Jamie Herrell (center) waves at the conclusion of the Miss Philippines Earth pageant on Sunday night. Photo by Jay Ganzon for ABS-CBNnews.com
MANILA – Having an experience is a plus but sometimes, fulfilling one’s dreams is also about desire and hard work.
This is what Cebu City’s Jamie Herrell believes in after she won the 2014 Miss Philippines Earth pageant in her first attempt to join the competition.
Unlike some other contestants who are not first-timers in the pageant, Herrell said her two-year training helped her seal the top spot.
“For me it’s really a plus if you have experience but ever since last year, I have been training every single day. That’s what made me persevere and join this pageant today. Sometimes, it’s about how much you want it and how much you work for it. As long as you’re focused, you have faith and you fight for it, you can definitely get what you want and follow your dreams,” she said.
Asked if she expected to win the competition, she said, “Honestly, I never expect because I joined past pageants before and I got runner up… That’s why after that, I learned humility. I think that is the best thing that you can ever teach a child. Because humility, that will take you far and make you learn.”
Herrell also revealed that she almost backed out of the competition because of her school scholarship.
“I feel so overwhelmed. I’m still crying right now. I’ve been wanting this for two years and it finally came true, all of my hard work since last year, training for this pageant. I’m happy that I really took this opportunity because I really planning to back out this year for the very reason of my scholarship. But I took the chance. My school gave me this privilege to join this pageant. I feel so happy,” she said.
With everything that she’s been through, Herrell said she takes inspiration from her mom.
“She’s the woman that nurtured me to become the woman that I am today. [She] taught me all of my principles and discipline. When my dad passed away, she was the one who took care of us. She was a strong woman. She’s the reason why I am strong today,” she said.
Herrell, who is currently studying acting, said she would also want to give showbiz a try in the future.
“Right now, I’m going to focus on this moment, which is to focus on winning the crown internationally, and at the same time doing all of my obligations. But yes for the future why not? I am an acting student after all,” she said.
The 19-year-old beauty from the Queen City of the South is an animal rights advocate, according to the Miss Philippines Earth website.
During the question-and-answer portion, Herrell was asked by former Akbayan lawmaker Risa Hontiveros, "Do you think that we, human beings, have been good children to Mother Earth?"
Herrell answered: "Honestly, in my opinion, we haven’t been good children. In fact, I believe that we are the number one cause of her problems, we are the reason why we're having climate change, and we are the reason why we're having floods. But in return, if we can only help her and salvage her, she will help us back and take care of us too."
Following her victory, Herrell will gear up to represent the Philippines in the international beauty pageant, Miss Earth. - with a report from Ginger Conejero, ABS-CBN News