Reyna Michelle Ubani Ruhen is presented as one of the candidates for Miss Earth Philippines 2024.

Former Mutya ng Palawan, Reyna Michelle Ubani Ruhen, is determined to capture the crown in this year’s Miss Philippines Earth pageant.

Reyna was presented on April 6 as one of the candidates for the annual beauty pageant in the Philippines, which focuses on environmental awareness and conservation.

The current Sangguniang Kabataan Chairperson of Barangay Iraan and beauty queen thought back on her six years of growth as a committed Palaweña. She had the support of her friends, family, and community.

Reyna was raised in Aborlan by a single mother. She started joining pageants in 2016 and, in the same year, won a total of four pageant crowns, including Mutya ng Kalikasan Aborlan, and Mutya ng Kalikasan Palawan.

She would go on to collect more jewels in her pageant crown over the years, although her journey was put on hold after being crowned Binibining Mimaropa 2018 when she decided to finish her degree in Political Science at Palawan State University.

After completing her degree, Reyna pursued law school. However, after a year, she made the decision to prioritize other aspirations before continuing her legal studies and chose to enter public service instead. Presently, she holds the position of SK Federation Chairperson in Barangay Iraan, Aborlan, in southern Palawan.

“Talagang namiss ko din ang stage, which is why I got the courage to join again in the national competition. I’m already 24 years old, and kung itutuloy-tuloy ang law school baka paglabas ko, hindi na aabot sa age requirement. Andami na rin nagme-message, humihikayat sa akin na ‘time mo nang sumali,’ ganyan kaya na-persuade po nila ako mag-join,” she said.

“I’m very thankful na kahit ang tagal ko nang hindi nagpa-pageant nandiyan pa din yung mga supporters na willing pa din to help me,” Reyna said.

Her supporters included those who had backed her during her previous pageants, as well as the volunteer community she encountered through her roles as a second lieutenant in the Philippine Coast Guard Auxiliary and as an instructor of the Red Cross Youth.

Reyna’s involvement with NGOs and community outreach solidified her choice to participate in the Miss Philippines Earth pageant. The pageant’s environmental advocacy resonated with her values and personal objectives, particularly her aim to enhance local environmental protection efforts.

“Bilang SK chairperson, lahat ng work talagang nirerelate siya on how to protect the environment. We enfold that on our three-year developmental plan, kasama po ang environmental protection sa ating administrasyon. Bilang previous beauty queen and, of course, Philippine Coast Guard-Auxiliary, sumasama tayo sa mga engagement na meron impact when it comes to preserving and conserving our Mother Earth,” Reyna said, adding that her focus would be on getting more youth on a national level involved in said work.

Reyna expressed her gratefulness to the community that supported her, most especially her team and the current Miss Philippines Earth-Water, Jemimah Joy Zabala, who also graduated from the same university.

“She’s very supportive talaga sa akin (…) Dati ko siyang guidance counselor sa Palawan State University kasi isa siyang licensed psychometrician. Napakasarap niya pong kausap, and she’s very great at giving advices sa pagsali ko sa Miss Philippines Earth, mga tips na kung ano yung aking gagawin once I’m there so I’m very thankful na nandiyan siya,” she said.