From left to right: Miss Brazil Bruna Zanardo (Miss Earth Fire), Miss Ecuador Katherine Espín (Miss Earth), Miss Colombia Michelle Gomez (Miss Earth Air), and Miss Venezuela Stephanie De Zorzi (Miss Earth Water) moments after the winners of the Miss Earth 2016 pageant were announced. Voltaire Domingo, NPPA Images

MANILA – Katherine Espín was crowned Miss Earth 2016 at the pageant’s grand coronation night on Saturday at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City, succeeding Filipina beauty queen Angelia Ong.

The Philippines’ Imelda Schweighart failed to make it past the first cut, while Sweden’s Cloie Syquia Skarne, the half-sister of actress and television host KC Concepcion, finished in the Top 8.

Schweighart was gunning for an unprecedented third straight Miss Earth crown for the Philippines after Ong and 2014 titleholder Jamie Herrell.

This is the second time Ecuador has won the Manila-based pageant.

The other winners are:

Miss Earth Air: Michelle Gomez of Colombia
Miss Earth Water: Stephanie De Zorzi of Venezuela
Miss Earth Fire: Bruna Zanardo of Brazil

A model and cosmetologist, the 23-year-old Espin said she joined the beauty contest to forward her advocacy of instilling in young students the importance of taking care of the environment.

“I chose this because I believe that the best age to teach a person to have environmental conscience is at an early age because on their growing years they will learn to have respect towards the environment which will help to the future generations,” she explained.

“I truly believe that there should exist on every academic pensum an environmental class and I will work hard on it to make it possible.”

Earlier this week, the Philippines’ bet, Kylie Verzosa, won the country’s sixth Miss International crown while Nicole Cordoves placed first runner-up in the Miss Grand International pageant.

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