Meet Daena Casia Yapparcon, a 19-year-old tourism management student at STI College.
Yapparcon will represent the town of El Nido and the province of Palawan as she takes the place of Miss Palawan Earth Xena Bunio, who backed out of the Miss Earth Philippines national pageant to take on other priorities.
Yapparcon was actually born in Dumaguete City on September 12, 2001, but was raised by her parents in Palawan.
She said she considers representing El Nido as an advantage because of the town’s international recognitions.
“El Nido is very well-known and is ranked No. 9 in the 25 Best Island Beaches in the World in the 2020 Readers Choice Award. It was also hailed as the Best Beach and Island destination in the Philippines for its extraordinary natural splendor and ecosystem,” Yapparcon explained.
“I have a first-hand experience on how to protect, preserve and conserve the environment efficiently as one of my advantages. Given an opportunity, I am very much willing to share this knowledge that I have not only in my municipality but to the whole country and earth as well,” she added.
She also said being a candidate of Miss Earth is an honor where she can convey her concern for nature and environment as she as she considers the pageant as a way to showcase and advocate beauty with a cause.
“Beauty with a purpose is not just feeling beautiful about yourself. It is something that comes from the heart, being humble and compassionate with other beings, to show you care and to make a difference in your own way no matter how big or small,” she narrated.
“This is a huge opportunity for us where we can voice out our advocacies for protecting our environment, our Mother Earth” she said.
“That is why I believe that joining Miss Philippines Earth is a great platform for me to introduce my advocacy which is Environmental and Social Sustainability towards Responsible Tourism,” she added.
Yapparcon said her personal advocacy is environmental and social sustainability towards responsible tourism.
She coordinated with the municipal tourism office of El Nido and presented to them the projects that she wants to implement to realize her advocacy.
“And these are: first, since we value our nature very much, I will propose a month-long coastal clean-ups and recycling activities. Second, an activity which will focus on responsible tourism towards places,” Yapparcon said.
“I would like to use the quote that says, ‘Take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but footprints, kill nothing but time’ to tell tourists and my fellow people how to become responsible individuals; and lastly, the concept of responsible tourism towards spaces,” she added.
Yapparcon said the pandemic has greatly affected the tourism industry so she is taking the challenge to represent Palawan in the Miss Earth Philippines pageant this year in a positive light.
She hopes to turn it as an opportunity for El Nido to restart tourism into more responsible, more pliable, and with more sustainable energy.
“Since I represent El Nido and we all know that the tourism industry has been badly hit by the pandemic across the world, now I believe it is time for me to work and revive what has been the top most livelihood not only of El nido but our country,” she added.
Joining a beauty contest is not new to her and she has participated other pageants before.
“I have joined countless pageants and won. I won Miss Silka Palawan, Miss STI in the local regional and national levels,” she recounted.
Asked what element best reflects her personality, Yapparcon, just like her fellow Palawan contestant Roceanne Bonggat, she chose water.
“I believe it would be the water because the water covers the 71% of the earth and water is very important. I really love the water especially the vast ocean. It is where I can be at peace and finally have serenity. It is also where I always feel calm because of the sound of the waves, the sands on my feet and the sea breeze flowing through my hair. It’s my favorite kind of quick escape from all the negativities and the noise from the city. And a gentle reminder, always remember to drink water everyday,” she said.
Right now, Yapparcon is training under the supervision of talent manager Robert Gonzales and for those who are rooting for her, she has this to say:
“First of all, maraming salamat po sa lahat ng sumusuporta saakin. I can’t express how much I’m feeling right now but with full gratitude to all my fellow Palaweños. You guys are my source of strength and inspiration to fight in this journey of mine in the Miss Philippines Earth 2021. I hope you could all still support me until the end, it would mean a lot for me,” she said.