TACLOBAN CITY—Friends and loved ones of Cynthia Thomalla in Southern Leyte province continue to shower her with praises and admiration after she became the first Filipina to win in this year’s 2018 Miss Eco International crown.
The 23-year-old stunner from the quaint town of Macrohon, known for its idyllic beaches, bested 70 other beauties from across the globe.
Maasin city mayor Nacional “Nikko” Mercado said he felt “overjoyed to hear the well-deserved victory” of Thomalla while thanking her “for showing to the world the brilliance and grace of our people”.
Thomalla spent her high school and college years in Maasin city, the province’s capital.
“I joined the rest of your kababayan here in Southern Leyte in saying that we are very proud of you! My heartiest congratulations!” Mercado said in an interview.
Artist and lensman Jham Hatayna also recalled how their group of local photographers had Thomalla during their fun shoots while she was then a high school student in the city.
“We knew then she will soar high on the world stage with her charisma she has shown to us,” Hatayna said.
Like other friends, he wished her luck in her new endeavors.
“Stay the same as what you are—humble and down-to-earth,” Hatayna added.
Jun Tingson, a leading make-up artist in the city, also waxed nostalgic over the winning of Thomalla in the international competition.
“What I saw in your aura is a beautiful lady who will soon wear a bigger crown, an international crown. So, when you asked me to handle you and train you for a pageant (Miss Macrohon) years ago I, without hesitation, said yes and grabbed the chance because I believe that you have a bigger dream in line with this industry and I want to help you to achieve that,” Tingson posted on his Facebook.
Tingson remembered that he had prayed hard that Thomalla would one day join a beauty pageant upon seeing her for the first in a store where she was eating.
“And now, you already achieved it, I pray that you will fulfill and perform your duties and responsibilities as Miss Eco International while staying grounded and be an inspiration to those young ladies who also dream a dream you have dreamt,” Tingson said.
Tingson proudly shared that he did Thomalla’s make-up when she was still in a high school band.
He also made her dresses for the prom, pageant, and debut.
Thomalla was born in Germany to a German father while her mother is from Macrohon. Their family came and stayed in the Philippines when she was nine years old.
At 16, Thomalla won her first beauty pageant title as Miss Macrohon 2011.
In 2012, she won Miss Southern Leyte 2012, second-runner-up and Miss Merida 2012, first-runner-up.
She was crowned Miss Pintados 2013 in Tacloban city. In 2015, she won Miss Mandaue City 2015, first-runner-up. She made a comeback win in 2016 as Reyna ng Aliwan (Sinulog Queen) and Miss Eco Philippines 2017.
She completed Tourism and Event Management at STI in Maasin city.
Thomalla also pursued her studies and modelling career in Cebu city. Her favorite sports are archery and swimming.
Admired for her “Barbie-doll looks”, Thomalla advocated sustainable tourism. She also hoped to become a flight attendant someday.
During the pageant’s night in Cairo, Egypt last Friday (Saturday in Manila), Thomalla captured the hearts of the judges and the audience when she delivered her answer to the question: “What do you think is the most important thing that beauty pageants add to people and the world?”
“I think the most relevant thing that we beauty queens can add to the world is raising awareness. on our own causes. For example, the Miss Eco International is raising the advocacy of sustainable tourism and protecting the environment. And that is the main point of doing beauty pageants, by raising our voices to help the earth,” Thomalla answered.
Miss Eco International aims to “promote the importance of saving our planet environmentally in addition to marketing tourism across the world.”