MANILA, Philippines — German-Filipino model Stephany Stefanowitz bagged the Miss Earth-Air title during the 12th Miss Earth coronation night at Versailles Palace in Alabang, Muntinlupa City, on Saturday, sustaining the Philippines’ winning streak in the global competition.
Czech Republic’s Tereza Fajksová, 23, was crowned Miss Earth 2012, beating 79 other international delegates.
Stefanowitz, 22, also boosted the country’s pageant record for 2012, following the victories of Queneerich Rehman and Nicole Schmitz, who entered the semifinals of the Miss World and Miss International pageants, respectively.
In 2011, Philippine representative Athena Imperial was proclaimed Miss Earth-Water. Two other Filipino representatives advanced to the Top 4 in previous years—Catherine Untalan and Sandra Seifert, who were crowned 2006 Miss Earth-Water and 2009 Miss Earth-Air, respectively.
Fajksová took home $20,000 worth of management contract from pageant organizer Carousel Productions, $1,000 worth of diamond, pearl and gold jewelry from the Amparito Collection of M. Lhuillier Jewelers, a five-night stay at the Best Western F1 Hotel, a Naomi pearl necklace, MyPhone cell phone, a year’s supply of Ever Bilena cosmetics, shoes from Alberto, crystals and precious stones from Charms and Crystals by Joy Lim, a Canon Pixma printer and a specially designed Miss Earth pendant from jewelry designer Ramona Haar who designed the Miss Earth crown.
This year’s competition took sustainable energy as its central theme, following the United Nations General Assembly’s declaration of 2012 as the International Year of Sustainable Energy for All, which aims to ensure universal access to modern energy services.
Fan favorite Osmariel Villalobos of Venezuela, who was also proclaimed Miss Photogenic, Best in Resorts Wear, Miss Golden Sunset Resort and Miss Ever Bilena, was proclaimed Miss Earth-Water, while Camila Brant of Brazil was crowned Miss Earth-Fire.
During the final round of competition, the top four delegates were asked the question, “What is your defining moment as a woman?”
Stefanowitz, earlier voted “Darling of the Press,” replied: “I am a woman of the earth and I’m here to fight and conserve and preserve our environment. My advocacy is basically for the betterment of the environment, because this year we are celebrating the year of sustainable and renewable energy for the rest of the world. And of course, Mother Earth is the most beautiful gift that God has given us. It is our task to fight to preserve it.”
Fajksová, who did not ask for an interpreter, apologized for her minimal grasp of the English language, and responded: “I’m so sorry but I don’t understand the question. I will try to send this message: We have to protect Mother Earth. She gives us everything we need in our lives. So let’s respect her so she’ll respect us.”
The Philippines, Venezuela and Brazil all figured in the Top 4 of last year’s competition, also held in the Philippines.
Aside from Imperial, also in the Top 4 last year were Drielly Bennettone of Brazil who was crowned Miss Earth-Air and Caroline Medina of Venezuela who was hailed Miss Earth-Fire.
Last year’s winner, Olga Alava of Ecuador, turned over her title to Fajksová.
India’s Prachi Mishra was voted Miss Congeniality by her fellow delegates, while Thailand’s Waratthaya Wongchayaporn was adjudged Miss Talent. Both delegates were heavily favored by pageant pundits to advance to the winners’ circle, but failed to crack the semifinals.
Among this year’s judges were Puerto Princesa City Mayor Edward Hagedorn, US Agency for International Development deputy head for environment and energy Joseph Foltz, professional cager Bobby Ray Parks and national rugby team “Volcanoes” captain Harry Morris.
TV personality Marc Nelson hosted this year’s competition, while Seifert shared anchor duties with 2006 Miss Philippines-Water Ginger Conejero.