Before the Miss Philippines Earth Top 20 announcement last July 15, three candidates, Cess Cruz, Michele Angela Okol, and Reneé Coleen Sta. Teresa, had announced on social media that they were no longer competing after failing to meet the organization’s height requirement.
The announcement was first revealed by Cruz of Antipolo when she wrote on her Facebook post last Thursday: “I will no longer be competing in this year’s Miss Philippines Earth due to not meeting the height requirements.”
According to her post, the organization’s minimum height requirement is 5’4”. Cruz’s official height is 5’3.5.”
“I had always thought I stood 5’4” as [this was] indicated in my past commercials and projects,” she added.
Following Cruz’s disqualification, Okol, Siargao island’s first-time candidate, followed suit with an announcement on Facebook, saying her “height does not fit the pageant’s standards” and that “their organization would get bashed if they let someone below 5’4 push through the Top 20.”
“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,” she said.
Meanwhile, Sta. Teresa of Ibaan-Batangas thanked her supporters with a heavy heart on a Facebook post upon receiving the unexpected news.
“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,” her post read.
In an interview with ABS-CBN News, MPE organizer Lorraine Schuck expressed her gratitude to the three candidates for their participation but emphasized the organization’s standard height requirement.
“The Miss Philippines Earth pageant has its criteria. Prospective candidates must meet those requirements, including the standard 5-foot-4 minimum height requirement,” said Schuck.
“We thank Angela Okol of Del Carmen, Surigao; Cess Cruz of Antipolo City; and Renee Coleen Sta. Teresa of Ibaan, Batangas, for their hard work in supporting the MPE and its advocacies and promoting their respective municipalities through their eco-tourism videos,” she said.
Despite the result of their disqualification, the three candidates highlighted in their posts that they are still grateful for the opportunity that they had throughout their Miss Philippines Earth pageant journey.
After a two-year break of live competitions, the Miss Philippines Earth 2022 will finally be held live on August 6 in Coron Palawan.