MANILA - One of the candidates in this year's Miss Philippines Earth collapsed on Wednesday night during the pageant's bikini competition held at Solaire Resort & Casino in Parañaque City.
Filipino-American beauty Leslie Ann Pine, who is representing San Leonardo, Nueva Ecija, suddenly collapsed shortly after the competition's special awards ceremony just before midnight.
Fellow contestant Pircelyn Pialago, a close friend of Pine, told ABS-CBN News the the latter had been "depriving herself" of food after supposedly being put on "weight watch" leading up to the finals night on May 11.
"She passed away [sic] kasi she was really hungry," Pialago said. "Since this morning, I kept on inviting her to eat breakfast but she doesn't want to eat, kasi we're under weight watch. There are like six girls who are under weight watch, for big tummies and stuff. We're not really allowed to eat much, so she's really depriving herself."
Pine was rushed to a hospital in Ortigas where she was diagnosed to have had "electrolyte imbalance." She was discharged from the hospital on Thursday morning.
Another contestant, according to Pialago, suffered from cramps during the bikini competition as she had been dehydrated. "It really happens," she said. "Before the bikini wear, we don't usually drink to have this fit body."
Asked what she learned from her fellow contestant's experience, Pialago answered: "It's really hard... Kasi kailangan talagang pumayat. Iyon 'yung demand from the pageant. We really need to lose weight, kasi that's our market."
"It's not their fault naman if you are joining. Lesson learned -- siguro let's not deprive ourselves, kasi nag-serve naman nang maayos 'yung body natin sa atin. Just be sexy naturally, in and out. Beauty is not about your figure itself. It's Miss Earth, it's about your advocacy and everything that you will say."
The coronation night of Miss Philippines Earth will be held at the Mall of Asia Arena, and will be telecast on ABS-CBN. -- Report from Mario Dumaual, ABS-CBN News