Naelah “Nana” Alshorbaji from Paranaque City was crowned Miss Philippines Earth 2021 during a virtual presentation due to the pandemic, held on August 8. The 23-years-old professional model beaten 67 other girls for the prestigious title and will represent the Philippines at the upcoming Miss Earth 2021 later this year. She succeeds Miss Earth Philippines 2020 Roxanne Allison Baeyens of Baguio City.
This year’s final contest is the second virtual edition conducted by organizer Carousel Productions in the pageant’s 21-year history. It was first held virtually last year because of the restrictions resulting from the quarantine measures imposed to address the COVID-19 pandemic. But if in the 2020 edition the organizers were still able to screen applicants physically, this year’s edition was e totally virtual, with the selection of official delegates also conducted online.
The 66 candidates participated in a series of online preliminary competitions from the comfort of their own homes.From 68 girls, the candidates were narrowed down to 20 semifinalists. Then the top 10 were announced. The top 10 girls competed in the final round of the competition through the question-and-answer portion.
For the 10 top girls, the common question was: “You have goals in life and things you want to do. Given the ongoing pandemic with lots of restrictions, how do you plan to move forward?” Nana answered: “Despite the restrictions, we have social media for us to progress and move forward. And I think that’s the beauty of what we are going through right now. So moving forward, I think that I could accomplish my goals and dreams because I have a bright future even during the pandemic and I hope that inspires people around us. Thank you.”
The Syrian-Filipino beauty queen has pushed for reducing the current plastic waste by turning it into usable products. “Reducing the current plastic waste by turning it into usable products. I chose this because I believe that plastic is a serious issue that needs to be tackled with a better solution. We may need to stop single use plastic, but we also need to figure out how to deal with the current plastic waste overload.”
A newbie in pageantry, Nana said that she wanted to be Miss Earth Philippines “to have a greater platform to promote the change I want to see in the world.”
The 5’7 stunner grew up in Syria where she would spend a lot of time with her family i
n their farm.
“I would hang with farm animals, go swimming and enjoy quality time with the Alshorbaji Almazik clan (which would be a reunion of more than 100 people). I was living in Syria till the Civil War started when I was 11 years old, then I had to move to the Philippines. Ever since then, the Philippines has been my home and I have learned to really enjoy my life and the culture here,” she said.Asked about lessons learned about her growing up years, Nana said: “Not knowing something doesn’t degrade your intelligence, no one knows everything but not being afraid of making mistakes is important, the wanting and willingness to learn is true intelligence and bravery in my opinion. Never be afraid of mistakes because mistakes are the greatest teachers that life can give, It’s either you win or you learn.”
As a kid, her most memorable moment was she would ride a sheep in the farm. “So the male sheep (the ram) didn’t like that, he would chase after me while I’m riding the sheep, and since the flock of sheep usually follows the male sheep, We would end running in circles for a while,” she said.
The 2021 Miss Earth’s court includes Miss Philippines Air Ameera Almamari (Atimonan, Quezon); Miss Philippines Water Rocel Angelah Songano (Iloilo City); Miss Philippines Fire Roni Meneses (Mandaluyong City); and Miss Philippines Ecotourism Sofia Lopez Galve (Tanay, Rizal).