3 Miss Philippines Earth candidates disqualified for failing height requirement

·3 min read
The three disqualified delegates of Miss Philippines Earth 2022, Angela Okol of Surigao, Cess Cruz of Antipolo and Renee Coleen Sta. Teresa of Batangas. (Photos: Miss Philippines Earth)
The three disqualified delegates of Miss Philippines Earth 2022, Angela Okol of Surigao, Cess Cruz of Antipolo and Renee Coleen Sta. Teresa of Batangas. (Photos: Miss Philippines Earth)

In a controversial move, three candidates of the Miss Philippines Earth (MPE) pageant have been disqualified for not meeting a height requirement.

Designer Angela Okol of Surigao, singer-model Cess Cruz of Antipolo and model Renee Coleen Sta. Teresa of Batangas were told by organizers of the 22nd edition of MPE that they were disqualified on Thursday (July 14).

The pageant's fans were surprised because all the 38 delegates had already competed in the virtual preliminary competitions of the pageant.

The MPE requires candidates to have a minimum height of 5-foot-4. An organizer said all 38 delegates were previously deemed eligible based on information they provided in their application forms with MPE, which included their educational background, age and height.

However, it appears that the disqualified candidates were found to not meet the height requirement only after actual height measurements were carried out at the MPE base at the Carousel Mansion in Mandaluyong on July 14.

MPE had retained the height standard of its competition for 22 years, although other local competitions had dropped the requirement in recent years.

The disqualifications came only a day ahead of the highly anticipated announcement of the final 20 candidates on July 15.

The final rounds and onsite coronation of Miss Philippines Earth will take place on August 6 in Coron, Palawan. It will be the first MPE coronation with a live audience after two years of virtual competitions during the COVID-19 pandemic.

MPE organizer Lorraine Schuck said, “We thank Angela Okol of Del Carmen, Surigao; Cess Cruz of Antipolo City; and Renee Coleen Sta. Teresa of Ibaan, Batangas for their hard work in supporting the MPE and its advocacies and promoting their respective municipalities through their eco-tourism videos. Their videos will remain in our site and online platform and will still be considered for special awards.”

Okol, Cruz and Sta. Teresa responded to their disqualification on social media.

Sta. Teresa said she was heartbroken by the news. “It has been an honor to be your Miss Philippines Earth-Ibaan, Batangas. Know that even without the crown, I would still embody the values of a true woman of the Earth,” she said.

Cruz said, “I deeply apologize for not meeting everyone’s expectations, and I respect their final decision... To my fellow Antipoleños, my family, friends, loved ones, and supporters, I would like to thank everyone from the bottom of my heart for the support and encouragement in my journey.”

Okol, who had been one of the Miss Universe Philippines 2021 candidates representing Siargao, had been regarded as a frontrunner for MPE's Top 20.

"My family, team, and I have worked hard to build up all the materials and requirements for this pageant since earlier this year," Okol said. "However, we seem to have forgotten about one factor – my height. I was told that my height does not fit their pageant’s standards and that their organization would get bashed if they let someone below 5’4 push through the Top 20."

"Nevertheless, I hold nothing against Miss Philippines Earth’s environmental advocacies and queens, and I am still grateful for the opportunity given to me," Okol added.

Watch more videos on Yahoo:

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting