Athena Mae Imperial (Philippines) - Miss Earth 2011

miss earth 2011 Philippines Athena Mae Imperial
Miss Earth 2011 Beauty Pageant
Candidates | Contestants Profile

Miss Philippines

Athena Mae Imperial

Age: 24

Height: 168cm

Hometown: Casiguran

Notes: Athena Mae Imperial is the reigning Miss Philippines Earth 2011.

Environmental Views:

What environmental project will you create to promote the protection of Mother Earth and why?

I will be soaring high for the Miss Philippines-Earth 2011's current project -- the anti-plastic campaign.

Two hundred (200) million tonnes of plastics are being produced annually and plastic materials are nonbiodegradable – they decompose after a thousand years. They will thus pile up in the area where used plastics are thrown – in the landfills, in the drainage, in the rivers and in the different forms of water. Also, plastics when burned contribute to the thinning of the ozone layer. Moreover, studies show that animals, mostly fish, birds, and those which get their food from water, may ingest tiny plastic materials littered and this may be the cause of their death. Not only are plastics dangerous for the health of animals, but also to us humans. There is a probability that humans ingest the meat of the animals which have eaten plastics thus we too can be affected with diseases.

Because of the alarming issue, we, the Miss Philippines-Earth 2011 (MPE 2011) winners discuss our anti-plastic campaign to elementary and high school students during our school tours in the Philippines. In addition to this, we have been coordinating with a media network and with colleagues from the advertising industry to create advertisements regarding the disadvantages and the environmental problems brought about by the use of plastics.

I further plan to coordinate with local government units and organize a program which will be held in provincial supermarkets. The program will aim to convince market goers to switch back to utilizing baskets, bayong, and/ or reusable bags when they purchase products so as to facilitate in the lessening of the use of plastic bags. Also, I wish to conduct bike and fun runs, and mini-concerts for the awareness and involvement of the youth in the anti-plastic project. The events target to prove that a day without the use of plastics is attainable, and so eventually being plastic-free can be a habit. In these events, every participant is required to bring his own utensils, food containers, water jugs, and ecobags. In addition to this, it will be a requirement for invited small enterprise groups and concessionaires to use recycled bags and papers instead of plastic bags. Absolutely no plastics and styrophores during the events!

These aforementioned strategies will not only make the public aware of the startling condition of the earth, but will also make them think of the ways in which they can help, and start contributing solutions for the preservation of the environment.

What makes you proud of the country you are representing, and what can you promote about your country?

We, the Filipinos take pride of the fact that our country is one of the 18 megadiverse countries in the world! Two-third of the earth's biodiversity is in the Philippines. Its biodiversity defines the variability of life. Diversity in genes, in species, and in ecosystem. Name it, we have it! More so, being archipelagic made our country rich in culture, tradition, language, and belief. A month is not enough to be able to experience Philippine wonders!

Not only are we undeniably blessed with natural resources but also with altruistic citizens. Because the Philippines is situated in the Pacific Ocean, the country is often hit by tropical depressions. And recently, several provinces in the Island of Luzon were devastated by strong typhoons Pedring and Quiel. Countless families lost homes, properties, and even loved ones. But because bayanihan or the spirit of communal unity is innate in every Filipino, the people less affected by calamities have been extending help to the distressed. Distance and danger do not hinder and dishearten the selfless ones to be of service to their fellow Filipinos.

Filipinos are strong people as well – they can withstand any misfortune that happens in their lives. They can even manage to kid about their troubles and hardships! Nevertheless, we uphold the integrity of our being Filipinos. We always redeem ourselves and we aim for victory in our every struggle.

Describe your childhood/growing years.

While the other girls were busy playing with their dolls, jackstones, kitchen-set toys, and jumping ropes, I was usually with the elders playing scrabble, word factory, fixing puzzles and solving games of logic. My goal then was to be as good as the adults I was playing games with. I even aimed to beat them. This proves my being goal-oriented bloomed during childhood.

Alternatively, whenever I felt tired studying, playing and watching television programs, I would bring out the artsy-fartsy in me – either I would get my art materials out of the drawer and paint landscapes, sunsets and sketch animals, or I would bring out our old Singer sewing machine and get my needles, beads and pieces of old cloth to craft my own accessories. These creations are the most valued materials that I have been keeping.

What lessons did you learn from your childhood/growing years?

I learned three (3) major lessons from childhood.

First and foremost is to put God above all things. When I was a child, I was taught to thank God for another day when I wake up, to thank Him for the food He provides, and to pray before going to sleep. With that foundation from childhood, I bear with me until now that all my actions and successes must be offered for His glory.

Second is to be concerned of my surroundings and environment. I was trained to fix my bed when I wake up, to clean up my books and toys after using them, to separate biodegradable trash from non-biodegradable garbage, to reuse the recyclable materials, and to switch off the lights and appliances when they were not in use. I was taught that living in a place with a clean surrounding facilitates in thinking and doing better. I was also educated that doing small acts in saving our environment can eventually influence other people and result to a gargantuan positive change.

Third is to be unselfish. I was taught to share my snacks to my grade school classmate, to consider the thoughts of my group mates for a project, to give my playmates a chance to enjoy whatever toys I had. Even until now that I'm a grown up, I don't deal and give in with anything that is only for my own good; I consider the welfare of other people. Being self-centred will give us nothing; but being selfless and considerate will provide us a precious space in the hearts of those whom we shared our blessings with.

What is your most memorable moment?

I was given the rare opportunity to be a part of the leading investigative documentary program in the Philippines. Not every Mass Communication graduate was given that kind of break so I deeply treasured the chance!

It was just a dream before. Back in college, I used to stare at the tower and the billboards of the network I dreamt working for. I had been dreaming of becoming one of its journalists who are instruments of opening the minds of the Filipinos about the current phenomenon and the reality of life. And so I shot for the moon, and I hit it!

At work, I never took the back seat in each story assigned to me. If it required no sleep, no chance of going home, and hourly monitoring of the key elements of the news, I would do it. I even did immersion with a variety of communities to dig deeper about social issues. These are needed to fulfill our noble duty – to make the public aware of and to awaken the authorities about the real condition of the society.

Being a researcher for the said investigative program opened the door for me to reach my ultimate dream of being a documentarist in the Philippines. It provided me tough training and good stepping stone towards the profession that I want to achieve. Because of my work, I was also able to meet and establish friendship with people having the same passion that I have. Certainly, my profession is one of the greatest gifts of life that I am grateful of.

What is your environmental advocacy?

Scattered plastics continue to remain one of the biggest environmental problems. Two hundred (200) million tonnes of plastics are being produced annually. Using conservative estimates, we will be able to encircle the earth more than 41,000 times with these plastic materials. Most of the used plastics are thrown away to the landfills, drainage, rivers, and to the other water forms. Because they are non-biodegradable, littered plastics are nuisance to the environment.

Nonetheless, it is never too late to solve this dilemma. We should stop the use of straws, plastic bags, plastic spoons and forks, plastic cups and bottles. We must switch to eco-friendly utensils and materials, and use recycled and reusable bags. By doing so, we choose to be a part of the solution to the ailment of the Earth.

Let us bring back the Earth's smile. Let's push for a plastic-free environment!

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"To God be the Glory".