Cess Cruz, Angela Okol and Renee Sta Teresa all heartbroken over disqualification a day before the Top 20 announcement
MANILA—Three Miss Philippines Earth 2022 candidates did not expect that they would not make it to the coronation night in Coron, Palawan on August 6, 2022.
The candidates—Angela Okol of Sruigao, Cess Cruz of Antipolo and Renee Sta Teresa of Batangas were suddenly disqualified from the pageant because they failed to meet the minimum height requirement of 5 feet 4 inches.
The pageant organizers only announced it on Thursday, July 14 which saddened Angela, Cess, and Renee as this, according to them, was really unexpected.
Angela Okol on the sad news
Angela said that she felt sad that the disqualification was made when the competition was already near and that was the only time they learned of the height requirement.
“Many have been sending messages and well wishes regarding the Top 20 announcement for Miss Philippines Earth tomorrow.
“However, I, unfortunately, have to tell you all that I will no longer be able to push through with this journey.
“My family, team, and I have worked hard to build up all the materials and requirements for this pageant since earlier this year.
“However, we seem to have forgotten about one factor— my height. I was told that my height does not fit their pageant’s standards and that their organization would get bashed if they let someone below 5’4 push through the Top 20, hence, being grounds for disqualification.
“Had we been measured earlier on and that this was the case, it would have been much easier to figure out what to do since we’ve already prepared all that was sent as requirements for both our online and face-to-face competition.”
Despite all these, she said that she does not have any misgivings towards Miss Philippines Earth organization.
“Nevertheless, I hold nothing against Miss Philippines Earth’s environmental advocacies and queens, and I am still grateful for the opportunity given to me.
“To all the Surigaonons and my supporters, this is not the end. After all, when one door closes, another one opens—Salamat karajaw sa ijo suporta.”
Angela also represented Surigao in the Miss Universe Philippines 2021.
Cess Cruz at “a loss for words”
Cess, on the other hand, said that she was surprised that she did not meet 5’4″ when her height was measured.
“To my fellow Antipoleños, my family, friends, loved ones, and supporters, I would like to thank everyone from the bottom of my heart for the support and encouragement in my journey.
“Unfortunately, I will no longer be competing in this year’s Miss Philippines Earth due to not meeting the height requirements.
“I discovered this morning that I am measured 5’3.5” when the minimum height requirement starts at 5’4”. I had always thought I stood 5’4” as this was indicated in my past commercials and projects.
“I am still at a loss for words as this is my first national pageant, and I tried—did my best, and have come this far.”
Cess also admitted that she felt it was a waste having spent time and effort for the pageant.
She stated: “It was the advocacy of Miss Earth that inspired me to put my passion for environmental change into action.
“The time, costs, and efforts I’ve dedicated up to now, only to be told that I’m ineligible before the announcement of the Top 20 delegates tomorrow, is disheartening.
“I deeply apologize for not meeting everyone’s expectations, and I respect their final decision.
“Nevertheless, I wish my fellow eco-sisters the best, and may the best woman bring honor to our country! I will be supporting them from afar.
“Once again, this is Cess Cruz, your green candidate representing Antipolo City. And I am, and forever will be, a woman of the earth.”
Renee Sta. Teresa “extremely heartbroken”
Batanguena candidate Renee Sta Teresa was devastated over the decision of the pageant organizers that implemented the height requirement.
“To my dearest friends, supporters, and fellow Ibaeños & Batangueños, it is with a heavy heart that I announce my disqualification for Miss Philippines Earth 2022.
“I know that you are all excited for the announcement of Top 20 tomorrow, and I am very ready to make you proud, but sadly, my journey has been cut short because I learned a while ago that I did not meet the height requirement.
“Though I am extremely heartbroken, my heart is still full of gratitude for the love and support that you’ve shown me for the past months.
“I hope that somehow I was able to instill my advocacy to you. It has been an honor to be your Miss Philippines Earth- Ibaan Batangas [heart] Know that even without the crown, I would still embody the values of a true woman of the Earth.”
She also thanked those people who helped her in her Miss Philippines Earth journey.
According to her, her family and relatives and other supporters have been trying to appease her and have been giving her strength with their sweet messages.
She likewise thanked the pageant organizers because somehow she was able to fulfil her dreams to share her advocacy.
Miss Philippines Earth organizer’s statement
Meanwhile, Miss Philippines Earth organizer Lorraine Schuck stood that they will not remove the pageant’s height requirement.
“I am sad at nakakahinayang talaga kasi ang gaganda nila and they’re bright but we also have to be fair with other candidates who have complied with the requirement,” Lorraine said in an exclusive interview with ABS-CBN News this Friday, July 15.
She said that it has been a part of the pageant for the past 22 years, and they will not change even if the other national competitions have no height requirement.
It is not clear why the organizers allowed the three girls to go through the pageant activities despite their prior submission of their application forms where the height requirement was stated.
The candidates’ heights were measured one day before the announcement of the Top 20 finalists slated Friday, July 15. (ecd/mtvn)