Xenia Bunio, reigning Miss Palawan Earth.

Reigning Miss Palawan Earth 2021 Xena Bunio will not be joining the competition, stating she will be focusing on other priorities.

“This has been perhaps one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever made in my life but I believe that at one point in our lives, we are bound to find ourselves at a crossroad forced to make important decisions consciously for the future that we want,” Bunio said in her Facebook post.

“In my pursuit of success and happiness, I realized that at this point, my studies are a higher priority. The pandemic has been a challenge to most students, if not all, around the country and the world. And only the most dedicated have the window of opportunity to succeed. Therefore, I have decided to give my studies my full attention and focus and put my other interests and endeavors secondary,” she explained.

“I know that being your Miss Palawan Earth 2021, I have an obligation first and foremost to the Miss Palawan Charities Inc. and to the province of Palawan, my team, and everyone who was looking forward to the Miss Philippines Earth title that hopefully, our province could bag this year. But knowing that I am not mentally, emotionally, and physically prepared, I’d rather wait until I am,” she added.

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In Bunio’s place, Daena Yapparcon of El Nido town and Roceanne Bonggat of Puerto Princesa City will join 66 other candidates who will vie for the title in the annual search for the most environmentally conscious beauty pageant.

“I am deeply touched and grateful to my sisters Daena Yapparcon and Rocheanne Bonggat who are brave enough to take on the challenge and bring the Miss Earth Philippines crown to our province. We have two of the best. They are ready and they need our full support now more than ever. So, I’m humbly asking my fellow Palaweños and Palaweñas to support these two women of the Earth in any way we can,” Bunio said.

While organizers already released the names of the official candidates, they have yet to announce final date and venue of the coronation night.

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is the correspondent of Palawan News in San Vicente, Palawan. He also covers politics, government policies, tourism, health and sports. His has interest in travelling and exploring different places and food.