with the jetski and other watersports.
The guests were also given a tour at a private resort in the middle of a mangrove plantation in Barangay Caparan, Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay. The Office of the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources (PENRO) served a seafood buffet featuring large prawns, giant mud crabs, and curacha in alavar sauce.
Roasted lamb and turkey that are rare delicacies were also served during the feast. Mayor Inday Amy Olegario surprised the girls with a cooking demo of the famous lechon maaalat which is a specialty in the province. The girls experienced rolling the lechon poles above burning embers of charcoals.
Local cooks also demonstrated how to cook the puso or hanging rice, suman, and budbod. All of the girls also tried cooking the lokot-lokot and panyalam, famous delicacies that the local Tausug and Sama cooks demonstrated in front of the crowd.
The guests really felt the hospitality of the people of Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay. They had fun in the famous tourist attractions, tasted sumptuous local dishes, and had a glimpse of the local culture.