By ROBERT R. REQUINTINA
A Filipino English teacher arrived home days after she was crowned at the inaugural Miss Landscapes International beauty pageant 2018 in China recently.
Karen Grace Atienza, of Rodriguez, Rizal, ended a nine-year drought for Filipino beauty queens when she became only the third Filipino to win in pageants either hosted or held in China. The last time a Filipino beauty queen won in China was in 2009.
John dela Vega, national director of the Jewel of the Philippines contest, said that the Miss Landscapes International pageant aims to achieve harmony between nature and mankind and protection of animals.
Atienza said that she is excited to go back to the Manggahan National High School where she teaches in Grade 9 and show them her crown.
“Throughout the pageant, I keep in touch with my co-teachers and district supervisor. I have a very supportive team of teachers,” says Atienza.
Asked how the government can provide quality education, the new beauty queen said: “We need a macro-effort, the effort of everyone. Quality education is achieved with the efforts of the teachers, the government and the student themselves. They should go hand-in-hand.”
“We need cooperation among the government, students, and teachers.The government is really doing its best to support the teachers. And then the teachers are doing their best to give quality education. So it will all depend on the students to help themselves,” she adds. “We are providing free education, free books, so it will all depend on the students.”
Atienza cited consistency and commitment as the qualities that made her best 39 other candidates from around the world.
“I usually wake up at 4:30 a.m. to prepare for the pageant. We usually we end the day at 1 a.m.Consistency is the key. It is also my desire to win the crown,” she says, during a mini-press conference held at the Elm’s Cafe in Pasig City.
Atienza rejected impressions that there were politics involved in the pageant. “We won fair and square.”
For her prize package, Atienza won U$10,000 cash and one-year hotel accommodation in China. Days after she won, the beauty queen teacher has received invitations from Thailand, Hong Kong and Macau.