IN PHOTOS: Phuong Khanh Nguyen wins 1st Miss Earth title for Vietnam

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 04 2018 02:54 AM | Updated as of Nov 04 2018 05:22 PM

Instead of triumphantly facing the crowd after being declared Miss Earth 2018, Phuong Khanh Nguyen of Vietnam appeared to pull herself toward Austria's Melanie Mader to hide herself. 

Not out of shame, obviously. She just wanted a second or two to gather herself as she tried to fight back tears of joy.

She was visibly emotional when she was announced the winner, making her the first Vietnamese woman to win the title. 

Nguyen won after telling her fellow millennials to stop using social media and technology for vanity purposes and "transform the world" in the pageant's question-and-answer round. 

Nguyen, a 23-year-old marketing student, beat a pool of candidates that included the Philippines' own Celeste Cortesi, who settled for a Top 8 finish

She advocates for maintaining and preserving Vietnam's rivers and forests as her country "transforms itself into an industrialized nation," according to her profile in the Miss Earth website. 

Below are just some of the moments after she was crowned the winner, inheriting the title from Filipina beauty queen Karen Ibasco, during the pageant held at Mall of Asia Arena: 

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The moment Phuong Khanh Nguyen of Vietnam was crowned Miss Earth 2018. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

Phuong Khanh Nguyen of Vietnam fought back tears and gathered herself to properly do her first walk as winner of Miss Earth 2018. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

WINNERS: (from left) Miss Earth-Fire Melissa Flores of Mexico, Miss Earth-Water Valeria Ayos of Colombia, Miss Earth 2018 Phuong Khanh Nguyen of Vietnam, and Miss Earth-Air Melanie Mader of Austria. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

Phuong Khanh Nguyen of Vietnam shares a moment onstage after being crowned Miss Earth 2018. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

Phuong Khanh Nguyen of Vietnam poses with her Miss Earth 2018 crown. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

Celeste Cortesi, the Philippines' bet for a back-to-back title win, settled for a top 8 finish. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

Celeste Cortesi looked great in her swimsuit, but unfortunately could not crack the Top 4 of the contest. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News