Miss Earth beauties narrate vengeful tales of nature
Never take nature for granted or it may just take its revenge.
About 50 children and teenagers from Families and Children for Empowerment and Development (FCED) Foundation Inc. learned this lesson through tales on environment conservation during a special Inquirer Read-Along session featuring international delegates and local Miss Earth titlists on Oct. 21.
The morning session at Carousel Productions mansion in Mandaluyong City had candidates Kaylee Carlberg (US Virgin Islands), Sabrina Jovanovic (Denmark), Elena Trifonova (Crimea), Elizabeth Lee (Singapore) and Anaika Gaspard (Haiti) and reigning Miss Philippines Earth-Fire Nellza Bautista and Miss Philippines Earth-Eco Tourism Vanessa Mae Castillo as guest storytellers.
Bautista and Castillo read in tandem Rene Villanueva’s “Si Emang Engkantada at ang Tatlong Haragan,” about three brats who, after being cast into a spell by an enchantress for destroying her garden, learn to take care of their surroundings.
The five delegates read “Grandpa Tree” by Bimbo Papasin, about a centuries-old acacia tree which saves a village of negligent people from a storm.
Castillo said that the three brats should remind children not to take the gift of nature for granted or suffer its loss.
“What happened to the brats was just a spell, but what if it really happened to us? We cannot just return instantly whatever we lost [from nature],” she said.
Practice ‘Five Rs’
Bautista encouraged the session participants to practice Miss Earth’s “Five Rs” mantra: Rethink, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Respect.
“If you apply the five Rs in your everyday life, you can make a big impact in preserving our environment,” Bautista said.
Jovanovic said that the storm that ravaged the village in the story should serve as a reminder to everyone to pay attention to their surroundings.
“In reality, when storms actually hit us, there is no turning back and that’s when we feel the need to take care of the environment. So it’s like a wake-up call,” Jovanovic said.
Likewise, Carlberg stressed the importance of respecting the planet. “We don’t want the planet to be a mess because there are major consequences like the increasing global warming which has intensified the storms.”
Amid numerous global and local initiatives on saving Mother Earth, the participation of children can still be relevant through simple acts of conservation like turning off lights when not in use, or not throwing garbage elsewhere, Jovanovic said.
“People are doing what others are doing. If one starts to do something better, the second will follow and many others will follow. It’s important to give the message of being the initiator to do better things,” she said.
With all these said, sustaining such acts of environmental concern should be everyone’s goal in the long run, Lee said.
“We must take actions but we must also know how to uphold such actions and eventually adopt them as part of our culture,” Lee said.
Eighty-seven international delegates of the 17th edition of Miss Earth are here in the country to vie for the title during the coronation night on Nov. 4 at SM Mall of Asia Arena.
The session, hosted by Junior Inquirer editor Ruth Navarra-Mayo, was held in cooperation with Sed Genecera and Peachy Veneracion of Miss Earth Foundation; Diwata Paredes of USAID B-LEADERS project; Margie Dela Vega of Hands-On Manila; Remi Diaz of FCED Foundation; and The Royal Caterer.—RAFAEL L. ANTONIO AND INQUIRER RESEARCH