On Sunday night, November 9, 2008, the 8th wonder of the Earth has been crowned together with her court in a spectacular gala held at Clark Expo Amphitheater, Clark Freeport Zone, Pampanga, Philippines. Miss Philippines (Karla Henry) became the first Asian to capture the Miss Earth crown. Miss Tanzania (Miriam Odemba) won the second place honor as Miss Earth-Air, and Misses Mexico (Abigail Elizalde) and Brazil (Tatiane Alves) earned the Miss Earth-Water and Miss Earth-Fire titles, respectively. Miss Philippines garnered the highest score in the interview portion, the final elimination event. When asked by host Billy Crawford on what environmental issue she would discuss with newly-elected US President Barack Obama, she replied, “I would discuss the inclusion of environment studies in the curriculum of all students. The future of the world depends on this young generation.”
The top 4 winners emerged from a set of 8 finalists who competed in the evening gown segment. The other 4 candidates were Misses Spain (Adriana Reveron), Venezuela (Daniela Torrealba), Colombia (Mariana Rodriguez), and Switzerland (Nasanin Nuri).
They were chosen from a batch of 16 semifinalists who paraded in the swimsuit event. The other delegates were Misses Romania (Ruxandra Popa), Thailand (Piyaporn Deejing), Korea (Seo-Seol-Hee), Poland (Karolina Filipkowska), Russia (Anna Mezentseva), Nigeria (Ezinne Uko), USA (Jana Murrell), and Czech Republic (Hana Svobodova).
The new Miss Earth received US$ 20,000 in cash, a round-trip business class trip on Korean Air to any US destination, and a year-round supply of beauty products and services. On top of these, she’s given the chance to experience a one-year of life- enriching journey across the world as the latter rolls out its red carpet for her and her green planet agenda.
The 2-hour spectacle was beamed by ABS-CBN Channel 2, the official broadcaster in the Philippines. Crawford’s hosting was ably assisted by Miss Earth 2004 Priscilla Mereilles and Miss Earth-Canada 2006 Riza Santos.
Winners of pre-pageant events were also acknowledged. They were Miss Venezuela, the Best in Long Gown, Miss Panama (Shassia Ubillus), the Best in National Costume, Miss Mexico, the Best in Swimsuit, Miss Philippines as Miss Photogenic, and Miss Australia (Rachael Smith) as Miss Talent.
The judges who accomplished the arduous task of selecting the winner were image consultant Ping Valencia, Ballet Manila Artistic Director Lisa Macuja-Elizalde, Traders Hotel Manila General Manager Andrea Mastellone, Korean Air Regional Director Hong Jin, Bonprix Italia Chairman of the Board Stephen Elsner, International theater actor Leo Tavarro Valdez, Philippine Bio Sciences President Samuel West Stewart, PAGCOR Board Member Philip Lo, Clark Development Chairman Rizalino Navarro, businessman Tom Hansen, and Lourdes Atienza-Naing, a US-based children hospital board member and former beauty queen.
The culmination of the 8th year of the Pageant marked the numerous activities attended by the 85 delegates in the host country, where their identities as environmental diplomats and “beauties for a cause” were exercised.
Key partners of the Miss Earth 2008 pageant and its promotion of the Go Green Lifestyle include Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR), Fontana Liesure Park, the official residence of the delegates in Clark Freeport Zone, Pampanga, and Traders Hotel, the official residence of the delegates in Metro Manila. Joining them are My Phone & My Screen, Gandang Ricky Reyes Chain of Salons, the official hair and make-up stylist, Karilagan International Travel and Tours Corp. (KITTCO, Photos Du Monde, the official photographer, Cocolife, the official insurance provider, and the Miss Earth Foundation.