Siargao beauty vies to make Miss U PH pageant night

Siargao beauty vies to make Miss U PH pageant night

BUTUAN CITY – Support is pouring in, including online, for Michele Angela Okol, one of the aspiring candidates of the second edition of Miss Universe Philippines (MUPH).

Okol, a 20-year-old Political Science student of De La Salle Manila, hails from Dapa in Siargao Island, Surigao del Norte.

She is the first MUPH candidate of Siargao, which is dubbed the surfing capital of the country and recently recognized by Time Magazine as one of the 100 World’s Greatest Places to Explore in 2021.

“She is a consistent first honor and Dean’s lister, taking this big step to tell her story and be an empowering force to advocate self-acceptance, love and, like her, encourage more people to turn their life around for the better,” the candidate’s camp said in a statement on Saturday.

Okol’s concern for the environment mirrors her identity as a true-blooded Siargao native.

She prefers clothes and accessories from thrift stores and gives them a new style.

Sustainable fashion, according to her camp, is Okol’s “humble contribution to curb the adverse effect of large amounts of waste and harmful gasses that factories create or emit to the environment”.

As part of her advocacy to save the environment, she also buys deadstock fabric.

“A lot of times, what’s being mass produced isn’t completely sold, ergo, these unsold materials just end up being stocked or thrown away,” Okol said in the statement.

Take on social media

Okol also views social media as convenient but with consequences when misused – cyberbullying, invasion of privacy, and online fraud.

“People need to find a balance between their social physical and social online life. Many of us have become too immersed in these gadgets to see beyond the screens and socialize how we used to live. In all things, there should be balance for too much of anything will inevitably lead to poor results,” Okol said.

From 100, MUPH aspirants will be narrowed down to 75, and then 50 who will fly to Manila for face-to-face interviews.

At this stage, all aspects of the contest are done virtually, including voting.

Out of the 50, the final 30 will be announced on August 31 and they will vie in the coronation night on September 25.

Rabiya Mateo was the inaugural MUPH winner in 2020 and wound up in the top 21 of the Miss Universe contest in Florida, USA in April.

In Caraga Region, there are already campaigns by several organizations to support Okol via online voting that started July 26 and will end Sunday, August 1. (PNA)

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